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Thread: kinhin - which way of the hands?

  1. #1

    kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Being a political science major, I am a policy wonk...which is pretty bad for those following Dharma. Bad since we seem steeped in too much concept and getting all frayed over concepts and policy. Anywho. This type field of study has personality types like me who get harried about meaning, proper procedure, and all that jazz.

    So. This affects my practice because I am trying to figure the "proper"/"right" this or that.

    I know some months ago, Jundo had a video in which he explained various parts of our practice. One part was kinhin. He mentioned the placement of the hands. Soto and Rinzai have their version, I think.

    Today I was reading Brad's latest post on his blog. He has now posted one called Zazen Instructions with Liza Rose. He has a good photo shoot on how to do zazen here.

    Now.

    Here is where my wonkness kicks in.

    Here is the photo from Brad's post:





    "Huh. Isn't that Rinzai?" I thought. I remember Jundo's video and other web pages vis a vis Sot and I have been doing it....this way:



    [NOTE FROM JUNDO]




    I guess I'm trying to figure out...............does it matter? Are there Soto and Rinzai positions on Kinhin?

  2. #2

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    I'm sure Jundo will have his say, hey so can I :idea:

    The way I was shown and practise is as in Nishijima's picture. Hands up in front of the solar plexus, held slightly off the body, thumbs to the ceiling, little finger to the floor. Right hand in a fist with thumb in side, left hand covering it with thumb covering the top of the right one.

    I don't know the signifcance of any subtleties in the positioning other than the left is supposed to be suppressing the right hand (i think) . I was told if you are left handed to reverse the hands, i.e. right covers the left hand. This could be totally wrong though, I might have it the wrong way round :lol:

    Certainly photos 1,2 aren't what I was shown and see at Throssel Hole Abbey which is Soto. Picture 4 they seem to hold them lower and not away from the body.

    Sorry if this has added to the confusion,

    In gassho, Kev

  3. #3

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Ah... now I see why I see posts which say 'Deleted'

    Sarcastic comment about the use of pretty suicide girls...

    Deleted...

  4. #4

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Quote Originally Posted by Longdog
    Ah... now I see why I see posts which say 'Deleted'

    Sarcastic comment about the use of pretty suicide girls...

    Deleted...
    I didn't get to read ur deleted post...but..I must do say that when I read Brad's post, my first thought was..."Oh. Brad. Must let go of that attachment to SG." :mrgreen:

  5. #5

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Hi,

    As one wonk to another ... yes, most Soto groups do this ...



    The other is usually associated with the Rinzai lineages, but I recently learned from Rev. Taigu (learn something new every day) that lineages such as Nishijima Roshi's (and Deshimaru Roshi's in Europe) associated with "Homeless" Kodo Sawaki (seen below) often do that ... I will try to ask Nishijima Roshi and others where this came from ...



    So ... when in Rome, do Kinhin as the Romans do. I think I will continue to use the top version because I have been doing that for 25 years.

    FInally, as to the pictures of "how to Zazen" ... the woman in the picture is holding her hands much too high.



    Unusual. She will tire her arms and shoulders for no purpose. As these Kodo Sawaki pictures show, the hands best rest on the upper lap directly (traditionally called the "Tanden"), or on a small cushion or towel that rests on the lap.




    Gassho, Jundo

  6. #6
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Most places I've been to do it the old-fashioned way....wrists neither supine nor prone - but neutral.

  7. #7

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    FInally, as to the pictures of "how to Zazen" ... the woman in the picture is holding her hands much too high. Unusual. She will tire her arms and shoulders for no purpose. As these Kodo Sawaki pictures show, the hands best rest on the upper lap directly (traditionally called the "Tanden"), or on a small cushion or towel that rests on the lap.
    Gassho, Jundo
    If you read the reader's comments, they mention that also. Hands too high.

  8. #8

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Hi y'all,

    Regarding the first big color pic of the woman doing kinhin, I notice that her arms and hands match the style used by gung fu martial artists when bowing/saluting a teacher (I just saw a wonderful show about two U.S. gung fu students traveling to Shao Lin temple in China).

    your in trivia,
    rowan

  9. #9
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    As for the 'cosmic mudra', until I went to Kanzeon, I too used to hold it low in my lap as in the black and white photo of the Japanese man. At Kanzeon, the directed me to hold it higher like the attractive young woman in color photo - and it really exhausts my neck and shoulders. Sometimes, when I want to sit for a very long time, I do the unthinkable and take my hands out of the cosmic mudra for awhile and place them on my knees to give my neck and shoulders a break.

  10. #10

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    I really appreciate the instructions on the hand position in Zazen. It's not a straightforward matter in Burmese posture. I usually just let the hands drop deep to the lap. A somewhat ambitious Doshi with a martial arts background in a lokal zendo once instructed me to raise them almost up to the navel. I gave it a try but I returned to my "lazy" position. To me it's much more effective to just forget the arms (but not the dhyana mudra) and only pay a attention to the proper tension of the back.

    Mensch

  11. #11

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Well I rest mine on an upside down bum bag (I think you might call them fanny packs over there, but that's something else eniterly in the UK ops: ) . i.e storage pocket under the navel and upside down :lol: Works great, right position and no shoulder strain. Have seen others using a shawl or similar tied round waist to support hands. I sit kneeling so resting in knees/thighs is not possible.

    Odd that Mr W, as the 'Zen Master' didn't pose himself for the pics but chose to 'instruct' from the sidelines and then apparenlty get it wrong :roll:

    _/_ Kev

  12. #12

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    -

  13. #13
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Quote Originally Posted by Longdog
    Well I rest mine on an upside down bum bag (I think you might call them fanny packs over there, but that's something else eniterly in the UK ops: ) . i.e storage pocket under the navel and upside down :lol: Works great, right position and no shoulder strain. Have seen others using a shawl or similar tied round waist to support hands. I sit kneeling so resting in knees/thighs is not possible.

    Odd that Mr W, as the 'Zen Master' didn't pose himself for the pics but chose to 'instruct' from the sidelines and then apparenlty get it wrong :roll:

    _/_ Kev
    Come on - we've all seen Brad. Are you complaining about the substitution?

    Just kidding, of course.

  14. #14

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    :lol: As I know you know, I'm referring to the principle not the lady :lol:
    From her response on is blog if you pay enough you can have all the secrets of zazen revealed :roll:

    See he's added some clarification to his article about the hand positioning now.

    _/_ Kev

  15. #15

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Quote Originally Posted by Longdog
    :lol: As I know you know, I'm referring to the principle not the lady :lol:
    From her response on is blog if you pay enough you can have all the secrets of zazen revealed :roll:

    See he's added some clarification to his article about the hand positioning now.
    Hey! Does that mean he is reading my posts here?! :P :mrgreen:

  16. #16

    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    Might be you never know :twisted: , but some one else posted a comment about more or less the same thing on his blog :wink:

  17. #17
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: kinhin - which way of the hands?

    That girl has hands? :lol:

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