Monday, October 13, 2014

Practical Exercises for Zen Meditation



I am just back from a zazenkai retreat at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center.

Michael Elliston Roshi, abbot of the center and founder of the Silent Thunder (Mokurai) had invited me to teach at this event.

In my presentation of actual exercises to help the practice of Meditation I put emphasis on the 2 following aspects of Zazen:
  • Focusing (Thinking of Non Thinking)
  • Relaxing (to help focusing) 

I introduced to my audience a set of physical practices inspired from Traditional Oriental Martial Arts and Medicine. (Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Taoist exercises...) which I have been using  for several years in my own practice.

These exercises are designed to improve :
  • Body awareness,
  • Breathing,
  • Balance,
  • Physical Relaxation.


I addressed in particular :

  1. How strength and mental energy follow Awareness and Mind. And how the Chinese concept of Chi explains this.
  2. How to channel awareness and one's mind to parts or points of the body to tame one's monkey mind.
  3. How to practice regular and reverse abdominal breathing to calm the mind.
  4. How Tai Chi can actually remove muscular tensions and joint pains during long meditation sessions.




In the next weeks, I will get into the details of my presentation.  Stay in touch ! 




No comments: