The Ki Sayings – or Shokushu – are typically read before starting each class to help focus the mind on the essence of practice.
KI SAYINGS (Shokushu)
by Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei
1. OUR MOTTO
Let us have a universal mind that loves and protects all creation and helps all things grow and develop. To unify mind and body and become one with the universe is the ultimate purpose of our study.
FOUR MAJOR PRINCIPLES TO UNIFY MIND AND BODY:
1. Keep one-point
2. Relax completely
3. Keep weight underside
4. Extend Ki
2. THE VALUE OF OUR EXISTENCE
Our lives are born of the Ki of the Universe. Let us give thanks for being born not as plants and animals, but as human beings blessed with a Universal Mind. Let us pledge to fulfill our missions by helping to guide the development and creation of the Universe.
3. THE WAY TO UNION WITH KI
The absolute Universe is One. We call this Ki. Our lives and our bodies are born of the Ki of the Universe. We study thoroughly the principles of the Universe and practice them. We are one with the universe. There is no need to despond, no need to fear.The way we follow is the way of the Universe which no difficulty nor hardship can hinder. Let us have the courage to say “If I have a clear conscience and a calm spirit, I dare to face courageously any obstacle I may encounter.”
4. UNIFICATION OF MIND AND BODY
Mind and body were originally one. Do not think that the power you have is only the power you ordinarily use and moan that you have little strength. The power you ordinarily use is like the small, visible segment of an iceberg. When we unify our mind and body and become one with the Universe, we can use the great power that is naturally ours.
5. THE ONE POINT IN THE LOWER ABDOMEN
The Universe is a limitless circle with a limitless radius. This condensed becomes the one point in the lower abdomen which is the center of the Universe. Let us calm our mind in this one point and become one with and send our Ki constantly to the Universe.
We are accustomed to having trouble with unnecessary nervousness. Nervousness causes blood vessels to contract, making it difficult for the impurities to leave the body, and thus makes one susceptible to many diseases. Relaxation is truly an elixir of life.
Let us spread the true method of relaxation which enables us to meet each day with a spirit like that of a mild spring breeze. If we practice this, we need never get nervous and excited in our daily affairs.
7. LIVING CALMNESS
In a natural state, the weight of objects is always underside. Therefore, the physical expression of living calmness is that the weight of every part of our body is also underside.
Like the calm, still surface of the water that reflects the moon and a flying bird, true living calmness is the condition of our mind that reflects all living things clearly. This is our original and natural state. By understanding these principles, we can acquire true living calmness.
8. PLUS LIFE
The absolute universe is One. Then two opposing forces appeared, and the relative world was born. In the Orient this dualism is called yin and yang, in the West plus and minus. A bright, happy life is called plus life, and a dark gloomy one is called minus. Let us eliminate every minus thought and strive for plus life henceforth.
9. THE SUBCONSCIOUS
The conscious mind is made up of material derived from the subconscious mind, which is the accumulation of past experiences and knowledge—the storehouse of my mind. From now on, let’s stop putting negative thoughts into the subconscious mind. Let’s maintain positive Ki and live our lives with an active spirit.
The subconscious mind acts as a storehouse of knowledge and past experiences. The materials stored in the subconscious mind form the conscious mind. Henceforth, let us cease putting any minus material into the subconscious. Let us always extend plus Ki and live our life with a positive mind.
10. THE PRINCIPLE OF NON-DISSENSION
There is no conflict in the Absolute Universe, but there is conflict in the relative world. If we unify our mind and body, become one with the Universe, and practice its principles, others will follow us gladly.
Do not say that this is a world where we must struggle to live each day. The true way to success is exactly one and the same as the principle of non-dissension, and that is the way to peace.
11. THE DEFINITION OF KI
We begin with the number ONE in counting all things. It is impossible that this ONE can ever be reduced to zero. Because just as something cannot be made from nothing, ONE cannot be made from zero.
Ki is like the number ONE. Ki is formed from infinitely small particles, smaller than an atom. The universal Ki condensed becomes an individual, which further condensed becomes the one point in the lower abdomen, which in turn infinitely condensed never becomes zero, but becomes ONE with the universe. Thus we understand the definition of Ki.
12. THE KI DEVELOPMENT EXERCISES
It is easier to coordinate mind and body when we are sitting or standing still than when in motion. But true unification means to maintain the coordination of mind and body even when we are moving.
The Ki development exercises train one to always maintain the unification of mind and body in our daily life. By applying them to our life, we can perform to the best of our ability in all circumstances.
