Lo Ban Pai: How to Develop Body Consciousness

body-consciousness-lo-ban-pai

Studying the philosophy of Lo Ban Pai with Lujan Matus has yielded many insights that are of value precisely because they change how I perceive, experience and live life. Until recently, I had grossly underestimated the scope and role of movement practices in the cultivation of a Heart-Path.

The benefit of physical and energy body health was logical. However, I had not yet grasped the key role our bodies play in the cultivation of that transformative awareness that turns belief into a knowing. Here follows a testimony to the value of this system, and to the significance of one’s bodily experience as a teacher.

It began with one single reference experience of what Lujan called:

Accompaniment

During my last visit, while working through the Whispering Palms series, the topic of the role of movement practices came up. At one point, referring to something we had discussed earlier about relationships, Lujan stated: “the movements won’t guarantee that you won’t be lonely, but you will be accompanied”.

These words; “you will be accompanied” struck a chord. Lujan must have seen the gateway. In his typically practical approach he repositioned to indicate I follow him. “Come, let me show you…”, he said.

Following his lead I performed the movement we were busy with, ending in a golden turtle back-lock. “Feel that” he said as we were doing the movement. I was stunned:

Mid movement the sensation of feeling energy with my palms (that I expected) changed and expanded. I was perceiving directly with both my body, an unmistakable presence right there with us in the room. It was impersonal, vast and entirely beyond description. The kicker was that it was aware of me and somehow letting me know that.

Lujan continued and my attention shifted. “Amazing isn’t it?”, he said smiling, knowing I had felt what I did.

This one brief reference experience started a chain reaction in my awareness, unlocking insights about other concepts I had previously engaged only intellectually. It has been said one learns best from experience. Perhaps what this post seeks to impress most is the role the body, through movement practices, can play in creating those transformative experiences. Some examples follow below:

Accommodation

Later in that same session Lujan said more about the gestures of the movement practices. “One could say the movements beckon the spirit, but that makes it sound like one has control. There is no control of the infinite. But when you are impeccable in your practice, you make a space for it to come to you. You learn to “accommodate it”. Something clicked.

Sincerity

The word ‘impeccable’ within the above context illuminated something Lujan focused on some years earlier (during a group training in Dragon’s Tears):

“You cannot perform a gesture through movement alone. The movement must be sincere. Sincerity makes a movement a gesture”. He added -something to the effect- that: “One does not gesture TO, the spirit, one has a gesture WITH, the spirit. Yet, on one level one does beckon the spirit, but without sincerity that gesture can never be a gesture OF, the spirit.” Something else clicked.

Waiting for Not-Doing

Lujan covered the concept of ‘waiting’ extensively in the book ‘Shadows in the Twilight’. This topic in particular began to bring meaning to the core concept of Not-Doing. After discovering “the Art of Being, Knowing and Not-Doing” (fully described in the book ‘Whisperings of the Dragon’), Not-Doing became even more tangible thanks to the practice called the Eight Gates taught in this book. In my case, it was the experience of accompaniment that finally provided that gleaning of Not-Doing. I expect everyone will reach this gate in their own way.

Back into the Body

Learning from experiences that the mind is not the final seat of consciousness has been an amazing gift of developing ‘body consciousness’ through the movement practices of Lo ban Pai. Over time, tactile experience through body consciousness begin to permeate and coalesce the teachings, binding them into knowing that impact my way of being, rather than trying to theorize concepts mentally to try and manipulate my doings.

When choosing to walk ‘a Path with Heart’, or to follow ‘The Way’, the practical question that arises is; How? What has made a “… system of spiritual development through the continuous cultivation of awareness, energy and alignment with the heart”, real for me, are the experiences that come via my body through the movement practices.

Learning with Lujan makes this journey a dual treasure. I echo the many sentiments of praise and gratitude so many others have posted here.

In closing; Since our next evolutionary step lies in fully bringing our dreaming attention into this, the real world, and in so doing to manifest the ‘third attention’, I cannot think of a better way to cultivate it than through the very body this third attention must manifest in.

