Well, I finally have something to put here. Let me start off by saying this: as of RIGHT NOW, I am not a Master. Years from now, I may look back at this sit, and say otherwise.
TO BE A NINJA:
"To be a Ninja, one must Know, one must Dare, and one must be Silent." This ancient Chinese Proverb is the credo for the Ninja. It is the axis for our guidance, telling us what the core of our practice MUST BE. However, like a tree, which branches out, this knowledge branches out to many, many more rules by which the Ninja must follow. No one is perfect, however. Just as in Okinawan Karate, the Masters say this: "There is margin for error, as we are all human." However, this does not mean that we do not try hard to be Virtuous, to be Warriors of the light. So, I will be posting here the method by which one may become a Ninja, "One who Knows".
Full Lotus Position
Sit in a Full Lotus Pose, right foot sole uppermost on the left thigh, left foot sole uppermost crossing the right shin, locking it into place, on the right thigh. Relax the shoulders, straighten the back, do not lean. Close the eyes and empty the Mind. This is often difficult, but the purpose of meditation is to calm the surface of the Pool of the Subconscious. Human Beings see the reality as it is reflected in this �magic mirror.� If the surface is troubled, then one cannot see or think clearly. Thus the symbolism of the Water element. This will calm the mind, heal the body, and help you to see yourself inside. Clench the fists and place them on the knees, palm uppermost. This will aid in diminishing your thoughts and enable you to concentrate on the experience of inner energy. Take three deep breaths, imagining the numbers 3-2-1 with each as you �count down to relaxation.� At the conclusion of the third breath, imagining the numeral 1, swallow and place the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. This connects the psychic channels of the body at the crown and the base of the torso. Click your teeth together thirty-six times. Do this lightly and at an even pace. This calms the heart, even in times of stress.
Beating the Heavenly Drum
Interlock the fingers, place the place on the back of the head, covering the ears. The fingers should touch the base of the skull. Place the thumbs below the ears. Gently apply pressure with the palms. Relax the shoulders. This will warm the ears and benefit the kidneys. If your mind is calm, you will feel the beat of your pulse. Breathe slowly and deeply without sound nine times. Think of each breath as water filling a glass. The air is drawn into the lower lungs first and fills them from bottom to top. When exhaling, let the air flow out of the upper lungs first. This draws the Qi to the �seat of breathing � the Hara or Tan T�ien, the One Point. This is the body�s physical and spiritual center, located approximately two inches below the navel. You will know when you feel it. Continue to rest the hands on the back of the head. Beat the index fingers alternately against the base of the skull at ear level twenty four times. This stimulates the brain, prevents deafness, and helps one achieve longevity.
Opening the Heavenly Pillar
The Hara is the Golden Stove of Ninja alchemy, whereby the base elements of the personality, the �lead,� are �boiled away� in the �fire of the belly� which is kindled by drawing the breath and its life giving Force deep into the lungs, filling them with Qi. The �steam� created by this process rises up the spine to the �mysterious chamber� of the skull. To accomplish this, the �gates� of the Heavenly Pillar must be opened. First by this chiropractic turning exercise, then by the Kuji Kiri keys. Open the hands and place them on the thighs. Open the eyes, turn the upper body from the waist, twisting to the left then to the right, forty-eight times. This stimulates and exercises the neck and upper spinal cord.
Bringing the Energy to the Palms
Place the left palm over the right and rub in a circular manner from left to right twenty-four times. Then reverse the hands, right over left, and repeat. This will stimulate circulation. The hands are now warm. Place the palms on the back above the kidneys. Rotate both hands vigorously on the back twenty-four time. Then hold the hands over the kidneys for a few minutes. This will strengthen the kidneys, improve the posture, and increase vitality. This area is known as the Gate of Life. The exercise is called Kindling the Fire. Relax, rest the hands on the thighs, close the eyes. You are now ready to begin the breathing exercises.
One cannot embark on the path of enlightenment all at once.
Development of the mind can be achieved only when the body has been prepared.
