Printed in 1976, “Book of Ki” is the 5th book of Tohei’s that was publishes in English. At this time, Tohei’s Organization, the Ki Society, was in full swing and there was worldwide demand for his teaching of Ki.
This book feels like a sequel to “Aikido in Daily Life”. Again, there are no techniques in this book, it is filled with what I consider to be Aikido’s greatest teachings – the application to daily life.
Right in the preface, Tohei writes about the importance of the pillars of his teaching – the four principles to unify mind and body:
I regard my four basic principles to unify mind an body as having been given to me by the universe to spread the way of the universe. There have been many who have grasped unification of mind and body. Very few, however, could teach it. Fewer still could teach how to teach it.
While everyone knows that we need sleep to recharge ourselves Tohei writes:
New Ki flows into your body as you extend Ki. The better you are at extending Ki, the more efficient this “instant recharging” becomes, enabling you to restore physical and mental power with just a little sleep at night.
There was a time in my life that I was attracted to what some would consider the darker side of life. At that time I felt like I was being pulled in two directions. On one hand I liked the positive and healthy message of Aikido. On the other hand I liked dark music (Current 93, Death in June, etc). It was this paragraph that showed me that I had a choice and the choice became clear:
It is valid to say that God is love. It is justifiable to say that the universe is unmerciful. Everything depends upon your outlook. If you want to live a happy, vigorous and healthy life, you should look at the light side. If gloom and misery attract you, look at the dark side. If you want to walk south, you should walk south. You will never get there if you continue to walk north. You can spend your life crying or smiling. It’s up to you. If you want to look on the positive side of things, you ought to believe that the way of the universe is the way of love. You should practice using your mind positively and extending Ki. If, on the other hand, you want to look at the dark side of life, the path lies before you: believe that the source of life is unmerciful, use the mind negatively, complain, and pull Ki.
In the chapter titled “How to overcome disease” comes the excellent advise of not letting a physical problem become a mental one:
When you are sick, your extension of Ki becomes weak. The life force becomes enervated and the disease worsens and lingers. “If you have an ailment of the body,” goes a Japanese saying, “do not let it affect your mind.” If you keep a strong mind which extends Ki, your life power cures disease quickly. If, on the other hand, you worry over a slight headache and an odd feeling in the stomach, you are inviting trouble.
“Book of Ki” is out of print but sometimes used copies are available HERE.