November 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm #39982
Besides taking a nap or getting more sleep at night, what would you recommend as the most effective method for increasing energy while sitting at my desk at work? Abdominal breathing, shaking the kidneys, spinal rocking, inner smile, 6 sounds, microcosmic orbit, chi self massage, dragon stretches tail, etc, etc… What would you recommend and what would you do? Get up and do moving or standing qigong? Thanks in advance for your comments!November 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm #39983
I’m going to start out by telling you what you don’t want
to hear, so hopefully you won’t be too angry. 😉 . . .
You say “besides taking a nap or getting more sleep at
night, “–but in all honesty, getting more sleep at night
IS the most effective way to prevent sleepiness at work! 🙂
I had a girlfriend who was always tired at work,
always sleepy, always complained about having low energy.
She was always asking me, for things I knew of, to help her
with her tiredness and with her low energy–any qigong
tricks that she could do at work to help her, etc.
Long story short, eventually I tracked the problem to
the fact that she was not getting enough sleep at night
(she was getting 6.5, but really needs 9). Despite
initial resistance on her part, when we corrected that
problem, her tiredness and low energy at work disappeared.
Oftentimes due to unrealistic demands on ourselves,
we fool ourselves into thinking we only need (or can
get by with) less sleep than our body really requires.
So I would encourage you to explore your sleep habits–
and do so honestly–as your main approach to solving
your problem. Everything else is really secondary
in my view and doesn’t really address the underlying
Assuming you’ve done that, then if you spend a lot
of time sitting at a desk, you should try to get up
periodically–say at least once an hour and move about.
When you sit for too long, your breathing becomes
shallow and your energy becomes stagnant. It can
create a “low energy feeling” even if you are not
actually tired. Simply getting up and moving
around–such as going for a short walk, doing some
movement qigong, some stretching/shaking–these are
all effective methods . . . obviously, you sort of
have to judge what you can get away with at work. 😉
Then during those times when you are sitting at
your desk, try to pay attention to your posture.
Sometimes just by straightening up your posture,
you can open up your chest and lungs. Consequently,
you will feel more energized.
However, if doing any of these things doesn’t
really instantly rejuvenate you, then most likely
the problem is that you are not getting enough
healthy sleep. 😉
StevenNovember 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm #39985
Yes Steven, I know I have years upon years of not getting enough sleep. Having twin babies and a commute to work don’t help that at all. Currently I don’t have much choice unless I want to come in to work later, but then that means less time at home in the evening. But as it turns out I am not actually getting much less than I was before the babies came. I tend to stay up later than I should regardless and I have been getting up early for years to either work out, jog, or in the last year or so, do extended meditations, qigong, or tao yin. I honestly don’t know when the last time I got much more than 6 hours on a work night. I’ve been thinking about trying to get to bed earlier (evening feeding dictates), and having this conversation gives me even more motivation to get that extra sleep once I am able to.
As always, thanks for the advice!
JeffNovember 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm #39987
>>>Yes Steven, I know I have years upon years
>>>of not getting enough sleep.
Somehow I intuitively knew 😉
>>>Currently I don’t have much choice
>>>unless I want to come in to work later,
>>>but then that means less time at home
>>>in the evening.
Boy, I can’t tell you how many times I heard
that from my former gf, ha ha.
Let me just say some general things.
Don’t take them personally as though
they are directed at you. They are just things
that I’ve learned with regard to this situation.
Feel free to take (or not take) any that is
helpful (or resp. not helpful).
The morning is typically not controllable,
because of the needs of work. A later morning
just means a later evening.
The solution is going to bed earlier.
Often we use lights, music, TV, or whatever
extra stimuli to keep our bodies wired past when
they really would like to retire. Thus it is
best to turn all of this off, dim the lights,
and create a quiet environment in the hour or so
before you intend to retire.
Often there is internal mental resistance to
doing this needed change for the body. This mental
resistance is huge. However, the argument from
the mind is mostly nonsense. Typically,
it is chatter of the form: “but if you wind down
and go to bed earlier, you will have ‘less’ free
time in which to ‘enjoy’ your life; I don’t really
want to sacrifice my free time”.
My counter to this is:
1. Resting comfortably in bed is your free time.
It is the time when you get to let go of all demands
and just rest.
2. Learn patience. You can still do some of your
activities. Besides, if you don’t exhaust yourself
during the week, you won’t need to try to “catch up”
on the weekends. You will have more time then and
more free time.
3. There are plenty of activities that we do each
day that we attribute importance to. Some (such
as eating, showering, etc.) are essential; some,
however, are not. They are merely activities that
our mind had decided are important, but they are
ultimately not important at all and just fritter
away the time we have. Cut these activities.
Only spend time on the things that actually matter.
Just some food for thought . . .
If it helps, great. Otherwise, just ignore.