The breathing exercises given here are strenuous in the extreme-some may produce unconsciousness.
The shock to the body could be quite severe unless proper precautions are taken.
Therefore, people with heart trouble, chronic ailments, diabetes, or similar infirmity are advised to practice only these preparatory exercises for at least ninety days before attempting the breathing techniques.
Nor should this practice be undertaken while under the influence of any form of medication, narcotic, or alcohol.
The following exercises prepare the body for the experience of inner energy.
They are certainly Chinese in origin, therapeutic in nature, and essential to Kuji Kiri practice. Similar exercises are found in many Yogic traditions.
Some hold that this series of movements (excluding the breathing techniques given here) is derived from an ancient Chinese medical exercise known as the Eight Pieces of Brocade.
But, certainly, the Nine Finger Knitting positions or Mudra that follow, each of which represents a �gate� on the �Heavenly Pillar� of the spine, and that are often called the Nine Keys of the Mind Gate, are the core of the practice.
The emphasis on meditation to cultivate the mind and body is characteristic of all Far Eastern martial arts.
Nowhere is this more true than in Ninjitsu, the Silent Way.
Ninja place as much importance on the spiritual and mental aspects of their art as on the physical.
The ability to think, to reason and remember, is highly prized among a society where the mind is the ultimate weapon.
To this end, they developed exercises to sharpen their perception and psychological insight.
These techniques also serve to rejuvenate the body, calm the mind, and cultivate the inner strength.
It was said that the ancient Ninja could sense hidden enemies, foresee the imminent death of a sick or aged person, and predict the breakup up of a marriage.
This was not because they were « psychic » but rather because they had developed their powers of observation and intuition to a high degree through these and other special exercises.
Inner and outer strength
There are two kinds of strength, just as there are Yin and Yang. The outer, physical strength is obvious, fades with age, and is dissipated by excess. The inner strength is by far the more powerful of the two, but it must be developed through constant practice and study. The Qi (also Chi, pronounced « chee » and Ki in Japanese) is the life-force of the Universe, which flows within and through and around all things. It can be collected, cultivated, and circulated within the body to perform the will. But, not one in ten thousand will ever know the true Qi. This, like many transcendental subjects, cannot be adequately described in word or print. But, it can be experienced. The practice is known as Kuji Kiri, the Nine Cuts. The key to the Mind Gate.
The purpose of any path of enlightenment is to « show the student his true face. » If it does not do this, it has failed as a philosophy and is useless.
The phrase comes from a tribal legend, when men first contemplated the nature of the universe.
The story goes that once upon a time a tiger was chasing some goats, trying to catch one for dinner.During the chase the tiger was injured and, as she lay dying, gave birth to a tiger cub. The goats, having never seen a baby tiger before, adopted it into the herd.As he grew, the cub was not a very good goat. He didn�t have the right kind of teeth for chewing grass, and he liked to climb up in the trees and sleep, which made the other goats jealous.
One day, another tiger came along and started trying to catch one for dinner as before.
He came upon the young tiger, cowering in the brush. « What are you doing? Asked the old tiger.
« Hiding, » replied the younger.
« Why? »
« I�m afraid you�ll eat me, » answered the young tiger.
« Come with me. » Laughed the old tiger. Whereupon he took the young tiger to his cave and bade him eat of a freshly killed antelope. The young tiger told him he was a vegetarian. But the old tiger made him eat; telling him the meat would make him strong. After a while, he took the young tiger to the lake and told him to look at his reflection before he took a drink.
« You see, your face is the same as mine. You are not a goat. You are a tiger. You must act like a tiger. That is the nature of things. »
This is the purpose of meditation. Man perceives reality as a filtered reflection in the pool of his subconscious mind. Ripples of annoyance, the wind of imagination, and waves of emotion often disturb this pool. All of which distort the perception of reality. The goal of meditation is to « calm the waters » of this pool, so that the student can see himself and the world clearly.
