Below is a repost of an article that I published back in 2005. The old one is now offline for technical reasons.
Recently I’ve stumbled upon a set of easy exercises that are called ‘Hermes gymnastics’. The actual referred person is Hermes Trismegistus, who is believed to have been highest priest in Ancient Egypt. He is credited with writing a great number of books, of which only 3 seem to have survived till our days.
Anyway, there’s a set of easy daily exercises which are called on his name. They are somewhat popular in russian literature on such topics but I’ve found no reference to them in the English world. I will translate them for English, maybe for the first time in print.
I’ve been doing these exercises for several weeks now, every morning and in the evenings, after work. I find them very easy to perform and yet they make me feel much better every time I do them and they seem to raise my energy levels (which is the exercises’ original intent).
The practice of the exercises can be divided into 4 parts. Two of them are the actual exercises and the other two are complementary.
The first part. Warm up.
This should performed before the exercises in morning. It consists of warming up, better by running for 5 to 20 minutes. You can run on the spot, if you’re doing them at home. If you’re doing the exercises in the evening, this can be skipped.
The second part. Power exercises.
This is a set of three exercises which energize the body. Some common notes on power exercises set: Each exercise consists of:
Short and forceful inhalation through the nose (giving an air strike on the throat). In that time the described position is reached with maximum speed and the whole body muscles should be tightened as much as possible.
While all the muscles are tight, hold breath for 4 seconds. After a year or so of practice, this time can be increased to 6 seconds. More than that is harmful.
Exhale all the air at once through the mouth making the ‘Ha’ sound as air exits. At the same time relax all the muscles as fast as possible and return to the relaxed position.
Breath normally for 4 seconds.
Notes: The change from the relaxed state to the tense should be as fast as you can. Gradually progress with your training. The synchronization of breathing with the movements is very important for maximum benefit. Exercises should be performed with eyes closed and concentration on movement and breathing.
Now to the exercises themselves:
1. Exercise ‘Cross’
Stand straight. Feet apart. Hands hanging by the body, muscles are relaxed, free breathing.
Short, powerful breath in. At the same time, clench fists, raise tense arms and move them behind the back on the shoulders height, throw back the head and arch the body. Tighten all the muscles of your body in this position. Hold breath for 4 seconds.
Exhale fast and fully through the mouth, bend the body forward, hands relaxed down, almost reaching the floor. Shake the hands crossed for better relaxation and return to the original position. Relax fully for 4 seconds. Free breathing.
Repeat the exercise 4 times.
2. Exercise ‘Axe’
Stand feet apart shoulders width, straight knees. Bend forward, arms hanging near the floor, all muscles relaxed. Free breathing.
Instantly grip palm together, finger crossed, like holding an axe, take a fast, short breath. At the same time straighten the back, raise the hands from the right side behind the back, like swinging an axe. Arch the back as much as possible and drop the head back. Tighten muscles. Hold breath for 4 seconds.
Forceful exhale through the mouth and with a powerfull turn through the left side return to the original position. Body is bent forward, palms apart. Relax for 4 seconds.
Perform the exercise 4 times. Two as described, and the other two in the opposite direction (switch left and right).
3. Exercise ‘Disc thrower’
Stand straight. Feet shoulders apart. Arms relaxed on the sides. Breathing normal.
Short breath in, clench fists, throw the right hand forward and take the left behind, turning the body in the direction of the imagined throw, eyes turning with the motion. Hold the position of the disc thrower. Tighten all the muscles in the body. Hold breath and position for 4 seconds.
Exhale fast through the mouth and return to the original position. Relax fully for 4 seconds.
Perform 4 times: two times as described, then switch hands.
These exercises distribute energy into all muscles of the body. These are mostly the same exercises as in part 2 but they are to be performed slowly, with no tension in order to discharge previously tense muscles and charge those that didn’t participate. The breathing is deep. Perform exercises in accordance with the breathing described below.
Stand straight. Feet apart shoulder width. Stretch hands before yourself, palm pressed together.
