Tag: Meditation

Exhausted? Revitalize with Meditation and Qigong – Sealing the 5 Senses 🧘🏻‍♂️🌀💫


I often use the expression “Look within to reveal and heal your True Self.” Why? 


Our attention and energy gets scattered and depleted by focusing on everything going on around us. Busy-ness of the world, survival, work, school, family, obligations, politics, hobbies, sports, recreation, games — all the 10,000 things of the world have their place and time, but worrying about all the things can become overwhelming, even to the best of us. 

As life seems to be getting more hectic and stressful, it’s easy to loose ourselves and feel disconnected, scattered and exhausted. This year has been exceptionally stressful — all of us have been affected by the distressing pandemic, exacerbated by divisive politics, leading to economic recession and social discord, and more anxiety and fatigue than we’ve faced before. 


Especially now, as Autumn and Winter seasons set in, many people feel discouraged because they feel even more tired. 
But the truth is, this is a natural cycle — as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, notice how plants and animals go into a state of hibernation. Yet because of the demands of a disconnected society, we feel pressured to compensate with fake energy boosters and stimulants, or “numb-out” from the stress with drugs and alcohol, then feel even more exhausted, scattered and depleted after the false-energy boost wares off. 

Instead, the  best way to revitalize is the natural way — instead of struggling against your natural rhythms, listen to your body’s needs to rest and sleep more — you’ll be able to stay more focused and present. 


To restore our energy even more, as well as heal and enhance our senses, we must “seal the 5 senses” and turn inward. This aspect of mindfulness in meditation will focus your mind and help you to harness your energy:   

  • Still your body, heart and mind. 
  • Let go of worries, doubts, grief and longing, and call your attention to the present moment. 
  • Let go of all distractions from the present moment, and reclaim your Spirit. 
  • Be here, now. 
  • Feel the movement of air as you breathe in and breathe out, feel the blood coursing throughout your body from your heart, notice any sensations of tension or pain, as you release them and let go. 
  • Smell your own breath and body and wonder at all the countless processes happening automatically within you. 
  • Taste your own saliva as you swallow to assist your digestion, and lubricate your organs. 
  • Listen to your heartbeat, the sounds of your digestive system, the sound of your breath. 
  • Look inward to see the colors behind your eyelids, shifting your gaze to the kaleidoscope of your mind’s eye, and the light shining within you. 
  • Feel the buzzing hum of electricity through your brain and nervous system, feel the waves of the bio electric field flowing within you, through you and around you. 

Each cell within you is its own organism, symbiotically coming together to encompass you, seamlessly working and dancing together in myriads of systems to become whole — just as the vast space between the particles of atoms that convene into the molecules composing each cell are miraculously interwoven and connected, just as vibrant as a solar system, yet deep within you, bringing life and consciousness. Galaxies of energy and matter spiraling within us, composing our mortal coil, just as we are each of us cells, an inseparable and integral part of the countless solar systems in the Cosmos. 

This awareness of the vastness of the Universe is paradoxically also where we discover our most essential inner-selves, and how we are all connected in consciousness. 


To conclude any meditation practice session, draw your attention to your physical center of gravity, which is just below your navel in the middle of your lower abdomen at your body’s core. Allow the energy you cultivate with Qigong practice to spiral to your center, to assimilate, or “digest” there. This grounds your energy, calms the mind and emotions, allowing you to remain centered even in stressful or startling situations. It is by this mindful process that you may discover the deepest, most essential part of yourself, and feel how integrated you are with the world. That you may “look within to reveal and heal your true self.” 


Meditation and Qigong enhances awareness of yourself and your surroundings, which contributes to your mental and physical health, as well as your self-defense skills. Clarity of focus and sharpening the mind are indispensable skills for a warrior, as it enhances awareness of one’s inner world, as well as a deeper awareness of the world we live in, and creates the space where you can discover your hidden reservoir of latent essential power. This is why these practices have been invaluable to warriors and martial artists for several millennia. 

Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu classes 

We have a few spots available if you would like to start training Remote online with our Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu class, held Saturdays at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm PST! 

With all the uncertainty of the tumultuous times we are all living in, Bagua Zhang is an excellent practice to help you improve your health, increase your vitality and awareness, and develop self defense skills to meet the challenges we are facing with focus and confidence. 

