Kai Chi Do and your own truth

For life is a creative idea;
it can only find itself in changing forms.
Rabindranath Tagore


Where do you find your own truth?

Kai Chi Do is the free spirit way.  We don’t say, “you have to believe in this” or “you have to believe in that.” Our work, in essence, is to help people find their own inner guidance and to begin to trust that connection, and then from there, take action.

The first connection is with ourselves, to listen, to make decisions, to choose things that feel right to focus on.  All of that is so valuable in cultivating your relationship with yourself.  We see it as cultivation of a relationship with your own truth.

Great teachers have said there is no separation. We are all one and the same. That is the invitation for all of us.

If you think that your teacher or your God is outside of you, that’s where you enter into a parental relationship with the Divine.  And then you develop the myth of a personality.  You look for a personality to guide you or to be an outward expression of Divinity, to make decisions for you.

We believe that inner guidance comes from a very free place, a place that is true to each one of us, in each moment.

Synchronicities are evidence of our connection, but they also demonstrate how we have actually come into a place of cooperation with each other.  There’s an agreement that transcends intellectual understanding.   There’s a much deeper agreement that we all have with one another.  It transcends our loneliness.

When you experience the connection between all of us, you discover that you’re not alone. For me, that feels very comforting. It validates the heart.

Kai Chi Do is a way of practicing and being in that space of freedom where you can experience the purity of the message. To honor that connection to the Divine. And also honoring yourself.  Honoring the unique precious constellation of your own identity. And nourishing the heart.

Photo by a sea of red rabbits on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Spiritual Games for New Years Eve

Only through time, time is conquered.
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

We like to play spiritual games on New Year’s Eve.  We stay home, have a quiet intimate evening with our family or a few friends, drink a little Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider at midnight (truly living on the edge!), and we play spiritual games.

Each year we do an activity with the clear goal of raising our awareness and uplifting our consciousness and having fun all at the same time.  The games always help us to look over the previous year – give ourselves acknowledgment for achievements and identify what we’d like to do better – and develop clear intentions for the upcoming year.

So we thought we’d share some of these consciousness games with you, and maybe you’ll give one or two a try and get on the wavelength with us.  If you do – we hope you’ll leave a comment and tell us how it worked out for you!

