With just one month left in 2015 and the season of gift-giving in full swing, we wanted to interview some CYE energy experts to see what their favorite mindful tools are and how they use them.
We interviewed Byukwoon first. Taught by Ilchi Lee, he started practicing the ancient mind-body method of Sundo in 1980. Today he serves the Tao Fellowship as the headmaster and trainer at Sedona Mago Retreat in Sedona, Arizona. He travels all over the country, sharing Tao principles and living.
Q: Your fatigue must build up in your busy daily schedule of sharing the Tao. How do you relax?
What I use often for fatigue are the wooden pillows and bolsters. These are different from the fabric pillows and bolsters common in yoga classes. They are made of wood, and while that may sound incredibly uncomfortable, the opposite is actually true! I use the wooden pillow
when my neck hurts from sitting for a long time at a desk. Sitting in a chair, I hold a wooden pillow with both hands against my neck and rotate my neck from side to side to relieve fatigue and built up tension. By moving your head side to side and stimulating the nerves in your neck, you can relieve blockages and knotted muscles. When your neck is relaxed, your head becomes clearer, you can breathe easier, and your eyes also release tension.
What's more, you'll see a reduction in hair loss, and your skin tone will improve. I also use the wooden pillow to tap and massage my thighs and buttocks. If you use the wooden pillow lying down, you can use your bodyweight to massage and relax your muscles naturally. I do this before I go to sleep and when I take a break once or twice during the day.
While sitting in a chair, you can set up an upper back bolster
between your chair and your back. When you do this, your upper body will straighten out and your posture will be corrected. If you sit for long periods of time throughout the day, your third chakra can get compressed as your lower abdomen weakens and your upper body slouches forward. When you do this for a long time, you can develop digestion problems and energy stagnates in that area, which can lump together like a hard ball. Opening your chest as you lean back in a seated posture like this is good for blood and energy circulation and also good for getting work done. Your spine isn't as fatigued as when you're just sitting in a chair.
Moving and rotating your arms with the upper back bolster in place realigns the bones between your shoulders and back. The bones in your back move a little differently depending on the position of your hands. Try moving your trunk from side to side or rotating your hips. Your internal organs will then relax because all the bones in your back are relaxed. Your muscles adjust, your organs heal, blood and energy flow into your lower body, and the lateral balance of your muscles adjusts. Because of these changes, your body becomes more flexible and the energy is able to spread through it evenly, causing you to develop more strength.
The ankle massager
is very useful for your hip joints, arthritis in the knees, and for your calves and thighs. It is good to use the ankle massager while practicing the toe tapping exercises while lying down as well. You can even use it standing by placing the ankle massager between your legs, squeezing and relaxing them repeatedly to develop strength in your inner thighs and mimic the effect of doing kegel exercises.
When you're sitting in a chair, place the ankle massager below your feet and do acupressure side to side and front to back. You can also move your feet around freely and wiggle your toes; energy will sink into your lower body, making your head clearer, improving your concentration, and relieving fatigue. This is great to do if you sit at a desk all day or even while you’re watching TV at home. It's also good for treating foot-related diseases. You can even use the ankle massager as a tool to massage along your thighs and calves.
The Hantoryum Mat
is a kind of mini training center: a one-stop-shop. It keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It works well for doing training on it, like meditation or breathing postures. You can lay it on your bed and sleep on it, and it's also good for performing healing. There are many uses for this product and different sizes for your needs as well.
When you have a chill or a cold, cover the mat with a blanket or sheet and lie on it with another blanket over you. Your body temperature will warm easily. It’s like a natural heating pad using your body’s own heat source. You could lie there until you're sweating or even sleep for a little while. Once you're sweating or your body is warmer, enjoy a cool breeze or take a shower. It's good to repeat this about three times a day. You'll experience a great deal of healing as it acts kind of like a sauna. It's recommended to cover the mat with a sheet so that your body and the mat don't touch each other directly.
Q: What items do you often carry with you and use to change your mood?
When I want to open my meridian points and heal places where I hurt, I use Bird of the Soul Essential Oil
. It is most effective when applied to the tip of your nose or to your injung point, because the scent goes straight into your sinuses. I apply it to places where I want to open meridian points, like the dahnjon or myeongmun, to receive and gather energy. It's also good to add it to the water
when you take a warm bath. Burning it
in a diffuser or candle thoroughly eliminates any bad smells in the room and improves the mood in general.
If possible, I don't apply it to places on my body where I have an injury or any swelling. I like to put a few drops in the final rinse water I use when I wash my face or feet. If you don't wipe off the water with the essential oil after you wash, but instead let it dry, it's good for your skin and the pleasant scent is nice for you and anyone near you. You can even spray it
on your body or head, like perfume or cologne. Just add some water and a few drops of the oil in a small spray bottle. As for applying it directly, you can easily get to sleep if you use it before going to bed. After a meal, I apply a little to my lips or use a small amount when I brush my teeth. It can eliminate periodontitis and also get rid of bad breath. When you're going to use it in your toothpaste, make sure you choose a safe, ingestible essential oil product.
When I do ki checkups, I like to use the acupuncture crystal
. I hold the crystal wand in my hand and use it to press and push energy points, relaxing tension. The acupuncture crystal is good especially for older people since it's easy to hold and use. It's extremely effective to press or sweep the area around the navel
to relieve tension and enjoy a gentle stone massage. If you touch the crystal to your head
when your head is hot, the crystal takes away the heat, lowering your temperature and getting rid of your headache. Aquamarine
, however, is the most effective crystal because it is clear, refreshing, and clean, so it extracts stagnant energy from your body. Using a tool like this instead of your hand is easier and more convenient. It also has a healing effect. Energy enters your body when you place it on meridian points like the jangshim or yongcheon.
Aquamarine has an acupressure effect if you use it to gently press the baekhwe point on your head. You can also experience incredible relief by moving it around to different places on your head. This serves as a check-up, especially since places that hurt more when you press on them might have a problem. All you have to do is press and massage very gently here and there on your body and pay attention to the sensation. Just do it gently, enough so that you feel good.
Crystal is particularly good for healing your head, and if you use it to press and massage the v various energy points around your temples, eyes, ears and the base of your skull.
When I'm thirsty before and after training, I love to drink Hwangchil tea
. I also put tea in a tumbler and carry it around with me, drinking it when I want to. It's more effective if you add a little bamboo salt, just enough so that the tea isn't salty. If you light some Hwangchil incense when you train at home, distracting thoughts disappear and your place smells calm and soothing. Burning something like incense also gets rid of insects.
Q: As a Tao Master, are there any books you'd like to recommend to people?
You should just read the books you want to read and that you feel attracted to. But if I were to recommend my favorites, Healing Chakras
and The Solar Body
have good explanations of principles and training methods, and definitely have must-read content. The books already contain a lot of information, so all you have to do is read them and make them your own, feel them, and apply them in your daily life
Q: Finally, I'd like to ask you for a good message for closing out the year and welcoming 2016.
In our busy world, I ask you to take a moment to lay down your busy mind and slow your pace, enjoy this moment as you observe what you see around you. Take a moment to enjoy what you see around you. For this, it really helps to be grateful for and find the blessing in everything around you, which is there for
you. Whether it's 5 or 30 minutes a day, taking the time to train, examine yourself, and let go of yourself will help you continue to become who you want to be.
Learn more about Master Byukwoon’s online course
Solar Energy Circuit Healing & Meditation with Byukwoon.