My Practice of the Five Rites (Continued)
I have the suspicion that the Five Rites work better for some people than for others, and that I
am one of the lucky ones. There is no way to guess why this might be, other than this is the
way everything else works so why not the Five Rites, as well.
Yet it might be interesting to describe my approach to the Rites in case others want to practice
them similarly. Together, we may get a sense of how better to practice the Rites.
The first thing I do is to practice the Rites as described . . . to the letter. I avoid embellishing
the Rites with my suppositions and speculations. I do experiment, but not with the idea of
somehow improving them but with the idea of seeing if "that" was what Colonel Bradford really
I certainly don't object to others making whatever changes seem best to them. Indeed, one
reason I published my reprint edition was so that others could put their own spin (ahem) on the
Rites. This is what the editors of the Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth did.
Unfortunately they presented their alterations of the Five Rites as being original instructions,
which they were not.
Far better are Carolinda Witt's works. She has made changes in the Rites but clearly states
exactly why. I hope others put forth their own ideas, but that they follow Carolinda's example
Yet my approach is to follow the original instructions as nearly as I can.
I do not treat the Rites as though they were calisthenics, and I suspect that many people do. I
do not practice them as though I am doing push ups; rather I do them more as a meditation,
than anything else. Meditation in motion. Nothing deep or heavy, just going through the Rites
mindfully and without hurry. I suspect that many people who do not get good results with the
Rites think they are just doing fancy push ups.
In Rite 1, I used to try spinning fairly rapidly. Never unsafely but still really cranking the turns
out. I have since slowed down considerably and now believe that the speed of the turning has
little if anything to do with the how or why the Rites work. I don't know if others experience
this but during Rite 1 both of my thumbs, especially my right thumb, feels very warm as though
energy is flowing through them.
I give myself permission to skip days doing the Rites. Due to some weighty matters that came
up, over the past two days, for example, I just didn't feel like doing them. No guilt. I plan on
doing them today but if I don't, no guilt. This makes it much easier to pick up the Rites again
because I no longer beat myself up over skipping a day or so, or longer, even much longer.
Just no guilt. It's harder to continue doing something that has become a source of guilt for you.
Also, I have given myself permission to do fewer than 21 repetitions. You know, some days you
are just running behind a bit, or you just are feeling cranky or whatever. On those days I will
do as few as seven repetitions of each Rite. While I am currently back up to 21 reps, for the
longest time I did only 15 reps. Just seemed sort of the right number for me to use and it kept
me going with the Rites at a time when I might have stopped had I been forcing myself to do 21
reps. It is better to do just seven reps or even just three reps rather than miss all 21.
There are some additional small things I do to aid with the Rites and perhaps I will cover them
soon in another post.