Tag: rest

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! 

Sleep Well & Happy Holidays!

Winter Dragon by Dreoilin - Ashley Stewart2013
Winter Dragon by Dreoilin – Ashley Stewart 2013


Season’s Greetings!

Tonight is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, and you might feel a bit sleep deprived, with Holidays and the Year’s end upon us.

While the days are shorter and the nights are longer, do you find yourself wanting more sleep than usual? Maybe waking in the middle of the night and struggling to get back to sleep?

Rest assured, you probably don’t have a sleep disorder — I can certainly relate, and am looking forward to catching up on rest!

Sleep is necessary for us to “recharge our batteries” energetically, to “reset” and heal our body, mind and spirit. Good, restful sleep is deeply restorative in many ways:

  • keeps our mind sharp and alert
  • keeps our heart healthy with stress recovery
  • reduces weight gain by balancing metabolism and cortisol levels
  • keeps our nervous system functioning at the optimum level
  • increases vital energy — therefore boosts our immune system and pain threshold
  • boosts motivation and libido
  • improves mood and relationships

One of my Bagua Zhang instructors recommended waking up in the middle of the night to train and meditate because of the lack of distractions and optimal energy flux in our bodies’ natural cycles. There are ancient Taoist manuals that recommend practicing Qi-Gong around 2am because of this energetic circadian rhythm.

I remember when I was child waking up in the wee hours of the night and having profound moments of clarity and calm. I sometimes still do this, but because of our modern perception of what our sleep cycles “should be” (8 hour blocks), I wondered if I had a sleep disorder.

You might be surprised, as I was recently, to find out it was once common to have a bi-modal sleeping pattern, referred to as ‘first sleep‘ and ‘second sleep‘ before electric lighting in homes, where people would go to sleep around 8pm, wake up between 11pm and 1am to read or write for a couple hours before returning to sleep again… therefore the expression “burning the midnight oil.”

Apparently, bi-modal sleeping patterns are more natural, and our modern perception of sleep cycles are distorted and need some revision… This lends credence to the adage “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise“…

Here’s a great article that challenges the myths of getting “a proper night’s sleep”:

How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night and Highlighting the Problem of Present Shock


Other research suggests sleeping more than 6 hours at once can be detrimental

  • to our muscles (due to inactivity),
  • to our use of nutrients (starving then stuffing your body), and
  • to our mind and perception (long periods of consciousness being separate from the body can lead to anxiety about physical reality, a sense of unnatural separation of the personality, causing a distorted view of the polarity of good vs. evil, etc).

A better solution could be sleeping in 4-6 hour blocks, and then taking a nap later on if necessary.

The truth is, we all have different individual needs that change season to season, and under different conditions. So, listen to your body’s needs, including following your own sleep patterns, and you’ll feel much better!

Wishing you and yours very Happy Holidays and a refreshingly restorative Winter!

Dennis Mace
Look within to reveal and heal your True Self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts
cell/text 206-440-9187

P.S.: The impressive dreamlike vision is called “Winter Dragon“, by talented artist Ashley Stewart, enjoy!

First Published on: Dec 21, 2013,
Edited on: Dec 20, 2016