  • Bright Spots: Charles encourages people to identify “Bright Spots” every day.  New Years Eve is like the Bright Spots of all the Bright Spots – your personal Top Ten for the year.  Bright Spots are points of awareness. They’re not always happy spots but they’re moments when you realized something very important to you.  They’re little epiphanies and insights that help you steer in the direction of what you want including who you want to be.  It’s especially fun and useful to keep a journal of these from year to year.
  • Gratitudes: List all the things you are grateful for in the past year.  This game may be familiar but it is still very powerful and profoundly uplifting.  Gratitude feels good and the more time you dwell on the things you feel grateful about, the better you feel.
  • Reviewing your Goals: Make 3 lists: 1. Things I Accomplished in 2010, 2. Things I Hoped to Accomplish This Year but Didn’t, 3. Things I Intend to Accomplish in the Coming Year.  Looking back and reviewing the year allows you to give yourself credit where credit is due, to use your disappointments or frustrations constructively, to see your progress, and to declare your direction for the coming year.  It helps you to identify goals and is an invitation to the Universe to assist you in meeting them.
  • Wheel of Fortune: This is a visioning tool developed by Catherine Ponder, and written in her book The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity.  Take a large piece of oaktag type paper (approx. 24″ by 36″) and make a small circle (maybe 4 or 5 inches in diameter) in the middle of the page.  Then divide the page into 4 quadrants with the circle in the middle.  The inner circle represents Source or Core Energy.  Label the four quadrants: 1. Spirituality and Personal Growth, 2. Relationships and Family, 3. Fun and Recreation, and 4. Business and Finance.  Then build the Wheel of Fortune.  This is a visioning tool.  Use pictures and words to represent your vision, what you want, for each of the quadrants, and use a picture or word in the center that represents Source to you.  We’ve had amazing results with this tool.  We make it a collage of pictures from magazines and personal photos, and sometimes we write affirmations or just  a single word in each quadrant.  Be as specific as you can.  We hang the Wheel somewhere we can see it throughout the year.  One year, when we first moved to Florida, we cut out a picture of a couch from a magazine, and added it to our wheel in the fun and recreation quadrant.  When we actually bought a couch and brought it home, we discovered that our couch had the EXACT same palm frond print that was in our wheel picture!  Exactly!  We also discovered that it’s very important to believe what you want is possible.  In other words, when you look at your wheel throughout the year, you want it to trigger your confidence and desire (not your self-doubt and resistance).  It’s your thought and emotion that makes the magic of the wheel.
  • Vision Board: A vision board is very similar to the Wheel of Fortune, but the collage has no center and no quadrants.  It’s a “gestalt” of your vision for yourself, a unified sum.  The vision board was made popular in a book called The Vision Board – Secrets to an Extraordinary Life by Joyce Schwartz who talks about how the Vision Board activates The Law of Attraction to fulfill your desires. You can see examples of Vision Boards by clicking the icons at the bottom of the I have a website.
  • Mask Making: We did this one year and totally missed midnight.  We were all so captivated by the activity that we completely lost track of time.  By the time we looked up and took a breather, we realized it was 2am and we were all energized!  By the way, this is a great one to do with kids, but adults become very kid-like when they’re making a mask.  It’s great to do with a buddy, who will apply the materials to your face, but it can be done alone using a mirror.  Here’s what you’ll need: Quick drying plaster gauze (you’ll need one or two rolls per mask), water based KY jelly, scissors, a dish of warm water, feathers, beads, any other stuff you might want to attach to your mask face (like yarn, shells, small coins, glitter, sand, small mirrors, sequins, plastic “gems”).  You’ll also need glue, paints (water-based, we use Crayola “Washable Paint” or acrylic or tempera paint), paint brushes, a cup of water to rinse your brushes, a paper plate to use as a paint palette, and newspaper or plastic tablecloth (to protect your workspace). We buy most of these products at Michaels but most craft supply stores carry them.  It’s helpful, if you’re able, to have a microwave on hand for making the quick drying gauze  just a little bit quicker, for the impatient among us.  Here’s how you make your mask: Cut the plaster gauze into small strips, vary the sizes and shapes – such as 1 inch by 2 inches, 2 inches by 4 inches.  You’ll want to apply the smaller strips in small contours – like around your nose and chin – and bigger strips on areas with larger contours – like your forehead and cheeks.  Your buddy applies a nice layer of KY jelly to your face including your lips, your eyebrows (not on your eyelids – your mask will have holes for the eyes), and apply a smidge of KY to protect your hairline from sticking to the gauze.  Then wet one strip of gauze at a time, run it between two fingers to squeeze excess water out of it, and apply the strip to your face.  Leave “holes” for your eyes and your nostrils (so you can breathe!), but do apply gauze to the rest of your face (keep your lips closed) and gently shape the gauze to the contours – your lips, the crease beside your nose, your cheeks, your forehead, your chin.  Once you have a few layers of gauze on all of your face (except the eye holes), sit quietly for 10 or 15 minutes while the gauze dries.  You want it to be firm enough that it will hold its shape when you take it off your face.  Once it is firm, gently shimmy it off your face.  If it’s kinda firm but still needs to harden, put it in the microwave for a few seconds – Don’t overcook!  Then begin to paint and decorate your face mask.  We use the mask to express the part of ourselves that we feel in the present moment or a part of ourselves that we hope to express in the new year.
  • Fire Meditation: We love the fireplace in our home, but a candle is just as wonderful for meditation.  The fire is about purification, releasing and liberating yourself from any struggles or conflicts of the past.  Connect with your breathing, connect each breath while you concentrate on the flame with one-pointed focus.  Begin to relax into the flame. Allow the flame to become a part of your energy as your relax. And use your breath to continue to relax fully and completely into the energy of the flame.  Relax your mind.  Don’t try to make it “about” anything.  Let go of your notions of what you should get out of the meditation and just allow yourself to experience quieting your mind and being with the flame.  Come into your center by holding your hands in prayer before you put out the flame. And relax into the energy that’s been released. Allow yourself to integrate the moment.
  • Breathwork: We love conscious connected breathing.  Take circular breaths, relaxing into each breath, pulling on the inhale, relaxing on the exhale, and connected each exhale to the next inhale.  Pulling in Life Energy with each inhale and releasing resistance with each exhale.  Gently. Gently.  This is great to do with a buddy.  You breathe with their support.  Then it’s their turn to breathe with your support.  The role of the support person is to create a safe space, to be loving and accepting and attentive to each breath.   You do this breathing exercise for about 20-30 minutes, until you feel a sense of completion.  It’s surprising, but you may have feelings come to the surface.    Just watch them and let them pass, don’t get too attached to them or try to figure them out.  Just go with the flow of your breath.
  • Dakini Oracle: The Dakini Oracle is a deck of cards with illustrations on them and a short phrase.  They are similar to Tarot cards, but we like the Dakini because the pictures are so evocative and easy to interpret (and we find them less structured than Tarot).  Shuffle the deck while you hold a question in your mind, fan the deck and choose 6 cards.  Lay the cards face down from left to right.  The first two cards represent the past, the middle two cards represent the present, and the two cards on the right represent the future.  Now, we don’t consider this fortune telling.  It’s not the cards or some outside being telling you about your future.  We think it is you talking to a deep inner part of yourself.  And we believe that it helps clarify your own understanding of where you have been and where you are heading.  And if you don’t like the cards you got, choose another card and lay it on top of the first pick — You can change your future and you can change your perception of the past or present.  It’s your choice.  And using the Dakini helps you make your declarations about how you want your life to be.
  • New Years Affirmation Tattoo: Develop an affirmation that loves you.  This isn’t a goal affirmation.  This isn’t something you want or hope to achieve or fix.  Write an affirmation of loving words that you want to tell yourself.  If you saw the best in you, what would you say?  Begin with the words, “I am…”  or pick a single word that you know represents your best intentions and make that your affirmation.  Write your affirmation in washable paint or washable marker (washable!) on your body.  Pick the spot – do you want it on your forehead?  Across your chest?  Over your heart?  If it’s in a spot where you’ll need to read it in a mirror, then look in the mirror and write it on yourself backwards!

