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Thread: 8 Form Moving Meditation

  1. #1
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    8 Form Moving Meditation

    As I have been unable to get a functioning camera in the zendo, we're moving to plan B. I will be teaching the 8 Form Moving Meditation over Google+. If all goes according to plan, it will be recorded and accessible here for all to view and practice as they can.

    The "live" version will be tomorrow morning Feb. 9th at 9:30 AM EST (U.S.) Those in the tree leaf circle will get an invite if they wish to meditate "live". I dont know how much interest there is, or how many people can even make that time schedule. But as with everything else here at Treeleaf, anytime is the right time. I will try to figure out how to link it to this thread when we begin. If any of our more tech savvy Treeleafers wants to shoot me a message on how this is accomplished that would be great.

    For those how didn't follow this discussion on the previous thread, I've copied a basicc description ofthe 8 Form Moving Meditation from Dharma Drum.

    "Dharma Drum’s Eight-Form Moving Meditation was developed by Master Sheng Yen of Dharma Drum Mountain as a means of allowing people living stressful and busy lifestyles to enjoy some of the benefits of Chan meditation. The system, based on many years of practice and personal experience, has incorporated the essence of Chan meditation into a series of simple physical exercises. In addition to physical exercise, practice of the Eight Forms helps you relax your body and mind, so that you can develop a healthy body and a balanced mind. Dharma Drum’s Eight-Form Moving Meditation is a set of easy-to-learn exercises that can be practiced almost anywhere and at anytime. This system of “meditation through motion” is beneficial to both body and mind, and once acquired through diligent practice, can be performed whether walking, standing, sitting or reclining, so that you are always mindful of being relaxed in body and mind. By practicing the Eight Forms, you will always be composed and at ease, and at every moment enjoy the bliss of meditation and the joy of the Dharma.

    Now I don't know about all of that "always composed and at ease, bliss" stuff, but I do know it's a peasant way to start out the day. I also find it particularly useful just before a long period of sitting, like our monthly 4 hour Zazenkai. So, I hope you enjoy it, please join live if you can.

    Gassho,

    Daijo




  2. #2
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    That's awesome Daijo! And remarkably weird, I just heard about 8 form moving meditation from a friend yesterday. Never knew of it before. Won't be able to make it live, but I'll definitely join in with the recording!

    Gassho, John

  3. #3
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Hello,

    Would like to learn about this.

    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  4. #4
    Thank you, Daijo. I would like to learn this also.

    Will be 14.30 for UK people which will be a nice start to the afternoon.

    Gassho
    Kokuu

  5. #5
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    That's great! I had a look and it is quite similar to the Taoist 8 brocade qigong. But anything that helps people learn about and 'feel' their body is wonderful. Gassho. I will have a look tomorrow.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  6. #6
    Thank you - will be interested to learn about this.

    Gassho

    Willow

  7. #7
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Well. Never mind, Because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make this work. I guess it isn't meant to be.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Dont worry, I don't know how to help you, I do not know G+ that well...but sooner or later it will work, I think it would be a great sharing

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    WHAT IS THIS???

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME???


    DO YOU THINK THE BUDDHA DHARMA IS A JOKE?


    Now, let me put you in the picture. For many years Jundo and myself have tried to get the message across that SHIKANTAZA is our practice and NOTHING ELSE.

    no Daijo, it is not meant to be.

    I only believe in shaving one s head, sitting and wearing the Buddhist robe.

    Everything else doesn' t matter.

    I am getting my arse to America this summer to get people together so they can help each other and deepen their practice. So is Jundo as he is touring is Native land to inspire people.

    Why? and for who?

    Put your gimmicks down, sit and join us.

    And you can call me anything and think I am stupid and a bully, and you are right, as long as it is about my lineage, don't you mess with it!!! It is my role and responsability to tell people that they should not interfere further.

    your stuff, it can be great, whatever, has nothing to do with Treeleaf.

    gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 02-09-2014 at 01:57 PM.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  11. #11
    Hi Taigu,

    Hmmm. Well, I am interested to see what it could be. For example, William made a Yoga lesson for us (and let me know he is making an expanded version) to help folks stretch and get some flexibility for long Zazen sittings. I think that is great and very helpful ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...t=rohatsu+yoga

    ... much the same as you, Taigu, and many others find the "Alexander Technique" of body movement and excellent practice for "loosening up" the body for Zazen ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post87846

    So, not knowing what this is, I thought the "8 Form Moving Meditation" might be something like that, to help folks loosen up. So, I asked Daijo to show us just as a demonstration.

    I have to admit that, yes, if it is some meditation which promises "you will always be composed and at ease, and at every moment enjoy the bliss of meditation" ... hmmm ... that is not Shikantaza it seems, which is richer than all that. Shikantanza affords a Bliss much better than "constant bliss!"