StevenDecember 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm #39989
The Number of the Beast (Greek: Ἀριθμὸς τοῦ θηρίου, Arithmos tou Thēriou) is the numerical value of the name of the person symbolised by the beast from the sea, the first of two symbolic beasts described in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation. In most manuscripts of the New Testament the number is 666, but the variant 616 is found in critical editions of the Greek text, such as the Novum Testamentum Graece. Most scholars believe that the number of the beast (v.18) equates to Emperor Nero, whose name in Greek when transliterated into Hebrew, retains the value of 666, whereas his Latin name transliterated into Hebrew, is 616; The “mark of the beast” (v.16,17) is used to distinguish the beast’s followers. Revelation 13:17 says that the mark is “the name of the beast or the number of his name”. Because of this, it is widely thought among dispensationalists that the mark will be some future representation of the actual number 666. It has also been speculated that the “mark” may be an Imperial Roman seal, or the Emperor’s head on Roman coins.
…by 1184, Yoshinaka’s luck had run out and he died in battle. Kanesada had meanwhile been wounded in many places as he cut his way through 3,000 horsemen under Fujiwara Hidehira, and had collapsed from his severe injuries. He was rescued by a Taoist sage known by the epithet-“Hiding in the Mist”-and escaped with him to the mountains of Iga. In time the sage accepted him as a student, and trained him in the martial ways of Ninjutsu. Shima Kosanta Minamoto no Kanesada later changed his name to Togakure Daisuke, and established Togakure-ryū as a new style of Ninjutsu in the Iga area.
-MASAAKI HATSUMI, The Way of the Ninja-Secret Techniques
Many seem to have problem not having enough time for their practices outside their studies or work.
And because those most effective practices are for many kind of torture dichotomy continues to exist.
I now simply mean that shavasana is only one position to sleep.
Asana and Pranayama (not in Hindu sense, but stretching and holding various postions and so on) are very things with which one should seriously start with, if one wants to do seriously Neidan. Someway body must be thoroughly transformed, and because for that one needs to make big effort, it has been traditionally only for Filthy Few Fraternity.
If one continues to indulge because of one’s friends or family members or whoever, one also should stop socializing with such persons.
At least in this sense one must become Prime Mover.
HOWDYDecember 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm #39991
>>>Many seem to have problem not having
>>>enough time for their practices
>>>outside their studies or work.
This is an excuse, I feel.
We all invest our time into the things
that we want to. If we didn’t want to,
we’d do something else.
There are usually plenty of things each
of us does, each day, that are really
quite unimportant and inessential, but
we do anyway out of habit. Somehow the
mind creates reasons why they are “important”,
but much of this is nonsense.
What’s really going on is inertia.
It is easier to keep doing what you’re doing,
and complain about how you wished things were
different, than it is to simply start living
your life differently.
In my honest opinion . . .
SDecember 19, 2012 at 9:20 am #39993
I know it is because of the kids, but right now there are things that are important that I don’t even get to do in the evening. If I get to cuddle with my 2 year old for 15 minutes before she goes to bed, that is way more important to me than even doing dishes or washing the baby bottles.
I also cherish the little bits of extra sleep (or snoozing…which is a dirty habit of mine) in the morning instead of doing any practices, which would probably be tao yin or some qigong.
I know it will get easier as the kids get older and don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make excuses. Once the babies don’t need to get fed all the time, I will have more time for practice. The kids are top priority at home now, and practices are secondary. Most of my qigong and meditation is done at work during my lunch break.December 19, 2012 at 9:41 am #39995
Your kids are important, and they should be.
A lot of time spent there is not only reasonable,
but understandable. It is one of the
sacrifices/joys of being a parent.
This is not what I was referring to as
Maybe an example with reference to inessential
activities might be in order . . .
Referring back to the ex-gf who “never could
go to bed at a decent hour” and “could never
find enough time” to do the things “she wanted”,
got caught into a situation where the internet
was down at her place for almost two weeks.
Suddenly, she had no problem getting to bed
on time. Suddenly, she had plenty of free time
to do all the activities “she wanted to do”.
Somehow, it was discovered that spending hours
daily: checking email, reading online news stories,
checking financial reports, reading spiritual articles,
etc. all ultimately was not missed and just ended up
being a big time sink.
Not that I’m advocating that people take my advice
too carefully and disappear from the forum, ha ha.
But hopefully you see my point.
The internet/computer is just one example of how
we fritter away our time on things that really
don’t amount to much at all, but for some
reason we feel it is important to continue to
devote a lot of time to it.
Cut away the fat, and you’ll be surprised at how
much time you really have.
Look very carefully (and honestly) and you’ll see
lots of fat to cut away.