And if you hit the sack early tonight, give these games a try on New Years Day!

And – just a note – You may not have received yesterday’s post in your email because it was a BIG file!  I interviewed Phyllis Singer about “The Depths” movements that we use to begin each Kai Chi Do, and it was AMAZING!  If you haven’t seen and heard it yet (it’s got audio!), check it out here.

Many blessings in the New Year!

Mandala photo art by Bill Brown at Flickr Creative Commons attribution 2.0

The Depths: Interview with Phyllis Singer

What is the purpose of the self-touch movements we do at the beginning of Kai Chi Do (during Thich Nhat Hanh’s End of Suffering)?  Charles calls these “The Depths”.

I contacted Phyllis Singer, a gifted healer who uses Touch of Chi, to ask her about the value and meaning of these particular movements and their role in self-healing.  The result was a half hour interview –  You can download it or listen by clicking the audio player in this post.

[audio:|titles=The Depths: Interview with Phyllis Singer]

Here’s a summary of the The Depths  movements:

Preparation to Receive.
1. Prayer hands: Focusing on the Totality, while asking for Spiritual Support.
2. Left Shoulder, Right Ribs: Ridding Excess from the Past, Bringing in Equilibrium & Vision.
3. Left Shoulder, Left Cheekbone: Letting Go of the Past for a Total Renewal.
4. Both Shoulders: Balancing Unloading of Negativity, While Bringing in Benefit.
5. Right Shoulder, Left Ribs: Ridding Excess from the Present, Fostering Equilibrium & Vision.
6. Right Shoulder, Right Cheekbone: So one can Digest Life, while Letting Go of Preconceived Notions.
7. Third Eye, Heart, and 8. Heart and Third Chakra: Strengthening CORE SOURCE ENERGY, Balancing Heaven & Earth to Uplift the experience of Life as Heaven ON Earth.

Phyllis Singer and Kiku

I’ve also included the full transcript of the interview with photos of The Depths movements.   Try these self-healing movements on yourself while you listen and feel the energy flowing.

Full transcript of The Depths Interview with Phyllis Singer:

Susan: I am thrilled to be talking with you because, Phyllis Singer, you know that you are one of the people that Charles and I go to when we need “work.” So we’re just really thrilled. You’ve been such a support to us over the years. And in the beginning of Kai Chi Do Charles does some movements that he was inspired to include in the process and really a lot of that inspiration came from the work that we’ve done with you. We’ve never really known what the meaning is, of the different movements, and how they benefit a person. So we wanted to get your viewpoint on that.

