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Thread: Walking Zazen

  1. #1

    Walking Zazen

    Hello,

    I am new to the sitting on a constant basis and had a question regarding the walking aspect. I participated in last weekends extended session on Saturday and found myself lost regarding the walking aspect. I am not sure what we are suppose to be focusing on, if it is on still trying to quiet the mind and meditate or if we are suppose to be focusing on something else? I have never done the walking aspect before so I am clueless really. I would appreciate it if anybody had any insight regarding this.


    Thank you,
    Dave

  2. #2

    Re: Walking Zazen

    I don't know what is Jundo's opinion, but I often heard that walking must be done the same way we do zazen. When the mind is too busy, we can focus on the breath, or on something else we find useful to quiet the mind. But once it is done I think it is important to "get back to the all experience", and not being limited to a "one point focusing" practice (like just the breath ).

    I know it is basic, It just seems important to me,
    Hope it helps you!

    Gassho,

    Luis

    Sorry if I'm not clear, I will let the other "leafers" express themselves more fluently :wink:

  3. #3

    Re: Walking Zazen

    Hello Dave, and welcome to the site.

    You might want to take this as a good time to start playing around with the search function (upper right part of the page) and search the term "Kinhin."

    That will probably give you a good start. I could blabber on my little bit, but it's already been said much better than I ever could hope to say it.

  4. #4

    Re: Walking Zazen

    The previous post of mine came out sounding a little rude. Sorry about that.

    Here's something that Jundo has up that will probably be of great help:

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008...do-kinhin.html

    Hey, Jundo, now that I look at that link I posted, I notice that you are teaching the following: "Bring your left thumb to the middle of your left palm and close your fist around it. Hold your left fist in front of your chest and cover it with your right hand."

    At my local zendo, I was taught just the opposite. (Right thumb into right palm with left hand covering.)

    What's up with that?

  5. #5

    Re: Walking Zazen

    Thank you for the help and the useful link. The advice is much appreciated.

    Gassho,
    Dave

  6. #6

    Re: Walking Zazen

    Quote Originally Posted by dumm
    Hello,

    I am new to the sitting on a constant basis and had a question regarding the walking aspect.
    Hi Dave,

    The description is lovely by Luis (who, by the way, I wish would stop to apologize for his equally lovely English abilities ) ... so please take Luis' description to heart ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Luis
    I don't know what is Jundo's opinion, but I often heard that walking must be done the same way we do zazen. When the mind is too busy, we can focus on the breath, or on something else we find useful to quiet the mind. But once it is done I think it is important to "get back to the all experience", and not being limited to a "one point focusing" practice (like just the breath ).
    I would also say that our's is also a "one point" focusing, but our "one point" is "all experience". 8)

    And the link Brock pointed you to is a more detailed explanation and actual practice session for Kinhin. Please walk-a-long with that, and see if helpful.

    And as to Brock's observation ...

    Hey, Jundo, now that I look at that link I posted, I notice that you are teaching the following: "Bring your left thumb to the middle of your left palm and close your fist around it. Hold your left fist in front of your chest and cover it with your right hand." At my local zendo, I was taught just the opposite. (Right thumb into right palm with left hand covering.)
    I have never heard that, and a quick search of photos of Shashu on google shows everyone Shashu-ing as I describe. The "official" Soto-shu pamphlet on the subject states ...

    Shashu: Put the thumb of your left hand in the middle of the palm and make a fist around it. Place the fist in front of your chest. Cover the fist with your right hand. Keep your elbows away from your body forming a straight line with both forearms.

    http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/zen ... uette.html



    Now, that being said ... a few cautions ...

    First, I have never been to any two Zendo or temples, even within the same lineage, that follow traditions exactly the same. Yet, everybody claims that "our way is how it is done for hundreds of years!" :shock: So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do ... especially for minor points of "how things are done".

    For example, the "rule" way in Soto shu is 1/2 step at the top of each breath. Yet some Sangha walk at barely a creep, while some walk at a faster pace ... the Rinzai folks basically --run-- Kinhin often. The basic rule is, when with a group, follow the leader and keep equal spacing and pace with everyone, while taking a step at the top of each breath (which may slow down as low as 2 or 3 breaths per minute for many folks).

    Second, there is an alternative hand position used in lineages connected to Kodo Roshi (and I believe the Rinzai folks walk this way too). However, it is really the same, with the right hand "dominant", but turned sideways ...



    Next, this may all be part of the great "right handed" bias against lefties that plagues China, Japan and the rest of the world ... unless, of course, you believe the explanations that hand and foot dominance has both great Yin/Yang cosmic significance, if not direct effect on the brain. Read more here ...

    viewtopic.php?p=17198#p17198

    and

    viewtopic.php?p=984#p984

    Gassho (two hands pressed together, just one ... neither left nor right dominant), Jundo

  7. #7

    Re: Walking Zazen

    Thanks everybody,

    I would like to add this. In many sanghas and groups, influenced by Roshi Deshimaru s take on Kin hin, one would be asked to PUSH the ground with the root of the big toe as one PUSHES the thumb and hands into each other and PUSHES the sky with one s head :? :cry: ...PLEASE DON T . Keep your body-mind fluid , balanced and just happy to be there. Luis said it all, so did Jundo. The whole experience, the experience as a whole.

    gassho


    Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: Walking Zazen

    Gasso,

    To quote Bernie Glassman Roshi quoting Maezumi Roshi:

    "when we walk, we just walk."

    Each step, step by step.

    I think perhaps your trying to "quiet the mind" might be hindering your zazen, maybe the "trying" part needs to drop away. When we sit, we just sit with the everything exactly as it is, one breath, another breath. Anyway, it is my experience that if I sit with a gentle non-judgemental attitude towards my busy mind, the chatter peeters out. But, of course YMMV ("your mileage may vary").

    gassho,
    rowan

  9. #9
    Senior Member bayamo's Avatar
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    Re: Walking Zazen

    i live in a small town, where everything is just about walking distance for me.. what i do, is i am just mindfull of"this is the path to (where ever i am going)..
    picked that one up from "the miracle of mindfulness" by thich nhat hanh..

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