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David Week - Subud without Theology

Alternate "explanations" of what the "latihan" is (1). From Philip Quackenbush, January 7, 2010. Time 7:5

Hi, David,

The other day, while trying to organize my documents file, I came across a few quotes you had sourced from the Net and sent me about spontaneous movement, etc., in response to something I had posted on the S-talkers group site a couple of years ago. The next day I got an email about a comment to this article, and thought it would be relevant, not only to the article, but to the whirled kongres in News E-land, as alternate "explanations" of the "latihan" to the SOP one that you run in to in virtually every SUBgroup. Maybe somebody at the kongres can use it (if made aware of it) in some sort of workshop to come up with alternative "explanations" of what the "latihan" is. Since it probably amounts to more than 80 lines, I'll send it in a couple of other posts to follow

Peace, Philip

From Philip Quackenbush, January 7, 2010. Time 8:50

Alternate "explanations" of what the "latihan" is (2)

Repetitive, slow movement facilitates the function of the autonomic
nervous system by lowering sympathetic nervous system activity and
raising parasympathetic nervous system activity. These two parts of
the autonomic nervous system function to regulate and control a wide
variety of physiological activities that are vital to the healthy
functioning of the respiratory, digestive, urogenital and
reproductive systems. Generally, the sympathetic nervous system is
associated with an activated musculoskeletal system. It inhibits the
functions of the digestive and reproductive systems by shunting blood
to the muscles and stimulating the release of hormones that heighten
and increase awareness and readiness for motor action, or the "fight
or flight" state. The parasympathetic nervous system functions by
activating the digestive and reproductive systems. It stimulates the
restorative functions that the body needs to recover from sympathetic
nervous system arousal. Blood is shunted to the deep internal organs
for use in digestion and nourishing the body. In a society where
crisis and stress are frequent, the dilemma is acquiring adequate
time for the parasympathetic system to do its part in recovering from
sympathetic arousal. The restorative functions not only support the
immune system but act to prevent aging and chronic diseases due to
the habitual over-activity of crises and stress. The rhythmic action
of repetitive movement helps remove the cellular byproducts of stress
and facilitates the activation of parasympathetic functions.

There are over 3500 various styles of qi-gong, one of which is Tai-
chi. The movements of the various Qi-gong styles stimulate the
parasympathetic nervous system that activates our healing response,
switching our nervous system over from the sympathetic or stress
related “fight or flight” mode. The resulting effect is that the
endocrine system is balanced rather than excessively flooded with
adrenaline and the nervous system is relaxed instead of overworked.

From Philip Quackenbush, January 7, 2010. Time 8:55

Alternate "explanations" of what the "latihan" is (3)

Among various vegetative nerves, the sympathetic and parasympathetic
nerve systems are classified as efferent nerves that control the
internal organs. The antagonistic movements between those two nerve
systems directly influence the organ functions. Because of that, a
harmony between those two nerve systems becomes critical to human
health. The damages or twists of balance between them construes the
important causes of diseases.

Respiration: When one is practicing, the rate of respiration
decreases while the duration of each breath increases. Such an
increase in the period of inhalation and exhalation will enlarge the
scope of the diaphragm's activity, causing a greater flow in the
volume of air, increasing the practitioner's lung capacity. When one
is practicing deep breathing, the breath often seems to stop, but
actually becomes a series of micromovements of the breathing muscles.
Animal experiments have shown that the increased excitation of the
C.N.S. when exhaling can spread to the parasympathetic nerve center,
while the increased excitation when inhaling can spread to the
sympathetic nerve center. This would suggest that through deliberate
regulation of the respiration and deeper breathing one can promote
the tendency to stabilize any functional imbalance of the autonomic
nerve system.

For the answer, we must understand how the autonomic nervous system
(ANS) works. This is what runs our body behind the scenes, not under
our conscious control. The ANS regulates our heart-rate, our
respiration, our immune system, our temperature control, our organ
function, our hormones etc., all in the background while we carry on
with our life. There are three parts to the ANS - the sympathetic
system, the parasympathetic system and the enteric system. For our
purposes today, we will discuss the sympathetic, otherwise known as
the "fight or flight" system, and parasympathetic or "rest and
repair" system and their interaction.

From Philip Quackenbush, January 7, 2010. Time 9:0

Alternative "explanations" for what the "latihan" is (4)

The SNS and the PNS generally have opposite functions - when we are
under stress, the sympathetic system raises our heart-rate, increases
our respiratory rate, releases cortisol, our stress hormone to help
us cope, shunts the blood from the digestive tract into the muscles
so that we can either run away from or fight whatever is threatening
us. If organ systems in the body are unhealthy and therefore stressed
for one reason or another, or we are mentally or emotionally
stressed, that increases sympathetic load as well. The sympathetic
system by its very nature is catabolic, meaning it breaks down muscle
tissue due to the increased levels of cortisol secreted. High-
intensity physical exercise is also sympathetic in nature - the heart-
rate goes up, respiration goes up, body temperature goes up, and
cortisol is released into the blood stream. I have explained in
previous tips how cortisol turns blood sugar into fat. (No, I’m not
saying exercise is bad!) When the threat is dealt with, the
parasympathetic system slows our heart-rate and respiration back
down, brings the blood back to the digestive tract so that we can
digest our food, and works to repair any tissue damage, increases
libido etc. Night time is when the parasympathetic system has lots
of time to do its job, provided we go to bed early enough. The
sympathetic and parasympathetic systems should balance each other
nicely, and in those people that have a balanced nervous system,
high- intensity exercise will lead to fat loss, as the
parasympathetic rest-time between workouts is when muscle tissue is

Question: What happens, physiologically, when you practice Qigong?
In the practice of Qigong, there are many physiological mechanisms at
work. First, Qigong accelerates oxygen distribution in the body at a
time when your muscles are not rapidly using it as they would be in
aerobics or running. This enables cells to begin their repair work.
Second, there is a tremendous benefit to the immune system. Qigong
shifts the body into a state where the autonomic nervous system moves
toward parasympathetic-sympathetic balance, which then supports and
enhances the activities of the immune system. Third, Qigong helps to
turn on the body's "garbage disposal system" known as the lymph,
thereby eliminating toxins, metabolites, and pathogenic factors from
the tissues. You can see in Western physiological terms that there is
a profound medicinal effect created in the human body by doing these

Question: Is there a simple exercise I can do to feel the Qi?
The Chinese call this "spontaneous Qigong." Stand with your feet
shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, your spine upright,
shoulders relaxed. Start to flex or bounce at the knees; then, still
bouncing, shift your weight back and forth from your right to left
legs. Keep your breath deep, full, and relaxed. Begin to snap all of
your fingers, flipping each one past your thumbs. Then, still
bouncing and finger-snapping, twist at your waist, to the right, then
to the left. Keep doing all this, plus as you exhale, make it a sigh
of relief. Do 5 of these sighs in a slow and relaxed manner. Now
close your eyes, turn your attention inward, and feel that buzzing,
humming, or tingling sensation that's in your hands, legs, and body.
This is Qi. You are literally feeling the activity of the profound
medicine you have produced within yourself.

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