Phyllis: Good.

Susan: Please just share a little of your background and how you came to develop Touch of Chi.

Phyllis:  I went to college. Became a teacher. Taught emotionally disturbed kids for a couple of years, and found that kind of teaching wasn’t really uplifting to me, as far as being in that kind of system. And in the meantime, found very profound teachers that talked about bodies and bodies energy, and I studied with them, one being Mary Burmeister, another one being Dr. Ida Rolf. And they profoundly affected my viewpoint
of the body and the body’s symptoms, into more of a concept of looking at the body as an energy circulation, as a Life force – and how to work with that circulation.  When we have difficulties, there’s stagnation in that circulation, and how to free that up so the body’s wellness mechanism – we all are endowed with a body that has a self-referral mechanism that knows how to balance itself – and this is what I learned from these teachers – to help balance the energy circulation, in some cultures it’s called meridians of the body, to help foster health.  In order to have full health this energy circulation needs to be free and unencumbered.  And when we have difficulties, usually in thought and attitude or daily abuses in how we live our lives, then that can lead to stagnation which can lead to accumulation which can lead to inflammation, and then we have all kinds of what we call “labels” – things that we call issues in life, different diseases. And from the point of energy circulation, when we get it freed up, the body has a chance to let go of these stress patterns – so it can fulfill it’s harmony.  Because the body wants to be harmonized. And it seeks out happy energy. Usually it’s the encumbrances on the energy circulation that makes the experience of life encumbered. So to free that up is very simple. We are all endowed with energy talent. We have a lot of energy or Life Force or Chi – and that’s the word for Life Force in many cultures.  And our body and our energy circulation.  We have so much energy for our personal life functions that extra energy comes through our hands and feet. And we can actually use our hands, in particular, because it is so convenient, to help apply this impersonal energy that comes through our hands to our personalized functions in our body.

Susan: I love the way you just said that. That’s really beautiful.

Phyllis: Thank you.

Phyllis and Mary Burmeister 1989

Susan: When we first met – you and I first met – the first session that I had with you was so life changing for me. I just felt like I literally could hear my energy, and it was sort of like dissonant in a way. It was like not running smoothly. And then after you did the session with me – and I think at that time you were calling it Jin Shin Jyutsu or the process that you were using was what you had learned from Mary Burmeister – and I could hear and feel myself all of a sudden come into energy harmony. It was like being in this egg of circulation of energy. And it was so profound. It made such a difference for me, and we went to you – I think practically every week during the pregnancy with Shanti because it made such a difference in how I felt.

Phyllis: It was wonderful to be with you too. And it’s the freeing up of that circulation that brings us to the harmony that is naturally ours, that we forget that we have. And the beauty of it is, I call myself the “industrial strength cleaner”.  So I help people who haven’t known they have an energy system to work on, so they have so many years of stagnation.  Kind of like having a house and you don’t clean it except to do a dish or two. Well, it usually takes some time and some energy and industrial strength cleaning to get that house in order. My ultimate vision for people is that they stay well with their own hands.  That there is an aspect of self-help. That we can foster harmony in our own circulation. Usually when people come to me, they come to me with this house that hasn’t been tended to because they really didn’t even know it existed on a level that it could be affected by the hands. So that’s part of the project that Touch of Chi is to let everyone know that we can have well-being in our own hands. And we first help ourselves. And then we can help others.

Susan: I just love that. I love how every time we come to you for a session, you send us home with a little prescription pad that shows the points on the body that we should hold with our hands for the kind of energy release that we are in need of at the time. It’s just perfect. So I’m just thrilled that we’re going to get to talk about how the self-touch that we do during Kai Chi Do – how you view that from the point of view of Touch of Chi.

Prayer hands

Phyllis: And as I look at the poses that Charles is in, they are very profound – what he is bringing in to help himself and others. The first one I’m seeing are his two hands together in front of him. So the prayer pose is focusing on the totality while asking for spiritual support.

Susan:  So, in a sense, it’s focusing and aligning yourself with the spiritual energy.

Phyllis: The spiritual energy. Asking for spiritual support.

Susan: Uh-huh.

Phyllis: Touch of Chi is very simple. Jin Shin Jyutsu is very simple. And when one puts their hands together like that – all the energy flows go through all the fingers and the palms – so when we hold those together, it helps the whole system of the body. And also, holding it at the chest, at the bust line here, where Charles is holding his hands together, is asking for spiritual support.

