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Thread: Practicing on the Astral

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    Default Practicing on the Astral

    Okay, this is a little weird, but I'll bet some of you know what I'm talking about.

    I believe that we an learn a lot while we're dreaming. I don't mean dream interpretation or anything like that; I mean that one of the places we go when we dream is called the astral and I think there is much kenpo to be had there.

    Have you ever taken a break of six months or a year or several years away from the art and yet, when you return you're better than you were?

    Or you do something in your technique or kata and you don't know where you learned it? But you know it's right?

    I was thinking about that when I read the post about someone's upcoming test and someone told him to dream kenpo thoughts.

    I found it's really interesting sometimes to imagine, before I go to sleep, that on that night, I'm going to go to a kenpo seminar. (I'm sure some of you can TEACH the seminar, but you know what I mean.) And sometimes when I awaken, I remember doing kenpo in my sleep.

    I've probably seen some of you.

    Try it and maybe we can workout together.

    Weird, but interesting.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    There have been numerous stories about "mental" training. Athletes who went to war, couldn't practice but visualized themselves doing so, and coming back better than they left. I believe that in some things, if you see yourself doing it, it will help you to become better.
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Well, I haven't had any kenpo dreams, AFAIK, but when I was first starting, I would "meditate" on the forms and everything before going to sleep...Id lay there and go thru every little thing, seeing what Id remember and what I didn't.

    So much is mental...this "virtual" walking thru of everything helps
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    Default Yes & No

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    Okay, this is a little weird, but I'll bet some of you know what I'm talking about.

    I believe that we an learn a lot while we're dreaming. I don't mean dream interpretation or anything like that; I mean that one of the places we go when we dream is called the astral and I think there is much kenpo to be had there.

    Have you ever taken a break of six months or a year or several years away from the art and yet, when you return you're better than you were?

    Or you do something in your technique or kata and you don't know where you learned it? But you know it's right?

    I found it's really interesting sometimes to imagine, before I go to sleep, that on that night, I'm going to go to a kenpo seminar. (I'm sure some of you can TEACH the seminar, but you know what I mean.) And sometimes when I awaken, I remember doing kenpo in my sleep.

    I've probably seen some of you.
    Try it and maybe we can workout together.

    Weird, but interesting.
    --Amy
    I think that a large part of this has to do with how you define "astral". I'm very familiar with metaphysical theory and modern psychology. I'll approach what you are talking about along both of these lines:
    1st: Psychology.

    As I'm sure anyone with a High School diploma knows, dreams and "dream-work" has been a major player in the field of psychology. Especially when you get into the analytical folks like Freud and Jung. I especially like/enjoy Jung!! Today there are some very interesting studies in dreams, especially in what is termed "Lucid Dreaming". Here is a decent place to begin if you want to know more about the practice of Lucid Dreaming.
    ((it's got some related links below, some good.....some......wonkey))
    From the sound of your description, you are describing more of a "lucid dreaming" experience. Especially your talk of imgagining going to a seminar as you head to sleep. This is the primary means of Lucid Dream-state induction that I come across and find most handy. If you want to "lucid dream" about dancing, see yourself heading into the dance hall of the greatest dance instructor the world has ever known....focus on it as you head into sleep, hold it in your mind....etc. That sort of thing. Like I said; you've either been trained or have stumbled upon one of the best forms of lucid dream induction that I know of.
    This leads me to the next section:

    2nd: Metaphysics.
    The Astral Plane is a theory that gets tossed back and forth w/in New Age circles so much that it's harder than H-E-(double hockey sticks) to pin down w/a definition. It's earliest recorded useage came from the Renaisance Alchemical tomes by the likes of Roger Bacon, John Dee and Edward Kelly...etc. Then it was bandied about by Helena P. Blavatski in her "Theosophic Society" at the turn of the 20th century. ...sorry, don't mean to drag this point out... many "experts" refer to the "Astral" w/only the slightest inkling of an idea of what they are talking about.
    What's interesting to me: You mentioned something that's actually generally accepted as correct about it... getting there by way of "abnormal dreams", as Dee put it.
    No matter who's metaphysical ping-pong paddle the "Astral" concept has bounced off of...almost all agree that one of the best ways to "Get" there is by means of dream induction... today known as Lucid Dreaming. ((see how I'm tying those together?))
    BUT: Though one can "Lucid Dream" their way into an Astral Experience, it would take a very experienced Lucid Dreaming Adept to be able to have experiences like those you are speaking of.