13. THE UNITY OF CALM AND ACTION
Just as a top spinning rapidly becomes steady, the most rapid movement results in calm. Like the eye of the typhoon which is always peaceful, inner calm results in great strength of action. Calm and action are exactly one.
Only when we keep one point and unify our mind and body, can we find spare time even when busy. Keep a calm mind and you will be able to perform to the best of your ability even in an emergency or when facing important tasks.
True FUDOSHIN is not a rigid, immobile state of mind, but the condition of stability which comes from the most rapid movement. In other words, like the steadiness of the spinning top, the state of perfect spiritual and physical stability arises from movement which continues infinitely and is so infinitely rapid that it is imperceptible.
This movement is condensed at the one point in the lower abdomen. By putting everything into the one point, we can experience FUDOSHIN and not lose our stability no matter what happens.
15. KI BREATHING
Breathe out so that your breath travels infinitely to the ends of the Universe; breathe in so that your breath reaches your one point and continues infinitely there. Ki breathing is an important way of unifying mind and body.
At night, when all is quiet and calm, do this alone, and you will feel that you are the Universe and that the Universe is you. It will lead you to the supreme ecstasy of being one with the Universe. At this moment the life power that is rightfully yours is fully activated.
16. KIATSU (Healing with Ki)
We have learned coordination of mind and body and Ki breathing. Therefore we can bring the Ki of the Universe into our bodies at any time.
When a water pump is dried out, no water can flow from the well up through the pump. To start this flow again we must put some water back into the pump. In the same way, Ki does not flow strongly in a person suffering from illness or misfortune.
Let us practice KIATSU to put Ki back into these people, stimulate their own flow of Ki, and give them a fresh start to happiness.
17. REISEISHIN (The Universal Mind)
Human beings are blessed with a mind that is directly connected to the mind of the Universe. This is known as REISEISHIN.
The moon is clearly reflected in the water when the water is calm. In this same way when our mind and body are unified and calm, our REISEISHIN manifests itself completely. Once this happens all suffering and wicked desires fall away, and the Universal Mind of love and protection for all things appears in us.
Let us strive to realize our REISEISHIN.
18. THE MIND THAT SEEKS TRUTH
We call the mind that wants to make the way of the Universe clear and to put it into practice, the mind that seeks truth. However clever a dog or monkey may be, they cannot realize the Universal Mind. Only human beings have the privilege and capacity to realize it. If you have the mind that seeks truth, you are happy because this is proof that you are a real human being.
An old Oriental saying tells us, “When our willpower is in harmony with the Universe and focused upon a stone, it can pass through it. In such a state the mind can command the wind, rain and thunder.”
But from where does our willpower come? Those who understand and answer this question are those who accomplish important tasks. When we coordinate the mind and body by stilling the waves of our mind to imperceptible, infinitely decreasing ripples, we can send forth our great willpower that can move the Universe.
20. INTOKU (Good done in Secret)
Just like the number one can never become zero, our words or actions never disappear once they are created. A good action causes a good result, and a bad action causes a bad result. This always returns to ourselves.
A good action means acting without expecting a return, getting attention from people or the happiness and success of ourselves and our descendants. This is called “Intoku” in the Japanese language. The highest form of Intoku is to practice the way of the Universe, while leading people and helping them practice.
ORIGINAL VERSION: Just as the number One can never be reduced to zero, once we act or speak, our action or speech is never completely erased.
An old Oriental saying tells us, “Sow good, and the harvest will be good. Sow evil and reap evil.” We must understand that everything we do comes back to ourselves.
Therefore before wishing for our own happiness and welfare and that of our children, we must do good in secret. To do good in secret means to act without seeking attention and praise, to act without any hope of reward. This is called INTOKU. Among the various ways of performing INTOKU, to walk the way of the Universe and lead others along this way is best.
21. SETSUDO (Teaching the Way of the Universe)
Selfish people have never understood and traveled the way of the Universe in the past. Therefore when we realize the principles and way of the Universe, the Universe gives us the responsibility to spread them to the world.
Do not think that you cannot help another person. What you learn today, you can teach another the next day. The world is full of people who have lost the way of the Universe and suffer from mental illness. Let us do our best to explain the correct principles of the Universe to them.
22. THE TREASURE OF KI TESTING
Having no color, no odor and no shape, the mind is not something that can be grasped by the senses. However, based on the principle that the mind and body are actually one, we can know the state of this ungraspable mind by testing the body, which is available to our senses.
Ki Tests are not founded on the idea of testing for strength or weakness. The most important factor in Ki testing is to accurately inform the person of the state of his or her mind. Thus, the person performing Ki tests must truly understand and exhibit Oneness of mind and body from the outset and then perform the tests correctly.