SDecember 25, 2012 at 7:58 pm #39997
“You don’t have enough surplus energy to enter into unknown and make sense of it. When the new seers arranged the order of truths about awareness, they saw that the first attention comsumes all the glow of awareness that human beings have, and not an iota of energy is left free. That’s your problem now. So, the new seers proposed that warriors, since they have to enter into the unknown, have to save their energy. But where are they going to get energy, if all of it is taken? They’ll get it, the new seers say, from eradicating unnecessary habits.”
-CARLOS CASTANEDA, The Fire from Within
From the time we are babies, we are encouraged to consolidate our sleep into one big chunk – ideally 8 hours. But this hasn’t always been the case. Records from the 17th century describe a different sleep pattern: two four-hour segments with an hour or two in between spent reading, meditating or socializing with bedfellows (wink, wink).
Segmented sleep, also known as divided sleep, bimodal sleep pattern, or interrupted sleep, is a polyphasic or biphasic sleep pattern where two or more periods of sleep are punctuated by a period of wakefulness. Along with a nap (siesta) in the day, it has been argued that this is the natural pattern of human sleep. A case has been made that maintaining such a sleep pattern may be important in regulating stress.
She suffers from delusions, hallucinations and paroxysms of rage so severe that not even her parents feel safe. She’s threatened to climb into an oven. She’s kicked and tried to bite her little brother. “I’m Jani, and I have a cat named Emily 54,” she says, by way of introduction. “And I’m Saturn-the-Rat’s baby sitter.”
She locks her fingers in front of her chest and flexes her wrists furiously, a tic that surfaces when she’s anxious.
She announces that she wants to be a veterinarian.
“I’m empathetic with rats,” she says.
Asked what “empathetic” means, she smiles confidently. “It means you like rats.”
The doctors have been trying a new antipsychotic medication, called Moban. Jani knows she is sick and that people want to help her.
“Is the Moban working?” her mother asks Jani during a visit.
“No. I have more friends.”
Susan Schofield looks crestfallen.
She and her husband, Michael Schofield, have brought French fries. Jani takes a bite, runs around the room and circles back for another bite.
“You want the rats and cats to go away, don’t you?” Susan asks, trying to make eye contact with her daughter.
Jani stuffs a French fry into her mouth.
“No,” she says. “They’re cool. Rats are cool.”
Double binds are often utilized as a form of control without open coercionthe use of confusion makes them difficult to respond to or resist.
There was this article posting (http://forum.healingdao.com/practice/message/22538/) by Michael Winn which had some interesting remarks how sleeping manners have changed.
Question is how this relates to dreaming practices.
I think here Steven too firmly promotes sleeping in too bulky blocks.
One should try to find a way partly to replace ordinary sleep with one’s qigong, yoga or meditational practices.
Not probably easy for many.
But maybe Healing Tao practices are already energetically, also in ceremonial sense, too intricate, so that one starts to avoid heavy physical practices like for example running, jumping, climbing, which seem to be very important anyway beside so many other things.
Ps. Sorry for this LA Times citation, but case of this schizophrenic girl is interesting also in this situation. Her parents have never seemingly accepted her hallucinating without medication all the time. Also she according to these media pieces, have always been segmented sleeper, which in the end should be likewise abnormal for these times. Sorry for my broken English.December 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm #39999
>>>I think here Steven too firmly promotes sleeping in too bulky blocks.
How a person gets sleep, whether it is in one big chunk, or
whether it is segmented is irrelevant. What matters is that
a person is getting adequate sleep for their body’s needs.
Too many people are sleep-deprived–trying to function on too little.
The optimal approach is to simply sleep when you are tired, and
to not sleep when you are not. This is following the natural way.
However, most people due to their lifestyle, due to their needs of
work, etc. can not have the luxury to just go to sleep whenever
they choose. For the most part, only unemployed or self-employed
people have the ability to disregard the clock and simply listen
to their body’s need for sleep. Consequently, for most people,
getting an adequate amount of sleep during their nighttime
bedtime is the only realistic way to obtain vibrant alertness
in everyday life.
If one doesn’t have the needs of society dictating that they
have to be awake during certain periods, then the optimal way is
to simply sleep when tired and to not sleep when not tired.
Since very few people can live this way, however, getting an
adequate full night’s sleep is the second-best option.
Trying clever approaches like qigong, meditation, etc. to dodge
your need for sleep is like smashing your foot into the wall, and
then looking for painkillers to stop the pain. The easier
solution is just to stop smashing your foot into the wall.
Trying to shirk off what your body actually needs for sleep
out of some idea of the mind to be more productive–or simply
because you think you have some clever way to bypass your body’s
natural intelligence–is one of the most fundamental disconnects
from your own intrinsic awareness that there is, in my opinion.
If you can’t even be aware of your body’s true need for sleep,
what you can you be aware of?
In my opinion.
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