Susan: It’s so beautiful that that movement – I think it’s in every culture.

Phyllis: Yes.

Susan: When I think around the world, every culture has that movement.

Phyllis: And what that speaks to me is that this “work” is innate to all of us. We find children sucking fingers. Different babies suck different fingers.  And you’ll see people in life hold different parts of their body, and they’re actually working on their system without even knowing. It’s innate to all of us. It’s part of our inheritance as people – this energy gift we all have.

Susan: And then what’s the next photo that you see?

Left shoulder, Right ribs

Phyllis: The next photo, Charles has his right hand on his left shoulder and his left hand on the base of the right rib.  And that one is ridding excess from the past – bringing in equilibrium and vision.

Susan: What does that mean, “ridding excess of the past”?

Phyllis:  What happens is we start accumulating, usually with our thoughts – usually it’s an accumulation of negativity because we fully experience usually the joys in life. Sometimes we don’t, but often we’ll go toward those.  Whereas, with negativities we’ll sometimes bury that. And we’ve become like a closet full.  I call it a “stack attack”…

Susan: (laughing).

Phyllis: …where we have some kind of upset or attitude or thought about something and we shove it into the closet. And then one day we open that closet door, and all this stuff comes out.  And so that’s what I mean of ridding excess – things that we’ve accumulated. If we lived in the present moment and lived it fully, we wouldn’t have this accumulation. And it’s the human challenge to allow oneself to be in this moment and not bring in the past. Because this moment will be the past in the future.  And we let go, we let go, we let go, so we can have the inheritance that we have of balance. What happens with the excess, of all this storage of thought, it will start creating stress patterns, stress circles in the body. And that’s when we find circular patterns.  We find names for diseases and things like that.  Whereas, if we let go of the excess, then the body can take over and renew the harmonized pattern.

Susan: I just love that I’m getting the chance to hear this from you because I love how the movements feel but I’ve never had any way to interpret it. I just have been in feeling it and experiencing it but I never had any way to really understand it. So this is just a thrill for me.

Phyllis: And when I say that people have worked on themselves during their lives and not knowing it, they’ve been helping themselves that way without knowing it too. And there’s probably things that all of us do to help calm ourselves down that we don’t know about. Bringing it to awareness – that’s all this is, is the application of awareness.

Susan: So really being able to utilize these movements deliberately for self-healing.

Phyllis: Exactly. And that letting go of the past is part of that. Ridding excess is part of that.  So we can be available to ourselves in the current moment – in this instant.

Susan: What’s the next picture that you see? The next movement?

Left shoulder, left cheekbone

Phyllis:  The next picture is…Charles has his left hand on his cheek, and his right hand on his left shoulder.

Susan: And what does that mean, when you have you hand on your shoulder like that and then your hand on your cheek?

Phyllis: The shoulders are letting go. And also holding the face is letting go.  Letting go of the past for a total renewal.

Susan: It’s a great way to start Kai Chi Do…

Phyllis: Yes.

Susan:…by letting go of the past (laughing).

Phyllis: It’s totally a beautiful set up. And it get’s better.

Susan: Oh! It gets better!  Okay! What’s next?

Phyllis: (laughing) Okay. And then the fourth one, he’s holding, he’s crossing his arms, holding the right hand on the left shoulder and the left hand on the right shoulder.  And that’s balancing unloading of negativity, while bringing in benefits. There are all kinds of benefit available for us, but if we are so encumbered with negativity – which is usually an

Both Shoulders

accumulation from the past – we don’t experience and we have difficulty bringing in benefits. So it’s really clearing the slate, so one can renew oneself.

Susan: Yeah. Kind of like giving away all your old clothes so you have room in your closet for the new stuff.

Phyllis:  It’s getting rid of the body clutter.

Susan and Phyllis simultaneously: Energy clutter.

Phyllis: Yeah. The same thing. Energy and body – the same thing.  Form is formless and formless is form.  It’s the same thing. Mary Burmeister used to say, “Spirit is the highest form of matter and matter is the lowest form of spirit.”

Susan: But it’s all one and the same. Just different manifestations.