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-09-2014 at 04:14 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Yes, and I assure you that I am very careful about anything that I post here. I would never introduce so much as a book recommendation without first asking Jundo, or you Taigu. I never intended for this to be something I thought should be part of practice at treeleaf. It's not something I practice regularly, I may have done this 5 times in my life. I simply find it to be a nice exercise to warm up the old limbs and settle the mind a little bit. Nothing more, nothing less. I've also never had it explained to me as a magic trick for feeling composed or at ease,etc.... When I saw those words in one of many descriptions I found, I laughed a little and then posted them here. Not intending to promote that notion at all.

    As I said, I just think it's a nice bit of mild exercises. That's really all it should be taken as and I meant no offense.

    (Oh, and Taigu, I took no offense either)

    Gassho,

    Daijo

  13. #13
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Having said all of that......I cant figure out how to film it anyway, so back to fetching wood and carrying water.

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    I can probably help you with that Daijo...just didn't see your message last night asking for assistance.

    Gassho,
    osho

    Quote Originally Posted by Daijo View Post
    Having said all of that......I cant figure out how to film it anyway, so back to fetching wood and carrying water.
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    A question for our teachers...not to stir the pot but,

    If our understanding is right, and our practice is "strong" shouldn't we be able to practice something like this and still be "just sitting"? Obviously without all of the "peace and ease in every moment" nonsense.

    I really don't see something like this, with the right understanding, as being all together different from samu, or oryoki, or kinhin. All things which are not literally "just sitting". But all things that are most definitely "just sitting".

    And again, I am not suggesting these silly stretches be anything more than silly stretches for those who inquire about "sleeping limbs". I'm really asking this on a more general level. If we have the right understanding, and the right effort, is not everything we do, shikantaza?

    Gassho,

    Daijo

  16. #16
    Hi Daijo,

    Good question, so let me try a fair answer.

    In life, getting up from Zafu, we have 24 hours filled with things we do ... work, taking care of the kids, playing sports, hobbies, going to the doctor, thinking about which can of peaches to buy in the store, just goofing off, watching movies. That is life! That is also the reason that some of our members can combine Zazen with their other personal beliefs and practices ... no problem! So, some can also go to their Catholic Church on Sunday, chant to Amida if they wish, read Camus, go to their "Atheists of America" meeting, practice Tai Chi or Yoga ... no problem! All is "Zazen" in its wider meaning when known as such ... all expressions of the Wholeness of Emptiness!

    However, here in this Dojo (Practice Place) we are trying to Teach and Practice a few special skills (or "non-skills" as I like to say). Basically, this is the art of Shikantaza, something very subtle because it is perhaps one of the few actions (or "non-actions") in which the goal ("non-goal") is to be for a time sitting beyond gain and goal, beyond judgments, in the complete Wholeness and non-seeking of just this moment, merging into all conditions yet free of such, "just sitting" as Buddha sitting Buddha .... Buddha Buddhaing Buddha.

    So many forms of "Eastern" or "Buddhist" Meditation are based on some "gaining" idea ... gaining some "special state", gaining "perpetual joy joy bliss bliss", gaining some power, gaining "Enlightenment". Shikantaza is quite unique in that regard (though I just posted some Tibetan Dzogchen teachings on another thread that are like this too http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...gchen-Teaching). In Shikantaza, one encounters "Special States" that are sometimes very unusual yet frequently tediously ordinary, a "Bliss" so "Blissful" that it holds both happy times and sad and one need not even feel "blissful" much of the time, an "Enlightenment gained" in the radical releasing of all "gaining".

    It is an art to focus on, and is the same reason that we focus on but a few core practices related to such (Although "Aikido" and "Karate" may both be wondrous arts suited to different people, nonetheless one does not teach "Karate" when teaching "Aikido" in the "Aikido" Dojo.)

    To the extent that "8 Form Moving Meditation" as taught Master Sheng Yen is focused on feeling special states of bliss and such, well, it is Karate in our Aikido Dojo. (It is the same reason we do not Practice "Koan Centered Zazen" in the Rinzai way in our little Dojo) To the extent "8 Form Moving Meditation" is just a stretching exercise, we might show a bit how to do it. It is then much like Yoga in the West: If it is basically just a way to stretch and move the body in order to loosen up for sitting, I am fine with it. If the Yoga is taught in a traditional Indian form with Chakras, Gurus and Vishnu ... well, it may be a lovely Practice for some, but it is Karate in our Aikido Dojo.

    It is also the reason that Taigu told me last night that, while he encourages people to look into "Alexander Technique" as good to "loosen up" the body and help balance and flexibility, he will not teach it here in detail. It would be distracting from our core Art.

    And before you ask: I probably could change the "8 Form Moving Meditation" into a flavor of "Shikantaza", making it a way of moving with a sense of non-moving and non-gaining. Likewise, I can change "football" into Shikantaza by giving up all idea of "winning vs. losing" and any score to attain! However, it might not then be "football", and trying to play football here might just be distracting! **

    Does that make sense?