Inhale through the nose for 4 seconds. At the same time spread the hands to the sides on shoulder level. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Move the hands farther behind back.
Exhale through the mouth for 4 seconds and at the same time slowly return the hands into original position.
Repeat 4 times.
Stand with feet a little spread. Bend body forward, touching toes with your fingers. The knees are not bent.
Inhale for 4 seconds while straightening the body, stretching hands forward on the breast level. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. At the same time raise the hands above the head and behind the back.
Exhale through the mouth for 4 seconds and at the same time slowly return into original position.
Repeat 4 times.
Stand straight. Spread the feet about half a meter. Hands stretched to the sides on the shoulders level.
Inhale for 4 seconds and hold the breath for 4 seconds. At the same time turn the body right with the hands still stretched to the sides so, that you’ll see the wall behind you. Do not raise the feet of the floor.
Exhale through the mouth for 4 seconds and at the same time slowly return into original position.
Repeat 4 times: 2 times to the right, 2 to the left.
Lie on your back. Put both palms with finger crossed below the head.
Inhale for 4 seconds and at the sime raise the feet 90 degrees. Hold the breath for 4 seconds and at the same time perform 2 circular motions with the feet to the right.
Exhale for 4 seconds and slowly return the feet on the floor.
Repeat 4 times: two times turning the feet to the right, 2 times to the left.
Forth part. Stabilization.
This is reached by taking shower switching from cold to hot water every 2 minutes. The contrast of the water should be increasing over time. After three months reach its maximum and stay at that level. Always start with cold water and finish with hot. The first 4 months the timing is 2 minutes for hot cold and hot showers. On the fourth months – 3 minutes and then 4 minutes each.
I hope you will follow the advice and perform the exercises and I promise you will feel better during the day and in the long term.
I’ve recently got myself an iPhone. One of the applications that I downloaded was a simple to use application from Russell Targ, a famous ESP researcher. Russell Targ is a physicist and author who was a pioneer in the development of the laser, and cofounder of the Stanford Research Institute’s investigation into psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s (from his web site, espresearch.com).
The application, simply called “ESP trainer” tries to improve your ESP skills by training you.
From ESP trainer’s website:
The ESP trainer was developed under a NASA program by Russell Targ at Stanford Research Institute.
We have found that people are able to improve their ESP scores by using a machine just like this and get in touch with the part of themselves that is psychic. This is often called a clairvoyant ability, and can enhance your life in many surprising ways.
In a year long NASA program with 145 subjects (under Contract 953653 NAS7-100) many were able to significantly improve their scores. Four of the subjects improved their scores at the hundred-to-one level or better. This approach has been used with surprising success on Wall Street. But of course, past results are no guarantee of future performance.
Because you are learning a new skill, slower is better than faster.
The application itself is quite simple and totally free. You’re presented with 4 colored squares and need to guess where the picture is (pick the correct one of the four). If you succeed, you will hear a chime, feel a vibration, and see a large color picture.
If you find yourself frequently scoring 12 or more out of 24 trials, you should contact Russell Targ.
There’s a series of enrichment lectures at Google (the company) and they make them available for public viewing on YouTube. The lectures are not strictly technical and encompass a wide variety of topics with guest speakers.
The below video is of a lecture describing the basics of Oriental medicine practices, especially acupuncture and acupressure. There’s also specific attention to stress in traditional western medicine and in eastern.
In the second part, after the description, an eastern medicine doctor applies short acupunture treratment to some of the listeners and guides through a short relaxation meditation.
This king kong of pranayamas helps you detoxify your system, oxygenate your blood, magnify the benefits of the Kundalini Yoga exercise you are doing and generate terrific energy within. If you suffer from heat related issues or high blood pressure, you should use caution when practicing Breath of Fire.
Today I present another article by drew hempel who often published here several other articles on the subjects of qigong, music and healing.
How Qigong or Taoist Yoga Explains Gurdjieff
by drew hempel, MA
(anti-copyright, free distribution).
