Meditation and Spiritual Development

The martial arts has long offered a path toward self realization.

The martial arts naturally includes body control, control of ones mind and reactions, and a complex understanding of movement through time and space. In order to “be the best” long hours are spent dissecting and practicing things that most people never consider. You learn how to stand, how to walk, how to move and how to see details most people overlook. As a martial arts student gains experience his awareness of his surroundings change. For the uninitiated the student’s newly acquired abilities may seem magical or supernatural.

Though today much of the lore and ritual used in Europe’s archaic and medieval history has been lost, one can imagine that certain practices toward heightened states of spiritual awareness did exist. Metaphors and myths refer to magic, talisman and gifts of healing including laying hands, being guided by prayer and a wide range of mythical monsters and events that some interpret as spiritual journeys and metaphore.

We are lucky today that In the east, similar martial exercises were blended with Hindu and Buddhist practices and today make up a large part of our “new age” culture. Yoga, meditation, chakras, accupuncture and other practices are built on ancient concepts of the universe and the human body that have a positive affect on our lives.


Meditation is an integral part of training. There are five ways we use meditation in American Arnis.


  1. To learn proper breathing technique
  2. To silence the noise inside your head.
  3. To imagine the correct application of technique
  4. To visualize energy moving through the body
  5. To create a new identity where you are the victor over your life’s struggles

Chi Kung is a series of exercises handed down through generations for better health and wellness. These exercises combine gentle movement and stretching activities with visualization allowing you to draw in the energy of the 5 elements (earth, air, fire, water, void) from your environment and energize your body. Chi Kung is often incorporated in initial warm up exercises and is beneficial for strength, flexibility and longevity.


Intermediate and Advanced practitioners of American Arnis use kata (aka forms or sayaw) to take their meditation to the next level. The discipline of Zen (Chuan) buddhism has always been part of the warrior ethic. In its practice one attempts to

  1. Simplify thought and action
  2. Coordinate the natural body cycles of inhalation and exhalation with the body’s movement
  3. Be in the moment and free from distractions
  4. Happy in a state of being, doing and having without want beyond the present moment
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

The underlying theory is that an unseen “life force energy” (ki or chi) flows through us, causing us to be alive. When ones “life force energy” is low, we are more likely to become sick or succumb to stress. If our “life force energy” is high we are more capable of being happy and healthy.  Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results.

The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.” The founder, Mikao Usui discovered the attunement process during meditation in the early 20th century. He began sharing his ability to channel this life force energy with others opening a small shop to treat the maladies of his friends and neighbors. How did he do this? His treatments would perhaps best described as “laying on hands”.

“The treatment felt like a wonderful glowing radiance filling my body!”

In both Chinese and Japanese cultures, the effectiveness of manipulating life force energy through the art of acupuncture is unquestioned. Reiki performs many of the same tasks through its spiritual (not religious) nature. It helps to re-balance the movement of energy through the meridian system and nourishes the chakras that govern our existence. Reiki has no dogma. There is nothing you must believe.  In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.

Consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.

 Mikao Usui, the founder of  Reiki , recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures.

The secret art of inviting happiness : The miraculous medicine of all diseases

Just for today, do not anger
Just for today, do not worry
Just for today, be filled with gratitude
Just for today, devote yourself to your work.
Just for today, be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.

Pray these words to your heart and chant these words with your mouth
Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind

The founder , Usui Mikao

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