Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Naikan Tanden Seminar

On last Saturday October 16, I held our first seminar in our new Headland Dojo. The theme was Naikan Tanden.

I borrowed this term from Zen Master Hakuin, (1685–1768) who possibly borrowed it from older sources. One relatively accurate translation of it would be "Introspective Meditation at the Tanden"...

To tell a long story short we practiced a number of Qi Gong exercises centered on the Tanden, an area located slightly below the navel; and others designed to move energy around the body - limited to 3 points on the center line of the body (also known as Conception Vessel in Traditional Chinese Medicine). 

All these exercises were practiced using regular abdominal breathing.

In addition, we also practiced the mighty Reverse Abdominal Breathing.

Between each Qi Gong exercises we practiced Zazen (sitting meditation)for 10 minutes. 

The whole session lasted about 2 hours  after which we had a tea and a little discussion to evaluate the program and exercises.  This was not an easy class. I introduced lots of different and at times confusing exercises to my students. The Reverse abdominal Breathing is obviously not an easy thing to get into. 

I am very thankful for my students' input, their help and their patience.

From this first session I intend to build up more simple programs adapted to various audiences with different needs. (More later). 
In future articles I'll provide details about reverse abdominal breathing, as well as energy circulation in the body, and the importance of these practices for meditation and martial arts. 

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