THE FOUNDATION OF THE LAW OF THREE
“‘Before examining these influences,’ began G., ‘and the laws of transformation of Unity in Plurality, we must examine the fundamental law that creates all phenomena in all the diversity or unity of all universes.’” — In Search of the Miraculous (p. 78, emphasis in original, and source for below Gurdjieff quotes).
I continue to see a lot of serious confusion about the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, a very influential source for people exploring paranormal healing powers. First of all there was Gurdjieff’s focus on the truth of his teaching, not on the kundalini energy effects. This is one reason people reject Gurdjieff. For example a famous person, Katherine Mansfield, came to Gurdjieff shortly before her death from tuberculosis. Some people think that Gurdjieff just accelerated her death because he focused on the truth instead of on healing. Secondly there’s the problem of Gurdjieff’s lineage. Some state Gurdjieff was a Sufi but since he didn’t have a particular Sufi master he’s not credible. Gurdjieff does name a very important Sufi teacher who doles out amazing secrets in Gurdjieff’s excellent book Meetings with Remarkable Men.
Most importantly Gurdjieff didn’t pass on and develop his powers in someone else — i.e. create another energy master. Gurdjieff doesn’t have a replacement yet many people think that Ouspensky was necessary to help Gurdjieff or that Bennett or Orage or others can better continue Gurdjieff’s teachings. For example, because of this conflict, the famous NYC literary critic Edmund Wilson made fun of Gurdjieff based on Orage’s attempts to teach Gurdjieff. The best book on Gurdjieff’s teachings, In Search of the Miraculous, is only hindered by Ouspensky’s extended yet confused commentaries while Gurdjieff’s longest book was the cause for Gurdjieff considering suicide. Beelzebub’s Tales is not a reliable source since his publishers forced Gurdjieff to change the meaning of his teaching, as Bennett reports.
What is clear is that Gurdjieff’s teaching is based on harmonics or what some term “psychic music,” the central secret of my 2001 U of MN masters thesis, linked at http://nonduality.com/hempel.htm and focus of my subsequent research, including my previous articles here. I discovered that the Pythagorean Perfect 5th or 2:3 music interval, C to G, and the Perfect 4th or 3:4, G to C, are the same as yang and yin in Taoism. Gurdjieff also relies on the Pythagorean teachings based on harmonics or what Gurdjieff called the Law of Three, the fundamental law. (as quoted above)
Western science converted complimentary opposites, yin and yang, or the Pythagorean Tetrad of 1:2:3:4, into a symmetrical system through the same diatonic scale that Gurdjieff presents in his teaching, thereby forever confusing the West’s understanding of Gurdjieff.
For example the major third diatonic music interval of Gurdjieff, 4:5, was converted into 5:4 as the cube root of two while the Pythagorean diatonic minor sixth, 5:8, was converted into 8:5 as the Golden Ratio. In fact the extension of the Tetrad, 1:2:3:4 (Perfect 5th/Perfect 4th complimentary opposite harmonics as the Law of Pythagoras) into symmetric-based ratios (i.e. Gurdjieff’s 4:5 into 5:4 as the cube root of two) was the product not of Pythagoras but of Platonic math from Archytas’ creation of the geometric mean (a “one-to-one correspondence of letter and number”). I give the technical details in chapter four of my blogbook, http://mothershiplanding.blogspot.com. Math professor Joe Mazur recently stated that my compilation of this information is “very valuable” and he recommended that I have it published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
I’ve written before about my first qigong lesson. Nowadays, I still go the classes and am much more knowledgable on the subject.
But first, what is Qigong, anyway? Qigong (pronounced like chee-kong) is an ancient Chinese system of working with the Qi (Chi) energy. The translation from Chinese is something in the lines of “energy cultivation” or “Working with energy”. It is a system of exercises involving postures, movement, breathing, meditation and mind body interaction. Qigong was the basis both for the Chinese healing and to martial arts. As such there are many variations to qigong and some are more relevant to combat while others to healing.