The secret of meditation is regular practice. Perseverance, diligence, and quiet determination are required. If performed on a daily basis, continuous improvement can be expected. Meditation is not a process to be hurried; do not expect instant result. But, slowly, softly, after a few weeks, you will notice than an old injury no longer aggravates you, or that you are sleeping better.
Then will come the subtle sounds and sensations. A feeling of lightness, a tingle up the spine, the sound of your own heartbeat. These are signs of steady progress.
Two periods per day are recommended. One soon after rising and one before going to bed. The exercise should be done in a quiet darkened room, neither too warm nor too cold.The clothing should be loose and comfortable, there should be adequate ventilation to provide fresh air, and noises or other distractions should be avoided.Breath control is the key to proper meditation, which may be defined as the art of consciously altering the state of mind. To accomplish this, one physically adjusts the pH (acidalkaline balance) of the blood by regulating the rate of respiration.
This training is not for the purpose of gaining, exploiting, or manipulating power.It should not be practiced with those goals in mind, as this will hinder good progress. It is about calming the mind, healing the body, and improving oneself to be in harmony with the flow of the universe and set a good example for all.
Meditation, sitting quietly, listening to yourself breathe, is the first exercise of Ninja Invisibility.
Since any opaque object absorbs light, it produces a shadow in the space behind it.
If the source of light is a point, an opaque surface cuts off all light striking it, producing a shadow of uniform density.
An example is the casting of hand shadows on a wall.
If the source of light is larger than a point, the shadow varies in intensity, creating the umbra and penumbra.
The former is that portion from which all rays of light are obscured, while the penumbra is the lighter part, not entirely hidden from the observer.
Spotlights, hand torches, and so on, are points of light. The latter of the two shadows is the more frequently encountered. Thus, in Ninjitsu, we strive to remain in the deepest shadow, the umbra, as this offers the best concealment.
The rule of Kagashi-no-jitsu states that the eye sees movement first, silhouette second, and color third.
Dark adaptation means allowing the eyes to become accustomed to low levels of light.
Approximately thirty minutes are required for the rod cells of the eye to produce sufficient visual purple to enable the eye to distinguish objects in dim light.
Off Center vision is a technique of focusing attention on an object without looking directly at it.
When an object is looked at directly, the image is formed on the cone region of the eye.
This area is not sensitive at night.
When the eye looks five to ten degrees above, below, right, or left of the object, the image falls on the rod cells, making it visible in dim light.
Scanning is a method of using this off-center vision to observe an object or area.During night observation, the visual purple of the rod cells bleaches out in five to ten seconds and the image fades.
As this occurs, you must shift the eyes slightly so that fresh rod cells are used.
Move the eyes in short, irregular intervals over the object, but do not look directly at it.
Pause a few seconds at each point of observation because your eyes normally are used where there is sufficient light to create sharp outlines and bright colors.
In darkness, objects are faint, have no distinct outline, and little or no color. To move in darkness, you must believe what you see.
Only practice can achieve this.At night, if the enemy can be seen, keep the fire (light) between yourself and the enemy.
Remember, the enemy is looking from and area of light (in which his pupils have constricted) into an area of darkness, where insufficient light exists to display an image on the cone region of the retina.
In daylight, keep the fire and the door on your right, and keep the left side clear.
Moving in shadows requires that a path be selected from one place of concealment to another, crossing any exposed areas quickly and quietly Standing in darkness requires great patience and controlled breathing.
The best place inside a room is the nearest corner behind the door. Select a shadow to be used and advance silently to it.
Assume a posture which conforms to the shape of the shadow and remain within it.
Practice shallow breathing.
To become invisible, Ninjitsu employs the Nine Steps of Kuji Ashi.
This is consistent with the concept of Shugendo, the mountain asceticism of feudal Japan, in which Kuji (nine) is the most important number.
Nine is the number of completion in numerology.
To be a Ninja, indeed to even contemplate the Silent Way, one must be a hunter.
This means that he knows the ways of his prey.
He studies their habits, patterns of movement, and routines.
In this way, he can strike when they are most vulnerable, or trap them in their own habits.
