There are studies that show a strong correlation between the way people walk or stand and the likelihood of their being physically attacked.  At Rahway State Prison in New Jersey, convicted muggers were shown videotapes of people walking on New York City sidewalks and asked which ones they would have mugged during their criminal careers.  In most cases, the muggers were in complete agreement with one another.  The people they would have picked as victims were not necessarily the smallest or weakest-looking, but rather those who were in some way out of balance, out of sync.  Those walking in a balanced and centered manner were hardly ever chosen as potential victims.

It takes courage and will to explore the drama that underlies every moment of every life and to show the subtle and ultimately definitive power of a way of being that leads towards greater harmony.

At first, it seems ridiculously simple:  All you have to do is put your attention on the center of your abdomen (hara in Japanese), at a point one inch or two below the navel, and things will be better in many ways.  This is true and it is rather simple and you get immediate results.  But the matter of centering has ramifications that could take a lifetime to play out.

The problem is that most of us don’t start out putting much attention on our physical centers.  When asked where their “I” is located, most people would say “In my head,” which seems logical enough.  After all, your brain, nose, mouth, eyes, and ears are located in that part of your body. 

When asked, “What area of the body do you associate with physical strength?” many people, especially men, would say, “The upper chest, shoulders, and arms.”   The answer is, totally off the mark.  The long muscles—thigh, buttocks, abdomen, back—that attach to the pelvic girdle are far stronger than the macho muscles of upper chest, shoulders and arms.