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Living Now - - Health & Healing -

and for the first time ever, amazing once-se­cret chi tech­niques are now widely ac­ces­si­ble. The in­ter­net is sat­u­rated with footage of great mar­tial arts mas­ters demon­strat­ing su­per­hu­man ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It’s never been eas­ier to go from drugs to chi (or to skip drugs and go straight to chi). So turn to chi right now, right away. When I teach chi-gung, I be­gin by putting the client in the ba­sic stand­ing pos­ture – feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and spine up­right – and then get them to place their hands on the lower belly. The dan­tian is where you start to re­con­nect with chi again af­ter drugs. Your fa­mil­iar­ity with mov­ing a drug rush in­ter­nally is also some­thing that can now be ap­plied, as the next step is ‘ di­rect­ing’ chi.

If you took a lot of hard drugs I’d rec­om­mend learn­ing in­tense mar­tial arts forms as well, be­cause you’ll need some­thing pow­er­ful to counter the pull of these drugs. I reg­u­larly treat peo­ple who tell me that, af­ter they quit, the dark­ness keeps call­ing them back and they just want to give in to it, and go back to jail and so on. Mar­tial chi tech­niques are es­sen­tial to en­gage with the dark­ness, to merge yin and yang, and to lib­er­ate your­self from the mem­o­ries that con­stantly re­turn you to dark ac­tions.

If you are drawn to the dark side, go as hard on the chi as you did on drugs. Take up Chen-style tai-chi (my favourite) or pray­ing man­tis kung fu, which has a vi­cious as­pect that can meet the in­ten­sity of that dark­ness and en­able you to trans­form it. If that feel­ing of be­ing drawn to the dark­ness be­comes over­pow­er­ing, I’d do a cou­ple of hours of hard chi work in the morn­ing and an­other less in­tense hour in the evening. No days off, no dis­cus­sions, no con­tem­plat­ing. Just do it. Oth­er­wise your life can quickly be­come hell.

You need a teacher and a school for any chi prac­tice. If you can’t find a teacher right away try video tu­to­ri­als, books or DVDS, but get­ting a teacher is best. Get into it as soon as pos­si­ble and im­me­di­ately start prac­tis­ing ev­ery morn­ing – ide­ally, out­side and near trees as you can pick up more chi (hug­ging trees on LSD makes sense from this per­spec­tive). Even if you barely know what you are do­ing and feel like a fool, just keep do­ing it (the prac­tice that is, not the tree-hug­ging). You’ll get more and more in­sight into where chi can take you. Rep­e­ti­tion also builds the emo­tional strength and willpower nec­es­sary to stay on the ex­tra­or­di­nary path. Plus, quit­ting drugs with a tech­nique that en­ables you to feel good and to es­cape mun­dane re­al­ity is a no-brainer.

Be a war­rior on the path to an ex­tra­or­di­nary fu­ture

You can use a chi prac­tice to re­turn your­self to cen­tre too, when you feel you are about to lose it, or if your mind starts rac­ing with that manic psy­chotic en­ergy (yang ris­ing). In­stead of en­gag­ing with the trig­gers, turn to your body (yin).

Step away, go out­side (or any­where) and do some slow squats. Slowly sink down, ex­hal­ing, and think­ing ‘ trust’.

Then slowly rise up, in­hal­ing, think­ing ‘ac­cep­tance’. Keep the fo­cus on the dan­tian, your power cen­tre, and send your aware­ness to your legs. Breathe into the mus­cles in your calves and thighs. Re­peat un­til you feel cen­tred again. This is a sim­ple strat­egy, but it builds yin, which is a natural an­ti­dote to the yang states of panic, anx­i­ety and delu­sion; so it will quickly cre­ate emo­tional sta­bil­ity.

Be­ing highly sus­cep­ti­ble to anx­i­ety and panic is nor­mal af­ter drugs, but if you do your chi prac­tice daily, you will be con­stantly bal­anc­ing yin and yang, so these body/ mind im­bal­ances won’t get on top of you. If you drift away from the prac­tice though, they can quickly come back. Many years af­ter I quit drugs, I’d get re­cur­ring anx­i­ety at­tacks. They were al­ways con­nected to stress­ful times in busi­ness, and dis­re­spect­ing yin. Dur­ing one of these pe­ri­ods, I had to fly on a busi­ness trip to Asia. I started get­ting anx­ious about the prospect of be­ing in a con­fined space up in the air with no es­cape, and I started pan­ick­ing about it.

Pan­ick­ing about panic was just get­ting ridicu­lous; so I made an ap­point­ment with a psy­chol­o­gist. I hadn’t done that be­fore. Once you’ve been on a mission with a goat, you tend to avoid those who ex­am­ine your san­ity as a pro­fes­sion, but the ther­a­pist part of me is al­ways interested in other ther­a­peu­tic ap­proaches, and there was re­ally no need to men­tion my goat Schroeder (I hadn’t seen him in years); so off I went. They told me there was no bi­o­log­i­cal ba­sis for panic at­tacks and, as I didn’t want med­i­ca­tion, they sug­gested I try mind­ful­ness tech­niques. The idea was to fo­cus on be­ing in the present and to sit with the emo­tion rather than re­act­ing to it.

Ba­si­cally the strat­egy was to use thought to con­quer thought. It was all very ra­tio­nal, but you can’t hold ra­tio­nal states with ma­jor or­gan de­fi­cien­cies and yin and yang im­bal­ances. Thought is al­ready un­able to con­trol thought or you wouldn’t be pan­ick­ing. So it was un­suc­cess­ful for me. I did board the plane, but strug­gled with waves of anx­i­ety and panic for the next ten hours. By the time we landed I was sweat­ing, twitch­ing, and look­ing more like a drug smug­gler than when I ac­tu­ally had been one. I was fully ex­pect­ing to be ar­rested and ex­e­cuted.

I had for­got­ten the in­cred­i­ble power of yin. I’d fallen into the yang suc­cess trap of think­ing I had to do ‘what­ever it took’ to achieve my goals. I had tem­po­rar­ily stopped do­ing tai-chi, think­ing it was too ‘slow’. This is the road to fail­ure, not suc­cess. Be­ing so yang cre­ated im­bal­ances, and anx­i­ety and panic re­sulted. As soon as I got back into the chi prac­tices my symp­toms re­ceded.

Anx­i­ety has noth­ing to do with the men­tal pro­cesses; so you can’t re­solve it with your mind. Me­ta­phys­i­cally, anx­i­ety at­tacks are ‘ fire’ out of con­trol. Your in­ter­nal bal­ance has been so dis­rupted that the fire that is sup­posed to be fu­elling your destiny is rag­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion. You cor­rect this through your body.

Use your body to cre­ate emo­tional sta­bil­ity

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