Phyllis: Yes. And I feel like we get in difficulty in this culture often, because we separate and look at things as pieces and parts. And that’s fine. That’s content.  But we forget there’s a context that we live in. And this [Kai Chi Do] is helping context and content. We get really segmented in cultures because we look at things so partially instead of impersonally.  And then that’s what helps – the ridding excess, the letting go – helps us see things as they are – not as they were.

Susan: What makes sense to me is how we talk about the mind and the body, or the body and the spirit as if they are separate, and as if you have to do something to bring them together. When in fact, they already are together.

Phyllis and Susan: (laughing)

Susan: So then what Charles does is he actually goes ahead and leads people in reversing the same movements, doing the same movements but on the other side of the body. From your point of view is there a difference in the meaning between one side of the body and the other?

Right Shoulder, Left Ribs

Phyllis: There is.  And this is like the second posture – ridding excess from the past. Now this posture rids excess from the present. So the past and present – different sides: Left is past, right is present. That fosters equilibrium and vision.

Susan: And by vision you mean…

Phyllis: Spirit, mind, body vision.

Susan: Everything.

Phyllis: Yes. So if people are looking for a deeper vision of life, this would help. Or if people want to help their physical vision, this would help.

Susan: Beautiful. Charles has looked at the right and left sides of the body as left is receiving and the right is projective or giving. And that balance between giving and receiving. Do you see that too in…?

Phyllis: The palms have that same thrust. In other words, the left pulls, the right pushes. In the Touch of Chi, we can use that directionality of the palms for specific needs.

Susan: I love this. I just really love this.

Phyllis: And how it all matches, isn’t it? It’s wonderful.

Susan: It is.  It’s beautiful, and you are so articulate about it. Really. I mean you are able to explain these in such a way that it’s easy to understand, and it all makes sense.  And I just really appreciate that about you. I mean it really shows – all the study that you’ve done for these decades. And anybody that’s been on your table knows that your touch is so powerful. It’s not just philosophy.  It’s also a tangible experience.

Phyllis: One thing is that everything gets better with self-help. So I have a practice of self-help for myself. And that really is the other side of it for me. And when I’m with clients, that grows me. However, if I weren’t engaged in actually receiving work from others and also the self-help – is so critical, to have that balance. And I’ve found when I had a very active practice that clients would, in a sense, go with my flow. If they weren’t self-helping, then I’d look to myself and neither was I.  And when I was, they were. So we have an effect on each other, whether we are aware of it or not. That’s what I got to learn from that. If I wanted others in my life to self-help, I needed to look at myself first. So that’s a real powerful part of it. Because we’re with ourselves at 4 in the morning when somethings goin’ on.  We don’t have someone we can call, usually, to come work on us. So to know how to take care of myself is crucial – I feel – for being happy on the planet. With Touch of Chi I want to share this awesome benefit I’ve had – of living most of my life knowing about energy circulation, effecting it, and how we participate. Our individual energy is all connected to the same Source, so we are all connected. And to get to understand that – and that comes in pieces, that understanding – To get out of analysis, into that Knowing that we are all One, and we are all of One Energy.  And each one of us is a unique expression of the same Energy.  And I would like to help people realize that – for their freedom. They can have the same benefits I’ve had in my life.

Susan: I’m so glad that we found each other.

Phyllis: Me too.

Susan: And our little Shanti – learning how to do Jin Shin on herself or Touch of Chi on herself. And also even sharing it with her friends. I remember when she was in nursery school, she got a little certificate from the nursery school for doing Jin Shin on somebody, on another little girl who had gotten a boo-boo. So that was really cool.

Phyllis: I love that story. That was the best.  And that is what makes my soul sing – when the work has gone away from me, out to the ripple effect. Out there in the world. It’s something that all of us have as our inheritance. And my zeal about it is to let people know that this is here. We can use this.

Susan: Can you tell us a little bit too – I keep using on using the words Jin Shin and Touch of Chi interchangably but there is a diffence. Can you share a little bit about that?