    Do you have a regular meditation practice, or some form of spiritual/mental discipline that you adhere too? These can often lead to this kind of skill.

    Most people that believe in "Astral" experiences agree that to be able to "Fully and bodilly" experience the Astral takes a great deal of study, training and practice. That's why I'm NOT saying that you Don't have them, but that the common populace doesn't. So you probably haven't seen many of the board members here....there.

    The thought of practicing martial arts in the "Astral Plane" is interesting. Do you feel that there'd be any Karmic backlash at all? Exhibiting violence at such a fine and subtle level of life?
    Curious...

    Your Brother (who collects books, but only weird ones)
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard
    There have been numerous stories about "mental" training. Athletes who went to war, couldn't practice but visualized themselves doing so, and coming back better than they left. I believe that in some things, if you see yourself doing it, it will help you to become better.
    VERY VERY true Bob!!
    This is the Cap-Stone of Sports Psychology!!! Neuropsychologist have determined also that when you vividly and intensely visualize ((which is a misnomer...one should involve ALL of the senses, not just vision)) yourself performing a skill, your neural network fires off the exact sequence of neural activity needed to accomplish it....even though your body never moved.

    That's really interesting when you consider the neurological effect of continued repetitive use of certain pathways. It's called myelinization. Myelin is the sheath of lipid acids that coat the axon (longest section of the nerve). Myelin protects the axon in two ways: 1st as an insulation, 2nd by moving the nerve impulse along faster...so it's not around to do damage. The myelin forms in bunches, the electrical impulse moves along the surface of the axon....when this happens often enough then the axon forms more myelin to protect it. Now the electrical impulse doesn't just move straight along the axon, but it actually arcs over the fatty myelin 'bunch' that's formed. When the useage continues... then the axon gathers larger bunches of myelin, so instead of several arcs...they become fewer but larger arcs to get from one side of the myelin sheath to the other, again reducing the time it takes to travel.
    Those neurons that have the most myelin are the most stable neurons as well...and are that much easier to access.
    SO??

    well...when we practice Kenpo, each time we are activating certain specific clusters of neurons...after a Great deal of repeated use like this...we get a better neural impulse.....send a faster message for response and reaction!!

    LONG STORY SHORT: (((too late)))
    Train OFTEN, it gives you a much better reaction time!!!

    Your Brother
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    Have you ever taken a break of six months or a year or several years away from the art and yet, when you return you're better than you were?

    Amy
    Amy,

    I've gone a couple of weeks without sparring, and felt better than when I was sparring everyday. Probably because I gave my body a chance to heal.

    As for six months, one year, or several years off Kenpo - I have a VERY hard time believing someone would ever be better than when they were training. Much worse is more likely.


    Jamie Seabrook
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    I have a VERY hard time believing someone would ever be better than when they were training. Much worse is more likely.
    No Doubt Jamie!!
    Nothing beats actually DOING Kenpo! At best mental exercises are a minor supplement! During recovery from an injury (something I'm VERY VERY familiar with ) These supplements are really helpful! But if you Can get up and move, you Really should.

    Also: Olympic athletes make Great use of mental training. It's one of the reasons that the Russians did so well for so long and left us scratching our heads... (that plus better, more subtle anabolic-steroids)). Olympic athletes gain their excellence through a relentless pursuit of their event!! They push their bodies to limits that are far beyond the limits of even above average people and build mansions upon the foundation of their gifts, talents and skills!! But....they often injure themselves! When you put your body on the line like that so often...something's bound to occur. So instead, they've gotten to the point that they are so 'in-tune' with their body that they have a better sense of their own point of over-load... so when they reach it, they back off, practice relaxation (good for what ails-ya no matter) and become experts at intense/vivid visualization training in their event!!! If you think about what I wrote earlier of the neurological benefit of visualization... they put in more "neural work" than someone who JUST performs their event.
    Something to think about. Take your body to the limit, then take your mind further!!