Once you get some of the basics down, you are welcome to join in our other regular group classes on Thursdays 7-8pm PST, and Sundays 11am-12:30pm PST. 

The Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since we are training Remotely via Zoom, you can join us from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection. I will be available to answer questions after class from students via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group

The Remote Membership is only $50 per month, half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us live via Zoom and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts. Also, we are in the process of creating instructional videos and workbooks to help you learn and grow with your practice! 

If you are interested in joining for the first time, or it’s been awhile since you’ve attended our classes, please respond to this message so we can get you started with our Bagua Zhang Martial Arts classes

At Mace Martial Arts, we value the sanctity of all life, celebrate diversity, cultivate peace and justice, and accept students who are interested in learning how to improve and protect themselves. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry and will reject any potential or current student who bullies or discriminates against others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender/orientation. 


Please share with anyone you know that might be interested in joining our classes! 

Vajra Visions Newsletter

Magical Thinking in Meditation & Martial Arts

Vajra Visions Newsletter
Vajra Visions

Magical Thinking in Qigong & Martial Arts
In my previous post, I referred to Magical Thinking in regards to self-image, and choosing to (re)start an enjoyable form of exercise. Now I’d like to share this concept to transform your approach to training, and being, especially in meditation and martial arts practice.  Most people interpret Magical Thinking as being unrealistic, immature, flaky or just plain weird. What I’m suggesting, instead, is to open your perception to realize the wonderful and miraculous in everything around us and inside of us, that most of us take for granted. 


The Bridge Between Science and Magic  

Life, by its own existence is miraculous. If we consider the prevailing theory for the creation of the Cosmos, the myriads of particles, molecules, atoms, space and energy that manifest in our Universe, to the evolution of life and ourselves, is incomprehensibly vast and magnificent. 
We are stardust manifest into conscious, living beings. Consider the incredible diversity of life on this planet Earth, to the boggling complexity of our bodily systems, all the processes that happen within us to create the living, breathing symbiotic beings that we are, to live in synchronicity with our world. 


If we bring this deeper awareness of ourselves in connection to our world, we arrive to a profound appreciation for not only our lives, but of the living Cosmos as well, and the ways in which we are all connected. And if we bring that awareness, appreciation and inspiration to our Qigong and Martial Arts practice, it transforms us from the inside out. 


The Magic of Qigong 

Consider the amazing energy and space harnessed in each oxygen molecule, the profound mechanisms in the process of our cardiovascular system as it cycles the oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of our entire body, a process we most often don’t think about or feel, because it is a basic autonomous process that keeps us alive.  In Qigong, or “Breath/Energy Work”, we are consciously gathering the essence and energy of the air we breathe to refine and heal ourselves, from an internal, vibrational and cellular level, from the inside out; microcosm to macrocosm. We are consciously harnessing and refining this Essential Energy to increase our awareness and empower us, to tap into the hidden potential we all have. 


The main point is to have a paradigm shift in your perception of life, to being completely present to the miraculous, magical potential we all hold within us. In each and every moment. To go from rushing around in life, worrying and spinning to exhaustion from all the distractions, stuck in our heads, lost in our fears and self-doubts, longing to escape from the monotony of the daily grind — to becoming fully aware of your being, here and now, in the amazing universe we’re all a part of. Embrace the magical, wonderful power of it all. Spark your imagination to tap into your vast potential. 


It all starts with our own daily meditation and martial arts practice. Instead of being stuck in your head, rushing through reps of exercises and forms, watching the clock as you cram training time by forcing yourself to change from the shame of some aspect you despise into a projection of perfection — focus on being here, now, centered, feeling who you are, where you are at, what you are doing in the moment. Let go of who you think you are, and feel what you truly are. This is the first step in reclaiming your power and feeling the magic within you and all around you. 
In meditation and mindful martial arts practice, this is the way to let go of our fears, break through barriers of self-limitation, to tap into the limitless potential of what we can become. 


Update – Mace Martial Arts Dojo/Guan: 

Since moving to Shoreline in November, we’ve been transforming our 2-car garage into our new training hall. We have finished painting, have most of the mats already, and plan to get the rest of the mats and training equipment soon. While still a work in progress, we are holding Bagua Zhang classes in the new space on Sundays, 11am to 12:30pm. 