Phyllis: I learned Jin Shin Jyutsu in the 70s, and studied with a woman Mary Burmeister that brought it over from Japan. And Mary had learned from a man named Jiro Murai in Japan. And he asked her to take this art to the West and she very flippantly said, “Of course I will”.  And she actually spent her life in the United States, bringing forth this art and teaching. So I had the value of studying with her. And as much as studying the meridian systems and the energy flows, also her philosophy of life. And that this work was philosophy first – and this is Jin Shin Jyutsu.  Jin means compassionate human. Shin means – this is Japanese – Shin means creator. And Jyutsu means art. So it’s the Creator’s art through compassionate human. Touch of Chi has evolved because I have studied so many things. I’ve studied years of Ayurvedic. I’ve studied years of Feng Shui. I’ve studied rolfing and different types of modalities – so many different ones that I’ve become a unique instrument – in that I don’t decipher now which is Jin Shin Jyutsu and which is…So I’m calling it all Touch of Chi because it has to do with Chi, is Life Force. And I want to help people have a touch of Life Force in their own hands, to realize that we do have Touch of Chi within us.  All of us.  And once we help ourselves, we can extend that help outward. So the Touch of Chi has become unique to me because I’ve become an instrument who studied with so many variety of, luckily, these awesome masters that I’ve gotten to be with.

Susan: You’ve studied with the best – some of the very first artists in the field.

Phyllis: Yeah. I got to study with Brugh Joy, Deepak Chopra for 6 years – I was one of his first Magic of Healing educators when it was called that – I think it’s called something different. That was Ayurveda. At that moment I was in a very full time Jin Shin Jyutsu practice with clients coming in all day, every day. And I worked with Ayurveda some. And some very sick people came to me, and there was a physician in St. Petersburg and I sent them there because I realized I was only one person and I could only do so much. And studying any of these arts is a lifetime study – any of them. So I have spent my lifetime studying them. Some of them – almost all of them – I feel like I’m just scratching the surface even after 30 some years of study. So, Touch of Chi is a compilation of all the wonderful human Chi I’ve gotten to be around. Because all of us have our personal Chi, our personal Energy, and I’ve gotten to be around people of such magnificent Chi – such as Mary Burmeister, Dr. Rolf, Deepok Chopra, Brugh Joy…and I could keep going.

Susan: Come, let’s come back to “The Depths” in Kai Chi Do, and tell me more of your interpretation of that. So there’s that point where we change and do the same movements on the other side.  And then, after that, what Charles does is he has one hand on his third eye [forehead, just between and above the eyebrows] and the other hand by the heart. And what is the meaning of that movement?

Right Shoulder, Right Cheekbone

Phyllis: Well, let’s go back to the other one. Given the difference of right and left. And so the opposite, where he is holding his face and the opposite shoulder. You can do that so that one can digest life and while letting go of preconceived notions. Life would be so great if we could treat everybody as brand new every time we meet them.  You know, let them be brand new. So we don’t have to pidgeon hole people with our labels – and those are the preconceived notions.  And the toll it takes on us is it limits our own consciousness when we are seeing through the filter of preconceived notions. And life is to be digested. Thoughts are to be digested. So this [movement] will help people digest life, digest preconceived notions – all that thought that doesn’t need to be there.  So one can free oneself up for the moment, for the instant.

Susan: So where we’ve been up until now in the movements is clearing the past, clearing the present, and being open to experiencing the moment purely – without preconceived notions and just being able to participate in that fully.

Phyllis: Beautifully said.

Susan: Thank you.

Phyllis: So the last ones – with the third eye [on the forehead, between and slightly above the eyebrows] and holding the heart chakra, and then the third chakra [solar plexus] – both of those together are strengthening core Source Energy. And it’s balancing Heaven and Earth – above the waist is Heaven,

Third Eye and Heart Chakra

below the waist is Earth – to uplift the experience of Life as Heaven on Earth.

Susan: Those two movements really are sort of a pair. The one with the third eye and the heart, and the one with the heart and the third chakra.  Those are a pair that…

Phyllis: balances Heaven and Earth. Yes.

Susan: That’s beautiful…

Phyllis: Now it uplifts the experience of Life so it can be like Heaven on Earth.  Because really, our inheritance is unbounded bliss. And I think that’s why so many of us are joyous around babies. Because babies haven’t loaded up and, unless they have physical issues, they are unbounded bliss. And that’s our inheritance. And that’s the Heaven on Earth that we are all seeking. We simply haven’t been shown any methods – or many methods – to help ourselves out that way. One of the great things of this current time is these methods are coming through people, such as Charles with the Kai Chi Do – his great instincts to pick these poses, postures, that he has, to begin with. It’s the application of setting the instrument – like in a sense “resetting”. Everybody gets to reset themselves to the moment. We’re freed up – for bliss!

