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Ten Chi Nin; Heaven, Earth & Soul

Hi there! After some time of silence and contemplating on things and ideas, I felt it was time to share with you another blog.

This time I want to talk to you about my personal project: Ten Chi Nin.

The words originate from Japanese: Ten = Heaven, Chi = Earth. Nin literally translates as ‘patience’ or ‘endurance’. It is often used in the word ‘Ninja’ or ‘Shinobi’. To me personally it links to the human aspect of these ancient warriors, and their ‘Tamashi’ or Soul/Spirit. So, to me Nin translates as ‘Soul’ or ‘Human’.

Ten Chi Nin: Heaven, Earth and Human

This name has different layers of truth.

On one layer it refers to us as human beings moving in between the two extremities: Heaven and earth. There is an upward energy, named by some as Yin, Shakti, Moon, Ida, or Earthly Qi. and there is a downwards energy, named as Yang, Shiva, Sun,Pingala or Heavenly Qi. The humans are influenced by both, as Earth energy provides us stability, rest, coolness, grounding, heaviness, sleep and Heaven energy provides us activity, motion, heat, forward motion.

In a balanced human, both Earth en Heaven is balanced and ready to be called upon. When we need to push forward, start the day, use our intellect and so on we use Heavenly energy, when we need to relax, recuperate, sleep and follow our intuition we use Earthly energy.

This principle has been known for centuries and forms the base for many Eastern/Alternative Medicine.

On another level of truth, another way to see it is like this:

In traditional Hatha Yoga practice, the first stage is linked to Earth, where the focus is on gaining stability, instead of flexibility. Grounding postures, grounding breath (focus on exhalation), forward bends are among others specific aspects of this Earth stage of Hatha Yoga. Facing and dealing with the lower emotions (anger, fear, doubt, insecurity) and lower chakras (root, sex, navel, solar plexus).

The meditations are focused on the concept of not being the body, the thoughts, the emotions. Who is the observer of all this? Where and what is the soul?

The second stage is linked to the Human aspect; the ability to move, to take action, to create. The focus is on the higher emotions and chakras (heart, throat, ajna). Backbends, adding the bandha’s, focus on inhalation, inversions.

The meditations are focused on the concept of oneness, oneness with all. The unconditional love to all living creatures on this planet. The ability to help, share, inspire, heal.

The final stage is linked to the Heavenly aspect; we are god-like creatures. In us lies this dormant power that is ready to awake, to enlighten. The use of Kundalini is practiced. The focus now on the forehead and crown chakra, looking and connecting upwards to the Creator.

This brings us to yet another level of truth; Why the order of Ten Chi Nin: Heaven, Earth and Human Being?

Following the idea that God resides in us all, at one point in time we were one with It/Him/Her. We got separated and trough eons and eons of ‘involution’ and then ‘evolution’ went from mineral to plant to animal to human being, eventually to be re-united with the One. The soul is the part that somehow remembers and is the part of us that returns.

So, we ‘fell’ from Heaven to Earth, only to emerge as Humans; Ten Chi Nin

In my classes and workshops I use everything I know from my studies on Martial Arts, Healing Arts and Yoga, to remember who were, who we are and who we can ultimately be.

Whether I teach yoga, taijiquan, ninjutsu or shiatsu, I use the concept of Ten Chi Nin to explain the reason why we do all these exercises. Most of the time the students really seem to enjoy getting this ‘background information’ on the WHY and not so much the HOW.

Are you interested in my teachings (of course they are not mine, I borrow everything I know from the great teachers from the past and present); let me know and send me a message.

For now;

namaste (the soul in me sees and greets the soul in you)


Chris Schindeler

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