Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Meditation and the Autonomous Nervous System

Zazen is the word used by Zen Buddhists for "Sitting Meditation" - The practice of Zazen is the only valuable way to actually progress in Buddhism. The following is part of an article by Gudo Nishijima about the relation between Zazen and the regulation of our Autonomous Nervous System.

My theory about the relation between the autonomic nervous system and Buddhism is only my supposition, but I have been utilizing it in explaining Buddhism for many years. And since I first arrived at this proposition many years ago, I have not met a case that caused me to change my theory. Therefore I would like to express my primitive proposition to the audience for reference. Of course, I am only a Buddhist monk and do not have sufficient knowledge of physiology, psychology, and so forth. However, in my experience, I have found it very useful to explain Buddhism on the basis of scientific knowledge, and so I would like to express my proposition on this occasion.

- Click here for the full article -

That the practice of Zazen helps balancing the 2 antagonistic sympathetic and para sympathetic parts of the autonomous Nervous system is a fascinating concept, and even better, it makes perfect sense.

Somehow, Mr Nishijima's hypothesis can be compared to Carl Jung's concepts of Typologies. Zazen would be a way to achieve Individuation, or the total integration of the antagonistic aspects of individual personality.

This of course is a different story, a very interesting one maybe, which we could further discuss, Let us not forget however, that the most important part is the practice of Zazen, not its discussion, or intellectual understanding...

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