The Resonance of Unification
November 29, 2015

Being present is based on the cultivation of mind body unification in whatever we do. We can use the Four Basic Principles of Unification (from Koichi Tohei Sensei) to develop this:

Keep One-Point — Let mind rest in the lower belly. Drop into a felt sense of embodiment...
Extend Ki — Open positively to what is happening. Awareness extends...
Relax Completely — Let go tension in the body and mind. Relax any point of view...
Weight Underside — Let all parts of the body rest with weight naturally underside.

Resting in this natural unity, we are joyful, calm, spontaneous and kind. We ARE naturally unified, but over a lifetime we have established a constant habit of separating mind from body, and adding tension or slackness to this disconnected condition. So the practice is often about becoming aware of the quality of separation, tension and/or dullness, and breathing with this and letting it go. The practice is an unwinding of these conditioned chronic habits, in the light of awareness.

Through unification we develop greater composure and a heightened sensitivity to nonverbal communication. Then, to the extent that we ourselves are present, we radiate that same quality outward (extend ki) to those around us. This is less a “doing” and more an allowing; it does not take effort or pushing. And it is not something we do to fix or change things, or to show others the error of their ways. That would be fighting-mind, something that arises when unification is lost.

“It is hard to be generous, disciplined, or patient if we are not present. If we are present and attentive, and our mind is flexible, we are more receptive to the environment around us,” Judith Lief asserted in Making Friends With Death. When we are working with others, this ability to rest vividly present is invaluable. The more mind-body unified we are, the more we can see. At the same time, that quality of living calmness (unification) is contagious. The people around you are influenced, bodymind to bodymind. Unification is a powerful force. It settles the environment so that people can begin to relax and their awareness naturally opens up. We practice non-action, allowing any doing to arise from a state of connection, and we transmit this quality to others.

With such practice we relax any inner desperation to be heard, seen or accepted. We practice receiving ourselves (experiencing our inner contractions and energy flows) and stop making others responsible for receiving us. We stop airing whatever reactive thinking gives us —without clear, unattached appraisal. This really opens things up for others. We listen more, notice the tone of other's speaking, feel the quality of the ki in their voice and movement, and we learn to move gracefully with them. We can respect what others say and do not need to comment, fix or adjust it. The more we are unified and extending ki, the more connected and generous our listening. And low and behold, the listening around us relaxes and opens up naturally. Amazing.

May your practice go well.





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