    Your Brother
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Hi.

    A couple of things: When I talked about being better after a break, I didn't mean immediately. It does take a little while to get caught up again. But I noticed that after I took six months to get back into shape, that I had more insights and moved much better than before I left. I've had numerous breaks over the years for schooling, kids, etc. and it has always been that way when I came back.

    Back to the astral: I don't think you need a lot of training to go on the astral; I think you need some training to be aware of yourself there. There are many levels of the astral -- some good and some not so good. You get there through a silver cord in your third chakra (where you chi is located).

    I've woken up in the middle of the night with a start sometimes with the awareness that I had been doing karate on the astral. I saw some instructors that I know.

    Haven't you ever noticed that you found certain inserts or concepts that you suddenly either just KNEW or applied differently and don't know where you got the information? I think it's often from the astral.

    And no, I don't think there is any karma attached. It's all good learning to me.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
    I'm a member of the Universal Life Church and the ULC Seminary. I'm also a Sacramento Wedding Minister and Disc Jockey
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong
    Back to the astral: I don't think you need a lot of training to go on the astral; I think you need some training to be aware of yourself there.

    You get there through a silver cord in your third chakra (where you chi is located).

    Haven't you ever noticed that you found certain inserts or concepts that you suddenly either just KNEW or applied differently and don't know where you got the information? I think it's often from the astral.
    --Amy
    As to your thoughts on what training you need, good point. Didn't think of it like that. Most of the theories I'm familiar with that call the process "Getting there" could more accurately be rendered "realizing you're there" as they also state that it's just another layer of the onion of the here and now.

    On the use of the "third chakra': I take it you are involved in a form of Yoga then? Kundalini/Tantra??
    I'd never hear of using the manipura or 'fire' chakra for astral projection. that's interesting. Thanks for bringing it up, it gives me an excuse to read more.

    About dicovering new inserts or other "Ah-ha" instances. I'm not a beliver in the "astral" as it's put forth in many disciplines, I just find the theories interesting food for thought. So I'm not going to say that we do or don't go there or learn there. BUT: I will say that I think there's a much more mundane reason that we have these "ah-ha!" experiences in Kenpo: Hard work and mental focus. When you do something for a while you gain insights. When you seek out more and more instruction, more insight. When you closely observe someone who expresses the art with authority and excellence.... you can gain lots of nuances, even without having realized you gained them.

    ...but it's something to think about.

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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong

    Back to the astral: I don't think you need a lot of training to go on the astral; I think you need some training to be aware of yourself there. There are many levels of the astral -- some good and some not so good. You get there through a silver cord in your third chakra (where you chi is located).

    I've woken up in the middle of the night with a start sometimes with the awareness that I had been doing karate on the astral. I saw some instructors that I know.

    Haven't you ever noticed that you found certain inserts or concepts that you suddenly either just KNEW or applied differently and don't know where you got the information? I think it's often from the astral.

    And no, I don't think there is any karma attached. It's all good learning to me.

    --Amy
    Amy,

    I think you are a great person with a lot of martial arts talent, but I have to say, I don't buy any of this astral stuff.


    Jamie Seabrook
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Most people don't. It's pretty obscure and the majority of sources that speak on it don't even agree with one another.
    But I do think it's interesting.

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    John
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    We have a lot more members now so this might be a good thread to bring back to light.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    I've had my share of rem kenpo dreams and I wish they had been all that I would have loved them to be. Alas no. I find myself fighting and looking great and doing absolutely no damage. My opponent falls back ward and keeps coming back in. Over and over and over. Ugh! EXCEPT for the superhero dream that I have that I love where I kick major butt. hehe - and I wear really rock'n superhero spandex.