I’ve learned that the specific form of qigong that I study is called YiQuan qigong (pronounced e-chuan). This specific form of qigong was founded in the 1920ies by master Wang Xiangzhai, who developed it out of another martial arts system, xingyiquan. Although it started as a form of martial arts qigong it is now studied mostly for health benefits. In many places it still learned as a martial arts qigong, similarly to kungfu. At the end of the post I attached two videos of master Yao Zongxun (1917-1985), who was the formal successor of Wang Xiangzhai. In these videos one can see the exercises.
As I wrote before, there are several types of exercises in the Yiquan. One type is call Shi li and they are motion exercises. The motion is usually slow and has many aspects to mastering it, including body control, relaxed and diaphragmic breathing, synchronous movements of various joints and energy control. You can see many Shi Li performed in the first video of Yao Zongxun starting with around 2:43 minutes.
I wanted to write about Psi-wheel for some time and now that Pete sent his Jar and pendulum exercise and asked me to write about the Psi Wheel exercise, here some info on that.
I first mentioned Psi-wheel a long time ago in the post Telekinesis videos and instructions. Now, I’ve searched the internet once again to see if I can find something new that’s interesting.
But, first, what’s the psi wheel and why it’s interesting. So, psi wheel is a simple construct that can be built by anyone at their home using just plain paper and a needle. What makes it special is that its design makes it very light. And the general presumption is that it easier to influence light things using telekinesis than heavy things. In that sense psi wheel is even better that the pendulum in jar that Pete proposed, since it’s even easier to move. And this is one of the reasons why telekinesis proponents and want to be’s like to use it. The problem with it, though, is that it’s too easy to influence a psi wheel using regular means, like air currents, and that’s what I personally don’t like about it.
A reader, Pete, has sent me the following psychokinesis exercise, including the image and the accompanying instructions. He had suggested that I post it on the site. This exercises requires a simple construction, described both in words and in the image and a dedication in order to achieve success. Pete says about 2 weeks of daily practice is needed for success. I’ve seen this exercise before but Pete’s image and instructions are really good. So, learn and practice the Jar and Pendulum exercise using the instructions below, note the warning Pete gives in the first paragraph:
There is a training exercise I started using a while back and I was wondering if you were familiar with it and if you had any pointers. Feel free to post it, however it may not be wise because of the massive headaches rookies can suffer if they push themselves.
The ability to relax at will is an important ability that everyone should possess, in my opinion. Today’s life in the western world is very tense, stressful, both mentally and physically. This is true for high-tech and computer workers, who sit long hours in front of the screen, creating constant tension in some muscles and joints, for many hours a day. This is also true for other workers, such as those who drive a lot, especially in dense traffic, when the mental pressure is high. Stress is a very common word these days, as people blame stress for many of their problems. People have a hard time to relax. In this article I’d like to summarize the best 5 ways for a healthy (and legal) relaxation, in my opinion.
Relaxation technique 1: Breathing to relax and to calm down
The most basic skill you need to allow yourself to calm down quickly and relax is controlled breathing. Taking your breathing under conscious control for some time distracts from other stressful thoughts you might have. Some breathing techniques have fast tranquilizing effect. I suggest the following breathing exercise:
If possible, lie down or at least sit comfortably.
Close your eyes and concentrate your attention on your nostrils, where air enters the nose.
Take a slow and deep breath in through your nose. Notice how the air is cold, entering your nose.
Hold your breath for a seconds holding your attention on the same spot.
Breath out slowly and quietly through the nose. Notice how the air is warm on your nostrils on the way out.
Do this for a few minutes, until you let disturbed thoughts go and feel relaxed.
The above exercise uses several techniques to calm you:
Closing eyes and getting in a comfortable position already induces a little relaxation.
Slow breathing with a stop in middle reduces the heard rate. It is especially useful when you feel agitated for some reason and need to calm down fast. You might do this at times of pressure, without all the preliminary steps, if there’s no time or place for them.
Concentrating on the cold and warm air moving through the nostrils occupies the mind and distracts you from other, negative thoughts, you might have. See also technique #8, Thought substitution for calming and relaxation.