Susan: And that’s really what it feels like too.

Phyllis: Well, it’s wonderful to get to talk about it.

Heart and Third Chakra

Susan: Really, the whole purpose of Kai Chi Do is to have Spirit circulating freely. And to connect with yourself, and Source, and with other people.  It’s all 3 of those connections.

Phyllis: What he does at the beginning sets the stage for that. It makes the instrument free to participate at a level that that can come through. Dr. Rolf developed 10 sessions to balance the body’s structure, and the first session was all about working on the chest and upper body in such a way that it would open to be able to open up the breathing and circulation and to accept all the changes that are coming in. So I feel this is the same kind of thing, where it’s preparation for all this transformation. So, in other words, to have a clean slate to go into this new form.

Susan: When I’m doing the movements, and preparing – the early part, “The Depths” Charles calls it, these early movements before we get into the more rhythmic movements of Kai Chi Do – I just find myself feeling very centered. That’s how it feels to me, is just coming into the present moment and feeling very centered and focused.

Phyllis: Yes, and that’s you being on Earth – really knowing you are here, right now, in this moment.

Susan: I like what you said about it being a way to start with a clean slate. I want to thank you so much for having this conversation with me.

Phyllis: You’re so welcome. It’s been a pleasure. And you and Charles and Shanti have been such a joy in my life, and are such an embodiment of the harmony that all of us could have, when we apply our awareness that way. So I appreciate the example that you are to the rest of us. So we know it’s possible.

Susan: Thank you, Phyllis.

Path of Least Resistance

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything.
Live the questions”

–  Rainer Maria Rilke

How can you find the path of least resistance when you have really strong desire?

With that strong desire comes impatience.  You want what you want and you want it NOW.  So you end up pushing, trying to make things happen.  And end up very frustrated because you don’t have immediate access to what you want.  The frustration can turn into disappointment, apathy, or even depression.

Manifestation comes from clear intention without resistance.

What is resistance?  It’s contradiction.  It’s the “yes, but…” limiting beliefs.  The self-doubting, not-good-enough, wishful, I-don’t-know-how.  It’s the “I’ll be happy when” rejection of how things are now.

So what’s the Tao of How? How can you find the right steps to take to achieve the things you want?

Look at the situations you find yourself in and see them as contrast.  Recognize how they help you to identify what you want and what you don’t want, a choice of whether you want to go this way or that way.  The situations, even when they are difficult, provide you with the clarity that you need in order to make decisions.  Contrast helps you to choose direction.

By being able to relax into your desire, you’ll have awareness of what’s within range, to begin to move forward.  You have to begin somewhere, and relaxation gives you access to the next logical step.  Once you have that awareness, you can take action.

You don’t have to control everything to get what you want.  You don’t have to control everything to survive.  Letting go of that belief is a major transformation.  It helps you to make decisions from a different vantage point.  You can see things that you didn’t have access to seeing before, because you were just responding on impulse.

But wishful doesn’t get it done.  You need to take action.

Once you know what you want, and you relax into the desire, feel what’s within reach, then the next logical step is clear. Then you’ll have access to the step after that, and the step after that….

Photo by Dan McKay at Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Inviting the Light: Finding Life Direction

“I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves
birds and animals and the ants–
perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you
in your mother’s womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.

Now you are tangled up in others, and have forgotten
what you once knew,
and that’s why everything you do has some weird sense of failure in it.

— Kabir (1440-1518)

Once you have awareness, you can make decisions that take your life in a new direction.  You can begin to give to yourself what you have longed for.

The past can haunt us, if we let it.  Events that happened.  Things said.  Beliefs we took on or formed in the moment of an upset.  Whose voice is that?  Is it useful?

If you’re not happy along the way, then how did you succeed?

You’ve been in a certain pattern and even though you may have an understanding that you want things to be different, you haven’t really come to a conclusion about how to have things be different in a way that is satisfying.  You keep going back to the need to bring things to another level of satisfaction. You have understanding but you haven’t decided to do it differently.  And then deciding HOW to do things differently.

There’s a part of us that is constantly giving us information about what action to take.  The question is whether we are fighting with that aspect of ourselves, that’s trying to provide us with feedback about the situation or circumstance that we find ourselves in, or whether we are listening and allowing that feeling that’s trying to get across a message, to communicate to us in a way that is effective.