I’m teaching private lessons in the same space. It would be great to have you join in!

Guan, West, February 25, 2019
Guan, NW, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, NE, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, SE, Feb 25, 2019
Guan, SW, Feb 25, 2019

A Secret to Pain Relief and More Energy – Part 3

Qi Gong - Energy/Breath Cultivation
Qi Gong – Energy/Breath Cultivation

In my previous article, I introduced two crucial deep breathing methods to reduce pain and increase your energy. Now, I’ll be taking you to the next level, to help you eliminate pain, get grounded, more connected and discover your inner-power!

Inner-Power“, you ask?

Yep!

In Chinese, it’s called Qi (pronounced “chee“), and means “breath” and “energy”, interchangeably. Have you seen the Star Wars movies? “The Force” is the same ancient concept of connection and Vitality.

Using the Reverse Breathing method I shared in my previous article is a key to tap your inner-power, combining focus and imagination in this transformative healing aspect of Qi-Gong (“Breath/Energy Cultivation“), called “Microcosmic Orbit“.

Microcosmic Orbit

This practice connects the 2 main center-line Acupuncture Meridians*
in your body in a continuous loop.

These meridians flow naturally — as long as we’re alive. By practicing Microcosmic Orbit, you consciously open and “charge” this circuit for increased healing energy, circulation and awareness.

The key elements to practicing Microcosmic Orbit are:

  • As you startfocus on your body’s center of gravity, in the Lower Abdomen at your body’s core, for at least 4 full breaths. This grounds & centers you.
  • press the tip of your tongue up, as if through the roof of the mouth (like switch, or circuit breaker between the 2 Meridians),
  • imagine your body is standing like a tree. Extend feeling through your feet deep into the Earth, like the roots of a great tree. Extend your head upward (as described in the first article “A Simple Secret to Pain Relief“), like the branches and leaves of a tall, powerful oak.
  • As you inhale, grip the ground with your toes and heel, arch the bottom of your feet to create a pumping/suction feeling, and imagine drawing your breath & energy up through your feet, as if through a straw, up your legs, through your spine, to the crown of your head — like a tree drawing sap, rich in nutrients up from the roots through the whole tree.
  • As you exhale, press your feet flat into the ground and allow your breath and energy to sink with your weight, as if it were sunlight and fresh rain, washing through and nourishing the limbs, trunk and roots of your body, from head to feet.
  • when you concludefocus again on your body’s center of gravity, in the Lower Abdomen at your body’s core, for at least 4 full breaths. This grounds & centers you, allowing your energy to safely, naturally “digest” throughout your body.

Practice this cycle for several breaths for the full effect. You may feel warmth, tingling, magnetic pressure, a rush of awareness, as well as physical healing and emotional clearing. You can practice while sitting, standing, and eventually even while walking!

Practicing Microcosmic Orbit will help correct your posture, boost and ground your energy, while helping you feel more open and connected at the same time!

If you liked this article, and want more, I’m creating

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  • with practical tips & ancient techniques for vitality and getting grounded & centered
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So get connected and sign up here!

Best wishes, see you soon!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMP
Look within to reveal and heal your true self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
Tel (206) 440-9187

P.S.: For hands on training in Qi-Gong and much more, come check out my classes, my first 8 week session of Moving Mediation – Bagua: The Circular Art of Transformation starting in 2 weeks!

In these classes, you will learn how to

  • increase energy,
  • become more rooted/grounded,
  • increase intuition and connection,
  • and build self-confidence

through the spiral power of Bagua Zhang.

Classes are once a week, in progressive 8 week sessions, starting in Seattle on Tuesday August 20th or Saturday, August 24th, and in Bothell on Thursday, August 22nd.
Register for the 8 week session now!

* the 2 main center-line Acupuncture Meridians in your body are:

  • Governing Vessel rises through the spine  to the top of the head, then descends to the roof of the mouth,
  • Conception Vessel descends from the tongue through the throat, down the chest and abdomen to the perineum.

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

Published on: Aug 4, 2013

Pain Relief and More Energy – Part 2

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

 In my last post, I shared one of the most effective secrets to correct posture and reduce pain — deep breathing.

What results have you noticed from using the posture & deep breathing methods in my previous article?

To enhance the health benefits, here are 2 deep breathing methods that will help you feel more centered, grounded, and energized!