To be a Ninja, an invisible assassin, one must be a warrior.
This means that he accepts responsibility for his actions.
Strategy is the craft of the warrior.
To be a Ninja, one must be a wizard.
This means that he can « stop the world » and « see with the eyes of God. »
This is the essence of Mugei-Mumei No-Jitsu, which is translated to mean, « no name-no art. » Secrecy is the hallmark of being a spy.
To be a Ninja, one must be strong, one must know, one must dare, and one must be silent.
Uniform of the Ninja
The costume of the Ninja is basically that of the stage handlers of the Kabuki theatre.
The Ninja uniform consists of :
Black Ski Mask, as camouflage paint or « blacking » of the face is time consuming and cannot be quickly removed.
Black overjacket, often reversible to disguise the appearance.
Black Belt or sash.
Black Coveralls, with blousing ties at the wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles.
And, Black Tabi, split toed socks made for wearing with sandals.
The soft sole of these protects the feet and helps muffle the sounds of walking.
The traditional uniform also included the hakima which is a divided skirt for formal wear, leggings, and a light tunic of chain mail.
The costume of the Ninja was called Shinobi Shokozu.
Black is considered the « traditional » color because it was used by the Kabuki stage handlers. Solid black « stands out » at night among the true shadows cast by moon and torchlight.
Therefore, most Ninja schools used brown, gray, or red uniforms.
Red had the advantage of being black at night, with no sunlight to reflect the crimson color; a fact known only to those who studied light and shadow as a Neolithic science.
When it came into the firelight, however, the color returned. And psychologically intimidated the enemy through the association of red with the fear of blood.
This trick was also used by the Spartans of ancient Greece, who wore red capes to frighten the enemy and conceal any wounds they might receive in battle.
An example of Saimenjitsu (Hsi Men Jitsu) the Way of the Mind Gate.
Ninja terminology for the study of the mind, psychology.
Only the Ninja stood between the peasants and the princes. Only they could pass through walls and strike at the heart of the enemy camp.
That is why it is forbidden to use this Art for personal gain. That is why it is full of hidden philosophical lessons.
In this way the Ninja is protected by the armor of righteousness, and can do no wrong.
More from http://ninjasecrets.sylickon.com/
Chu, (Strength of Mind and Body.)
This is the first, and yes, it can be tough for the first session. It requires patience. It cannot be done 100% to perfection, as I have found. But, it must be done to the best of ones abilities. There is no contest to do it to "win" it. One needs only to do the best he can. I almost gave up on this one, when Ashida Kim sent me a newsletter with this first Kanji/Mudra. I'm not sure if I need to say this, but for courtesy purposes, I have drawn this from http://ninjasecrets.sylickon.com/2010/03/chu-–-strength-of-mind-and-body/ . I do NOT feel like typing all that by myself. See? Isn't that a lot? ;) (Just so you know, this is not different from the method I've done with Chu. It is the same.)
"There are nine basically significant centers of power. The first of these is located at the base of the spine. It controls elimination and corresponds to the Sacral Plexus. This is the occult center of the body, which holds the serpent power. It also represents the Earth element. Its color is yellow.
The Tu Mo, or Channel of Control, is composed of twenty eight acupuncture point, ascending from the coccyx, up the spine, over the skull, and ending at the upper gum. If this channel is not functioning properly, one will experience bladder problems, pain in the lower abdomen or chest, or hernia. Many of the points on this channel are employed to stimulate or tone the organs in general. Mediation on this center steadies the body and trains the mind. Place the palms facing, thumbs together, fingers upward. Interlock the fingers above, but extend the middle fingers of both hands and hold them together in front of the chest. Feel the heat between your hands; feel the beat of the pulse in your palms.