    Seriously though a large part of my personal training has been through meditation almost like a day dream state. When I cannot practice in the pysical, practicing in the mental is almost as good. Larry produced a flash kenpo CD, where he goes through all the belts and calls out the names of the techniques and pauses in between allowing you to concentrate your mind and visualize your movement. I know Amy has done the same thing on her own before. I think it can be a valuable aid.

    Not exactly on the astral though... or else I'm just really bad.
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    To me practicing on the astral simply means doing a form or techniques in my mind. I was laid up in the hospital for 9 days last year and I practiced daily without getting out of bed.
    Sometimes if I need a distraction like if I am giving blood or at the dentist I will do a form in my mind. It always relax's me and sort of "takes me away"


    Amy - I havent ever taken a complete break but on several occasions my training was temporarily cut back severely. On more than one occasion after gearing back up I have felt as though I had improved somehow. Somehow I was moving better or something...I dunno. I just chalked it up to getting better with age.
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerstripes
    To me practicing on the astral simply means doing a form or techniques in my mind. I was laid up in the hospital for 9 days last year and I practiced daily without getting out of bed.
    Sometimes if I need a distraction like if I am giving blood or at the dentist I will do a form in my mind. It always relax's me and sort of "takes me away"
    Being on the astral happens when you're asleep. I do a lot of visualizing of kenpo too. I try and explain that to my students to see it clearly in your head, but I don't know that they get it yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerstripes
    Amy - I havent ever taken a complete break but on several occasions my training was temporarily cut back severely. On more than one occasion after gearing back up I have felt as though I had improved somehow. Somehow I was moving better or something...I dunno. I just chalked it up to getting better with age.
    I envy people who have managed to go consistently over the years. I know that if I'd never stopped, I would be a lot farther along, but with age and distance, (theoretically) comes perspective.

    Maybe it's just that while you're taking a break with your body, your mind is still working on stuff in the back of your head. When I took off for six years, people asked me, 'did you have to re-learn everything?' and what's weird is that I didn't. I remembered up through long 3 and I remembered about 80% of my techniques. So somewhere in my brain, kenpo was happening.

    --Amy
    The New Kenpo Continuum Book is now accepting submissions for volume 2. Our fabulous, ever-changing website is Sacramento Kenpo Karate.
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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    I "push" visualization as a great training method. If you can perform an entire form or technique "in your head" and see it clearly in your mind, you will execute it more efficiently in the "realy-real" world. =)

    Of course, if you have Kenpo on the brain when you go to sleep in just makes sense that you would also dream about it.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Visualization can be an excellent addition to your training, especially if talked through visualization exercises by a come soothing voice.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Personally, I find that when I meditate on what I'm doing, I do better at it. Meditation for me ... I guess I could describe it as a mix of visualization, focus, and analysis.

    I believe my body benefits from a healthy night's sleep, but I think that is the primary benefit of my sleep on my Kenpo.

    Just my thoughts though!

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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    Okay, this is a little weird, but I'll bet some of you know what I'm talking about.

    I believe that we an learn a lot while we're dreaming. I don't mean dream interpretation or anything like that; I mean that one of the places we go when we dream is called the astral and I think there is much kenpo to be had there.

    --Amy
    Amy,
    In your post you are actually talking about 3 different concepts.

    The first concept is what Shafica Karagulla wrote about in her book, "Through the Curtain".

    Find the book on amazon.com.

    Read that and come back to me if you've any questions on it.

    Those who "know" call it NIGHT SCHOOL, which is a system of learning while sleeping which is just as valid (to them) as is going to college on this plane of existence. The Material Plane.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Practicing on the Astral

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook View Post
    Amy,

    I think you are a great person with a lot of martial arts talent, but I have to say, I don't buy any of this astral stuff.


    Jamie Seabrook
    www.seabrook.gotkenpo.com
    Hey Jamie,

    No offense, but many of the people I have known who have strong faith in God don't tend to buy into it. Some even 'fear' it. I'm not suggesting this is you, it's just been my past observations.

    I guess we're all looking for something and some are fortunate to find the explanations for our world.

    Mark
    Last edited by execkenpo; 04-19-2007 at 09:06 PM. Reason: more accurate representation of my meaning

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