The key to both methods is to imagine drawing your breath deep into your belly, to your body’s center of gravity (below your navel 1-2 inches, at your body’s core).

Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal breathing is the relaxed breathing we naturally use when sleeping. This form of breathing soothes tension and anxiety, clears the mind and calms emotions.
In abdominal breathing, your abdomen naturally expands when you inhale, and contracts as you exhale.

Reverse Breathing

Reverse breathing is the breathing we naturally use when exerting to lift, pull or press something heavy. Referred to as “prenatal breathing” by Taoist Masters, as it is the “breath” used by infants still in the womb. For thousands of years, Qi-Gong (“breath/energy-work”) Masters have regarded this breathing method as a secret to vitality and longevity.
In Reverse Breathing, your abdomen contracts as you inhale, then your abdomen compresses and your lower back (around your kidneys) expands as you exhale. This creates a subtle, yet powerful internal pump that stimulates the endocrine system and energy flow throughout your body.

So, if you are feeling anxious or stressed, practice Abdominal Breathing to calm your mind and soothe tension, and to help wind down at the end of your day.

If you are feeling exhausted or scattered, practice Reverse Breathing to revive and get focused, or to start your day when you wake up — who needs coffee, right? 😉

Dao Yin – Chinese Taoist Yoga & Qi-Gong
More details on Reverse Breathing coming in my next article!

 

 

Stay tuned for my next article ~

I will share more to clarify and enhance the efficacy of the Reverse Breathing method…

If you liked this article, and want more, I’m creating

  • free weekly articles (with video)
  • with practical tips and ancient techniques for vitality and getting grounded & centered
  • with occasional bloopers
  • and special offers & discounts!

So get connected and sign up here!

 

P.S.: If you’d like to learn more about these powerful healing methods hands on, come check out my classes ~  Announcing my first 8 week session of Moving Mediation – Bagua: The Circular Art of Transformation!
In these classes, you will learn how to

  • increase energy,
  • become more rooted/grounded,
  • increase intuition and connection,
  • and build self-confidence

through the spiral movements and coiling power of Bagua Zhang.

Classes are once a week, in 8 week sessions, starting in Seattle on Tuesday August 20th or Saturday, August 24th, and in Bothell on Thursday, August 22nd.
Register for the 8 week session now!

 

Published on: Jul 21, 2013

 

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A Simple Secret to Free Pain Relief

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

 Do you know a major cause of headaches, neck and back ache, and even numbness in the hands and feet?

I see it every day: poor posture.

The good news: one of the best solutions to correct posture is free!

If used correctly, this secret could save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars in medical care…

The secret is actually deep breathing.

Try to take as deep a breath as you can with your back hunched, shoulders rotated inward and your head hanging forward… Does your breathing feel restricted?

Similarly, remember a time when you were injured or stressed out? Just thinking about it probably makes your breath shallow. Deep breathing not only helps correct your posture, it also reduces stress and pain.

Click here to watch the video:

 

The keys to effective deep breathing are:

  • Lift your head as if it’s being hoisted up from the crown, and
  • push your head up, as if pushing your head through a tight turtle-neck shirt,
  • draw your chin in (not tilted back),
  • keep your hips slightly forward & tailbone tucked under, so the spine is “telescoping” straight (stretching from the top and bottom) without any hunching or swayback.

This will make your spine feel as if it is suspended, with all your bones stacked in alignment, and your entire body will feel lighter, almost weightless.

Dao Yin – Chinese Taoist Yoga & Qi-Gong
Extend spine upward and downward, and draw breath to your lower abdomen.

How long is a deep breath?

It’s relative. The idea is to gradually increase the depth and duration of your breath with practice. The best way, is to count your heartbeats — this allows you to listen to your body and get in touch instead of forcing it.

Start with 5 to 10 heartbeats per inhale, and just as long an exhale, at least 5 full breaths.
Practice everyday when you feel tense, in the morning when you wake up, and at night before you sleep. After a week, increase the depth of your breath by a few more heartbeats, to a point when you feel a stretch, but not so deep that you feel forced or more tense.


Gradual growth
is the key ~ you’ll be amazed with the results!

If you liked this article and want to receive more, I’m creating something new for you:

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Published on: Jul 4, 2013

 

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