Perhaps that is why at the end of most visits, Lujan’s parting word to me is not “cheers!”, but “Practice!”.

With gratitude
Henk Boshoff

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12 Comments
  1. henk you have a very clear way of putting things into writing that i really appreciate. i enjoyed reading the part about accompaniment’s awareness experiencing your awareness of it’s awareness, and your experience is now in the room observing my experience, observing your experience and so on. now i’ve cracked up laughing. writing what can’t be written. ha. wonderful!

  2. Thank you for your beautiful gesture of sharing your experience, Henk. I love the way you touch the points where the teachings become clear to the student.

    I have also noticed the body consciousness increasing as I practice. It is a simple gesture to make space for something to come into your life. Keeping the body healthy and the mind quiet allows for that space to remain open.

  3. Henk, I like how your posts always remind the reader to put the head knowledge in the back seat and placing application and practice behind the driver’s wheel and leaving expectation in the dirt by the roadside. Vital advice. The engagement of our whole being in this “path or way” attracts me strongly to it. The “how-to” love your neighbor, the “how-to” follow the golden rule is made succinct and applicable; taking these ways of knowing, being and not-doing from words on a page to a realization, a fruition, a manifestation of change
    and…. I also want to give a warm thank you to Mizpah for providing nutritional guidance and information to help clean up the toxic waste heap that has become our bodies so we are more tuned up to receive and transmit what we are meant to.

  4. Oh, goodness! This is such a wonderful post. I found myself first devouring it, then deliberately slowing myself down in order to allow the meaning time to sift and settle. Definitely words to be reread.

    What especially resonates for me is the section on “sincerity:” “One does not gesture TO the spirit but one has a gesture WITH the spirit…but without sincerity that gesture can never be a gesture OF the spirit”

    Thank you, Henk, for this gesture, and thank you, Lujan, for the continued inspiration.

  5. Henk, Thank you for sharing this wonderful awakening into the deep communion that is our relationship with the intangible. I cry happy tears reading your words and laugh at the magic of it at the same time.

    For those who have not yet experienced Lo Ban Pai, it is a true testament to what it can develop within the seer. Alone, but accompanied. A song that never be unsung. A bell that rings for all eternity. What else do we need to know, to know what we must do?

    Gate, Gate, Paragate, Para Sam gate Bodhi svaha.

    So much love to you, Henk, dearest brother. And to you, Lujan. I’m waiting without waiting for the next chance to share in the beauty of this opportunity you have given us. In the mean time, practice!

    Love,

    Luma

  6. I wana learn movements with lujan how London do you think he’ll live for?

  7. Another sixty years. I plan to live to 120.

  8. Haha! Me, too!

  9. Thank you, Henk, with your post you help me

  10. Dear Henk

    Thank you so very much for your post
    Your sharing of Lujan’s words “alone but accompanied” is so very meaningful and has given words to something I recently experienced and have struggled to “capture” in words. I know I know, we are not meant to do that but it’s a delight to have read your account.
    It’s simply beautiful and it has been with me since like a gentle soft music in the background.

    I want to share something about gestures with sincerity stimulated by your post; a few nights ago I decided to go to bed without spending time at my I pad because I feel ist become an addiction and is not good for my sleep and my well being. It took a lot,of my will power to stick to this decision, plus I turned off all electronics etc. I woke up,in the morning and was met with this sense of a presence you described, a totally unexpected and moving surprise. It was as if I had made room for another part (of me?) to be with me instead of the outer world.

    I am very excited to be doing dragons tears this year and am having interesting experiences with the 8 gates. I have not yet quite made it to my heart, but I am preserving.

    And to David, don’t wait for lujan to stay alive ;-)

    Love to everyone

    Angelika

  11. Hi All,

    It was my pleasure to share. I don’t write as often as most of you, so thank you for your regular sharing.
    “Communal conductivity” just keeps making more and more sense. I suppose if it works for the 100th monkey it will work for us humans too.

  12. Hey, thats really wonderful! thanks Henk! Really way cool and helpful!

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It consists of a combination of dynamic and meditative movements that promote energy cultivation.

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