Living Calmness

1. Introduction

For a number of years now, I’ve been writing stories about my life in Japan. I’m finally getting fairly close to having a complete book ready for publication!

Over the years, many of you have written asking me how I came to develop my story telling style. My stories are meant to convey simple life lessons that show up during my daily experience. Lessons that could easily pass me by if I wasn’t appreciating my life and being present in the moment. By sharing my stories with you I hope you’ll learn from what I write, and consider the life lessons you come into contact with as well. In particular, by sharing my experience of having a heartfelt interaction with Japanese people, I’m hoping you can find the common ground you share with my friends here in Japan.

In order to give you a better sense of where my writing starts from, I want to take the time to explain some of the theories Seishindo is based upon. So I’m going to shift gears some and offer you some theory to think about. Hopefully, just like with my stories, you’ll l find what I write to be life affirming and engaging. Please write back when you find the time, and let me know what you think and feel.

Charlie

2. Living Calmness

In Seishindo we believe…..
Each person is very much like a snowflake.
Unique,
Never to be duplicated,
And with a life that’s over all too quickly.

One of our key tasks in life is learning how to appreciate our uniqueness rather than comparing our self to others, or lamenting about what we are not.

We are all born perfect, just as we are. Which does not mean there’s no room for improvement! We are perfectly imperfect.

As we strive to realize our potential and live a fulfilling life, we run into significant challenges along the way. In the process of being challenged we often get confused and wind up losing touch with our “wholeness”. We mistakenly begin to believe that our body, intellect, and spirit, are separate units that often work in opposition to each other, rather than sensing and maintaining the unity that is our birthright.

In Seishindo we strive to help ourselves and our loved ones, regain a sense of wholeness, health, and dignity. Over the years I’ve developed a number of principles to guide this work and offer people a way forward. Today, I’m going to write about the principle of “living calmness”.

Living calmness
When you release your muscular holding patterns, you calm your nervous system and physiology, breathe more freely and easily, and facilitate the release of carbon dioxide.

When you calm your physiology you calm your “somatic mind”, which will lead to you feeling emotionally calm as well. Your “somatic mind” is the intelligence that orchestrates much of the body’s activities and functions, and in particular, it regulates the flow of serotonin in your system. The “brain” that orchestrates your somatic intelligence is based in your enteric nervous system.

When your physiology is at ease, and your somatic mind slows down, you’ll tend to have less internal dialogue and report feeling like you’re living more in your body than usual. This feeling of being fully in your body is what we call “being centered”. When you feel centered, the flow of hormones and neurotransmitters in your body changes. From “fight or flight” to “relax and rejuvenation”. At such times your brain activity slows down as well, and your rational mind begins to feel more at ease.

When your rational mind feels safe and at ease, you open yourself up to the experience of what it’s like to think with your body as well as with your brain.
By cultivating the capacity to think with both your body and your brain, you become better able to wisely work with the unique challenges you face in your life.

When your overall system is calm, you generate greater awareness, high quality health, and a deep sense of well-being. You approach life’s many challenges from a more confident, solution-oriented perspective. You come to realize your “problems” offer you the opportunity to further grow and evolve. You understand that everything is just as it should be, just as it is, and that you have the power to change.

When you enter into such a way of being and perceiving, you come in touch with the Spirit that animates all of life. You realize that this Spirit is indeed available to you at all times, and that you are not “alone”. As you learn how to more often connect your “self” with Spirit, you experience thankfulness and a deep sense of having a rightful place in the world.

How to reach/touch this place of living calmness?
No one that I know, or know of, stays calm and centered all the time. Getting upset is an area of life that we all need to travel through from time to time.

I don’t suggest you try and stop yourself from losing your feeling of being centered. I don’t think this is a strategy that works well. Instead, I think it’s more generative to learn how to regain your center once you’ve lost it. Because indeed you will lose your center numerous, numerous times over the course of your life! So, rather than chastise yourself for once again losing your way, please instead, congratulate yourself each time you find your way back, to feeling whole, healthy, and fully alive.

Over the years, as a result of my own study and practice I’ve developed various exercises that can help you regain your sense of health and wholeness. You can go to the link that follows to begin to explore various Seishindo Practices.
http://www.seishindo.org/practices-about-mindfulness/

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