    Gassho, J

    ** By the way, in fact, if one masters Shikantaza, one can come to play Football (Big "F") that holds and embodies "football" (little "f"). What is that? It is "winning or losing" all while simultaneously dropping all measurements of "win" or "loss", scoring points even while knowing there is "nothing ultimately to gain". Nonetheless, we do not practice our football passes and field goals here because this is an Aikido Dojo, and putting Goal Posts in the middle of our Tatami Mats could be dangerous.
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-11-2014 at 03:27 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  18. #18
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    It does make sense. However, I probably should have asked the question in a separate thread as to not attach it to this set of exercises. I don't want it to seem like I'm drinking the Shen Yen blissful Kool-aid. My question was really in a more general sense. Forget Eastern religions and all of the hocus pocus stuff. Forget 8 form moving meditation (I hope to never type those words together again ).

    The question had little to do with the exercises, I was just using them as an example. My question really...If I am doing a task, without attaching to the ends, the reward, the means, not rejecting any displeasure etc...then is it not still the essence of our shikantaza? Chanting, without attachment, or aversions, isn't it the same as sitting without attachments or aversions? Isn't it all "Just Sitting"? If done with the right understanding.

    That's what I'm digging at. Forget these silly exercises.

    Gassho,

    Daijo

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Daijo View Post

    The question had little to do with the exercises, I was just using them as an example. My question really...If I am doing a task, without attaching to the ends, the reward, the means, not rejecting any displeasure etc...then is it not still the essence of our shikantaza? Chanting, without attachment, or aversions, isn't it the same as sitting without attachments or aversions? Isn't it all "Just Sitting"? If done with the right understanding.
    Yes, I believe anything in life ... any action ... is "Shikantaza" if done with such attitude.

    However, I want to modify what you write a bit.

    Our way can be about "dropping all goals" to the marrow ... EVEN AS we have very strong goals.

    Our Way is to drop all aversions and attractions, likes and dislikes completely ... EVEN AS we have so many aversions and attractions, likes and dislikes. I can be strongly displeased AND beyond all displeasure AT ONCE, AS ONE!

    As if seeing life one way out of the left eye, another way our of the right (Buddha) eye. As if experiencing life one way on mental 'channel 1' and another way on 'channel 2' ... but with 1 and 2 all blended together and separate ("not 1, not 2" as we say in Zen).

    So, when I change baby diapers I resist, I find it unpleasant and smelly, and my definite goal is to get the baby clean and the job done. Part of me really dislikes the job. That is to be human, and if I did not have such attitude that baby would never get changed, and I would not care if she did or not!

    On the other hand, I simultaneously sense a realm of a kind of Pureness beyond "clean or dirty", with nothing to attain or in need of fixing. I also sense the very act of diaper changing as a sacred act ... Buddha changing Buddha diapers filled with Buddha!

    I experience both ways of diaper changing AT ONCE (kind of a "diaper changing-non-changing!" )

    Shikantaza is our sitting that "other hand", as the "Buddha eye" beyond attaining or goal. But Shikantaza is ALSO actions in life which have goals and no goals at once! We learn to live with one foot in the world of busy men and women with "places to go and people to see", and one foot in the Buddha Land where there is no place in need of going, and every step is a Total Arrival.

    I hope that is kinda clear. We tend to avoid Practices in this Dojo which are too filled with a "need to get some where, need to attain something" flavor, especially if they distract from our Shikantaza ways.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-11-2014 at 02:30 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    I hope that is kinda clear. We tend to avoid Practices in this Dojo which are too filled with a "need to get some where, need to attain something" flavor, especially if they distract from our Shikantaza ways.

    Gassho, J
    Yes, very clear.

    Thank you,

    Gassho,

    Daijo

  21. #21
    Thank you, this confirms what I shared in another thread. I guess I'm learning!!! Gassho

  22. #22
    Hello there - I have only just come back to this thread.

    There is a new video on You Tube (posted a couple of days ago) that shows the exercises. There is no mention of 'bliss' etc. They are very simple
    physio/Thai Chi type stretches - no need to call them anything really - just basic stretches like what I've been doing for years to get my body straightened out
    in the morning

    I think perhaps the problem is we attach too much to labels. What we might once have labelled 'keep fit' we now call something else and add a lot of theories about energy circulation and possibly - dharma bliss - as well. But really it's just moving the body/relaxation. Little children run freely around and make a lot of these movements quite naturally.

    Gassho

    Willow

  23. #23
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Yeah, I only posted the description containing bliss and ease in every moment because I thought it was a ridiculous statement. I got a chuckle from it, but I think now, I should have left it as "stretching". There are quite a few video tutorials showing the movements, I just thought it would be nice if I showed them. Maybe I'll just post one of the other videos.

    But after all of this, I'm finding one that guarantees enlightenment!

    Gassho,

    Daijo

  24. #24
    I was looking at some videos on Youtube, and it seems very close in flavor to Tai Chi. Any Practice that gets us up, moving and bending can't be bad for us.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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