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Thread: kinhin distance

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    kinhin distance

    I do kinhin for 10 minutes every morning straight down a hallway in my house. I have discovered that the clarity of my mind is reflected in how far I make it down that hallway. On mind-cloudy days I don't get very far, and on those days when my mind is clearer I make it much farther. It is important to note that I have no goal of gaining any particular distance down the hall and there is no good or bad distance that I make or don't make. It's just an interesting experience I thought I'd share, even if the distance is pointless and meaningless.

    I think I am aware of this distance issue because we do the slow step by step method of kinhin. On mind-cloudy days I lose awareness and forget to move forward, and on mind-clearer days I am aware to keep moving a bit more. Years ago I sat with Pat Hawk Roshi's sangha in Tucson, part of Aitken's Diamond sangha, and they practice a much more constant and fluid motion of kinhin. Because it is constant motion and you need to keep up with the flow of the people around the room, distance awareness would probably not be a factor. So, I think this step by step method helps me in my awareness more so than the constant movement would, so it's a good thing. It feels more mindful. Of course, the other way is a good thing, too.

  2. #2

    Re: kinhin distance

    More food for thought:

    To keep my mind focused while I do kinhin, I begin by shifting my weight ever so slowly from one foot to the other. My concentration is much like paying attention to the weight of a glass of water emptying from my left hand and pouring into a glass in my right hand. Again, I do this slowly. Once my left foot is empty, I can then take a step, and being mindful not to pour any weight into the left foot until the stepping is completed. Now I can repeat the process on the right foot.

    For me, this process creates constant change or movement without coming to a stop, which creates still moments that my mind wants to occupy.

  3. #3

    Re: kinhin distance

    At our Zendo, Floating leaf our sitting room is not large ( we have joined office suites one is the zendo, the other is the community room) and during Kenhin ( which lasts 10 minutes ) those sitting simply move clockwise around the room at a VERY slow pace, most usually only make it a few feet in that time. Kinhin is largely optional there, more do to our limited size, and should we have a large turn out for a sitting, room is even more limited and many choose to sit through it. Though even in that limited space, the slower the " train" goes, the more people seem to be able to better return to sitting.

  4. #4
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: kinhin distance

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesVB
    More food for thought:

    To keep my mind focused while I do kinhin, I begin by shifting my weight ever so slowly from one foot to the other. My concentration is much like paying attention to the weight of a glass of water emptying from my left hand and pouring into a glass in my right hand. Again, I do this slowly. Once my left foot is empty, I can then take a step, and being mindful not to pour any weight into the left foot until the stepping is completed. Now I can repeat the process on the right foot.

    For me, this process creates constant change or movement without coming to a stop, which creates still moments that my mind wants to occupy.
    The conventions of language a are funny thing that needs more awareness sometimes. I never take a step because I am in a wheelchair, yet I describe step-by-step kinhin :wink: Anyway, your post gave me an idea to adapt my stop-n-go method to moving my arms constantly but very slowly. So now instead of push... pause... push it's push... slow return to push position... push. Before it was that pause where on those mind-cloudy days I would sort of forget I was doing kinhin, thus not getting very far. I tried this new more fluid movement method today and it seemed to go fine, went about the same distance as on a mind-clear day. So thanks! Of course, I will still have mind-cloudy days, but this might help keep me more on the Path, so to speak.

  5. #5

    Re: kinhin distance

    Hi Alan,

    Language is so often the obstacle, as well as the means, to communication. I'm glad you were able to get my intention from my inadequate words.

    :shock:

  6. #6
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: kinhin distance

    Yup, it's like I found a "middle way" for my particular form of kinhin, not quick like in Tucson but not as slow to the sometimes point of stagnation as I was lately. Over the past few days of practicing this new way I've noticed I'm more consistent in my distance, more fluid in my movement, and as a result more aware of the overall moment and process. I didn't know I was asking for help, but I am very grateful I got some help. Thanks again!!

    This is EXACTLY what makes this forum so COOL, the unexpected benefits :!: :!: :!:

  7. #7

    Re: kinhin distance

    of course ... not a matter of "long" or "short" or anywhere to get to ...

    ... even as we move forward, step by step by step ...



    (same as Rakusu sewing ... stitch by stitch by stitch)

  8. #8
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: kinhin distance

    Distance was never my issue, but I didn't know that until I started to talk about it. Distance was a manifestation of my issue, an oddity that I had discovered and was exploring. Through that exploration I found a means of deepening my practice. My kinhin was perfect before, and now it is "better" because I explored how I do it. I have found that my kinhin distance still varies like before, but my practice of kinhin does not vary as much as before. So goes the Path.

    I think the moral of the story is that that thinking an issue is one thing is an aspect of delusion. But then by exploring that delusion we find out something deeper, something more helpful that can help us along the Path. Behind that simple stuff lies lessons if we just take the time to look.

  9. #9

    Re: kinhin distance

    This was a fascinating topic to read. Gassho!

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