Using the middle fingers as a pointer, trace the ideogram shown in the air before you by alternately tracing five horizontal lines and four vertical. Close the eyes and visualize the character. This will key the mind to the sacral center. Chu represents « Strength of Mind and Body. » Hold the head erect, with the tip of the tongue lightly on the roof of the mouth. Inhale deeply through the nose, filling the lungs from bottom to top. Lay the hands in the lap. Exhale, emptying the lungs from top to bottom, but exhale only two-thirds of the breath. Press the remaining one-third downward into the Hara by expanding the lower belly, and hold for nine heartbeats. Repeat 81 times.
On the eighty-first repetition, exhale completely and hold the exhalation. Concentrate on the Hara. « If this region is warm, » say the Chinese, « one is halfway to immortality. This exercise alone will prevent many illnesses. Lower the head forward until the chin touches the chest if possible, but do not stretch. This will aid in holding the lungs empty. Do not hold the breath with the throat. That can cause rupturing of tiny blood vessels supplying the face, neck, and head. Retain the breath by tensing the diaphragm, the bellows which draws in the air and presses it downward.
CHU– Strength of Mind and Body
While in this position, one develops a kinesthetic sense of the body.
This enables one to diagnose imbalances of energy within the body.
This technique is known as touring. Holding the breath for 81 heartbeats while circulating Qi in the Microcosmic Orbit, up the back and down the front of the body, is known as the Small Tour.
Holding the breath for 108 heartbeats while circulating Qi in the Eight Psychic Channels is known as the Grand Tour.
After the prescribed time (number of heartbeats), relax. Slowly release the diaphragm and the chin lock, taking care not to strain or move too quickly.
Release the tension used to expand the Hara and inhale slowly, taking care not to gulp air and induce belching. Breathe slowly and deeply without sound.
The Hara will now feel warm, like a friendly fire. In fact, it is called the Golden Cauldron in Chinese alchemy, used to « distill » Qi from the breath.
You will feel a sensation at the base of the spine. It will grow, double, redouble, and race up the spine to the base of the skull.
This is the site of the medulla oblongata, which controls all autonomic functions of the bodyincluding respiration, circulation, and certain other functions- hence the name Channel of Control.
Once in this altered state, begin sensory withdrawal exercises to isolate the mind and develop conscious control of the body.
In Yoga, the bandhis or « muscle locks, » like holding the diaphragm, chin-lock and so on, are the first step in developing the internal strength with which the Ninja forges his body in the fire of his will.
Through this type of exercise the Yogi, and the Ninja, develop the ability to endure extremes of heat and cold, pain, hunger, and deprivation.
Patience is also a virtue gained through this practice.
Being the first in a series, and unfamiliar, it quite naturally takes some practice to calm the breath sufficiently to not hear it.
Feeling the pulse also requires some practice.
And, hearing the heartbeat, which is only possible when the mind is calm, may take ninety days or more. Most initiates are frightened when this occurs.
Their first thought being that if they hear it, their heart will stop. But, this does not happen.
And, in time, the heartbeat becomes as source of comfort and reassurance. Furthermore,
it is the « internal clock » by which all these exercises are « timed. » Making it essential to the remainder of the practice.
Therefore, do not expect to be enlightened the first time you sit down.
Patience, practice and perseverance are required to achieve even the smallest positive result. Very often the anticipation of some subtle sensation is the very thing that prevents it from happening.
This too, is one of the hidden lessons of Ninjitsu.
Enlightenment seldom appears as a flash of lightning that makes everything suddenly clear. Instead, as many great authors have told us, it is a slow and gradual process, made up of many small steps, each of which contributes to the whole. The trick is to « see the pattern. »
One way in which the Ninja does this is by classification of the « ten thousand things » into broad categories of Yin ( »In » in Japanese) and Yang ( »Yo » in Japanese), the two primeval forces of the universe, constantly striving for balance.
(Tao) This is another mnemonic tool to aid the memory.
This removes many of the injunctions of society, making it clear that the rat does not steal, nor does the cat murder. Each acts according to its nature. So too it is with Man."
I will post the actual Kanji soon, because I do not do this one as often as I should.
However, if someone knows the Kanji, email me the picture at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If not, I will get it from Secrets Of The Ninja.