Mindfulness & Chi Energy Training
by Don E. Brown II, MSIS
Certified Instructor; Chi Energy Heals
Our minds are our workshop; we at Chi Energy Heals know this and believe in increased productivity through efficiency. In the beginning stages of my journey into chi gung, Sifu would remind and reprimand me to be mindful; stop letting my thoughts wander. This was also true of my journey into kenjutsu: a momentary lapse of focus resulted in a moment of unconsciousness from a shomen [overhead strike to the skull] with a bokken [wooden training sword] made of Japanese white oak.
The lesson was immediate, and 13 years later, I have managed to be of a singularly focused mind when on the mats engaging other Kenshi. Sadly, I am still learning that lesson with chi gung; where the ramifications are often much more disastrous if done poorly, with huge dividends as rewards when done correctly.
The article, “A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy One”, provides insights into the work of Harvard psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert, and subsequently, proved yet again Sifu’s insights and awareness. Using state of the art technology, Killingsworth and Gilbert sampled the mental states of 5000 participants using a “happiness” questionnaire from 1-100.
“Mental presence – the matching of thought to action – is a much better predictor of happiness.” (Jason Castro).
This aligns completely with Sifu’s meditative exercises, techniques, and reprimands. Aligning the mind to the action, staying focused and mentally focused in the activity, not only creates better results and increased efficiency, but also increases individual happiness! Who knew?!
Sadly, the human brain naturally wanders. Abilities such as daydreaming and mental multitasking are extensions of the abstract thinking skills that enable humans to plan, forecast, and play mental “what if” games. It was by playing “what if” that allowed Einstein to imagine what life would be like if he were able to travel at the speed of light; we know the results of said game as the theory of general relativity, and are currently reaping the technological rewards. It has been determined using fMRI scans that, even when resting, the default behavior of the human brain corresponds to a “wandering mind”. It is just what we do.
Fortunately, techniques and mental exercises, such as meditation, teach us to increase our mental presence and live mindfully. Chi Energy Heals students are also fortunate, as meditation is required. As students build up bioenergy in their body’s nerve fibers, they learn that relaxation is the key to guiding their bioenergy as it increases.