Zazen

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Zazen

Postby Sorcerer » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:54 am

Is siting meditation as practiced in Zazen a form of Qi Gong? If yes, what meridians, elixier fields and cavities does it use and activate?
"There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy" FW Nietzsche
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Postby Maestromap » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:16 pm

Yes, it is a form of Qigong. It focuses of stopping thought (obviously) and relaxation to get smooth flow of qi which not only aids in the practice of qigong period but is an essential in moving on to more advanced forms of Nei Dan qigong. Zazen is also great for working on breath control and helping to steady your emotions.

I'm sure there are a boat load of people here who can give you a much better explanation, but here's my two cents anyway. :lol:
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Postby joeblast » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:35 am

I've found that thoughts naturally drop off when you properly focus your awareness/attention on the physical mechanisms of breath. Try to execute 'a perfect breath' (proper for the given cardiovascular rate of course) each time. It can be approached from either direction, I'm sure some people will find it easier to focus the mind on quiescence and in doing so the breath is naturally tempered - but I'm partial to working out the harmonies of the body parts until very harmonious, then lengthen, quiet...by producing that muscle memory for the other components you establish a habit-energy that becomes a path of least resistance for mental energy when you sit and relax.
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Zazen

Postby nitsuj » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:01 am

Good question,
I have been a less than regular practitioner of Soto Zen Buddhism for roughly 10 years now. I think it is safe to say that when using the word "zazen" you are referencing the seated meditation practice of Zen Buddhism.
Zazen in this regard is generally practiced with no particular goal in mind. Zazen in it's own IS the goal. We are not trying to stop the thoughts, we merely let them come and go, without pursuing them. This is called "just sitting". When we first start out, we will often observe the breath, even counting the breath. With experience we may choose to cease this.
Relaxation is key--- how else are you going to sit for long periods day in and day out? Often we might find instructions to focus on the navel, or dantien (false dantien). According to Dr. Yang Theory, this would lead Qi into the small circulation path, but with out embryonic breathing (real dantien), you are not able to store the Qi to abundant levels.
In zazen, we don't lead energy. We don't accumulate energy. We don't prepare for more advanced meditation. We just sit, concentrated and mindful, with nothing to gain.
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Postby Sorcerer » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:29 pm

I practiced Zazen with a dojo chapter of the International Zen Association in Berlin for about a year. I also used to practice Qigong. as well and I must say, at least viscerally, there do seem to be similarities between both practices.

If the goal in Zazen is to simply sit there, why is so much emphasis placed on correct posture and breathing? When I do zazen my body also feels as though its in the same situation / state as qigong (i feel energized, absorbed in my energy, concentrated and relaxed in both). Further what dr Yan calls regulating the body and regulating the mind also seem to be part of both practices and finally, i feel energy in both my dantian doing both practices.

I never really got into the buddhist theory behind meditation, i simply did it to reach higher states of consciousness. but if the goal is really just about sitting, why not simply stand or drink tea for that matter?
"There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy" FW Nietzsche
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Postby nitsuj » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:06 am

Shunryu Suzuki's Zen classic, "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" would be an excellent place to start to answer some of your questions. Some understanding of Buddhist (Zen in particular) theory is necessary to understand what is meant by "just sitting". For that matter, standing and/or drinking tea can certainly be very solid practices if your apply Buddhist "theory" (kinhin- or walking meditation- and tea ceremony ring any bells).
It is very easy to apply Dr. Yang's theory to seated meditation. However, if you're talking about "Zazen", the word for seated Zen meditation, then you need to know the Zen theory--- which you will not find in YMAA publications.
If you want to learn about chemistry, don't waste your time learning about learning science in general, learn about chemistry.
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Postby Sorcerer » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:35 pm

That book looks very good, I will read it.
"There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy" FW Nietzsche
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