In the Sakharoff Protocol One-Pointed Attention is a practical way to get “now” into our everyday lives. It is a way to put a damper on stress and get us to relax and enjoy life much more.
One-Pointed Attention. What does it mean? How can we use it?
The one point that we are concentrate on is the hara point. A point in the diaphragm just below the navel. We should not touch it. Do not look at it. We will sense it. It is an ability that we train.
This point is a great tool that can make us more resistant to stress. It can improve our physical resilience and our immune system. It can help us deal with many challenges in daily life. In our family, between male and female, children and parents, and at work. It’s about being in one place in the present. Eckhart Tolle calls it “Power of Now”. One-Pointed Attention is a practical way to get the present moment into our daily lives and train the ability to stay there. So we are not pulled away by external distractions. We’ll stay where we are. We are not reactive. We perceive our surroundings as they are. We do not care when it does not fit our own perception of life.
All this we can train through the hara point. We call it radical acceptance. The ability to radically accept things as they are, and not become agitated. You stay calm. You focus on enjoying your life. Every single moment of your life.
Over time, as you work on it, you get better and better.
The story begins in India 4000-5000 years ago. They worked with seven chakra points along a center line in the body. Each of the seven points connects to different systems and functions. The Chinese adopted it from the Indians 2500-2000 years ago. They compressed it into a system with three chakras. The Japanese took it from the Chinese 1500-1000 years ago, and they compressed it to one point. In Japanese the name is Hara.
The Samurai have used it to train their martial arts. For them, One-Pointed Attention is a means of avoiding fear.
Fear means the difference between life and death for a samurai. If we are afraid of something, we begin to think and doubt. We hesitate and believe that we are good enough. It results in muscle tension and introduces errors. As a Samurai, if you are afraid you will most likely die in battle. It is an interesting insight.
In modern physiological terms, we go from sympathetic to parasympathetic response. That is, from fight and flight response to relaxation response. The latter response is good to be in when you have trained not only in the art of war but also in sports or at work. When you do not think too much, but are only in your senses.
The domain of thought is the head.
The domain of emotions is the heart.
The senses domain is stomach or hara.
The senses are somewhat physical. They are what connects us to our physical body, and bond can be trained. Sensitivity can be exercised, like muscles. This is called the hormonal effect. If we train a certain muscle every day, the brain will understand that this muscle needs a little more protein and a little more nutrient.
Similarly, we can train sensation and attention. As mentioned, this training is a key concept in the Sakharoff Protocol. It is a continuous element in our 50-week course.
You get better and better at relaxing when you train one point of attention every day. Even when you are moving.
This training strengthens your breathing muscle, so that the lower part of the lungs begin to receive more oxygen. This again promotes the oxygenation of the muscles and the blood and the supply of oxygen to the brain. The heart muscle gets more oxygen. Communication between neurons improves. There are many beneficial effects when we focus our attention and train it. We begin to be more calm, enjoy life and understand others better. Our empathy improves. Our ego becomes smaller. Our resistance to stress becomes much bigger – all through one point of attention.
As a man taking a shave, have you ever thought about the possibility of improving your shave with relaxation and One-Pointed Attention?
When you’re in the bathroom as a woman …
When you cook … when you eat. Here, One-Pointed Attention can increase the body’s sensitivity to micronutrients. The possibilities are endless.
While we are on the subject of food: On the island of Okinawa in Japan, people have very long lives. One of the interesting differences is the way they eat. It’s called Hara Hachi Bu, and that means: Eight out of ten for the stomach. Okinawa farmers stop eating when they are 80 percent full.
It is one of the oldest methods we can use to reverse various lifestyle diseases. We can connect it with modern dietary practices such as intermittent fasting, calorific restriction and therapeutic ketogenic diet.
The Japanese also say: Eight out of ten helps your health, ten out of ten helps your doctor. We can learn the wisdom with small steps to get it into our lives. Small steps are also a Japanese vision that we cultivate in the Sakharoff Protocol. With very small steps – in Japanese “kai zen” – we can realize very big visions over time.
My burning interest in human physiology is rooted in far-different areas of expertise such as martial arts, music and long professional career. My core competency lies in the combination of physiological knowledge regarding stress mechanisms and their close relationship with respiration, muscular tension and body balance.
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