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Thread: Kinhin

  1. #1

    Kinhin

    I tried to find out little more about the origin and meaning of Kinhin, but all I came across is that :
    - it's a break to stretch legs between zazens,
    - and that it helps to carry the awareness from zazen to daily life.
    Is there more to it?
    Why do I find it more challanging to walk mindfuly for 10 minutes around a room than sitting still for one hour?
    Gassho
    Sat

  2. #2
    Hi Ania,

    We have some instructions here, from 12:00 here ... assisted by the cat ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...093#post189093

    I will write a bit more later, but the attitude within is the same as seated Zazen. Step, and one totally arrives at the only place to be ... step again, and one totally arrives at the only place to be ... step again ... step again ...

    Our Pamphlet on "How To" Zazen also has information, from page 12 ...

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N7V...ew?usp=sharing

    I will write a little about the history later too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-14-2020 at 09:46 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Hi Ania

    I think it is true that kinhin is used to stretch the legs between bouts of sitting but I don't think that it is its only function.

    In the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Sutra (Satipatthana Sutta), it is pointed out that monks should be mindful when doing all manner of things:

    a monk, in going forward and back, applies clear comprehension; in looking straight on and looking away, he applies clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, he applies clear comprehension; in wearing robes and carrying the bowl, he applies clear comprehension; in eating, drinking, chewing and savoring, he applies clear comprehension; in walking, in standing, in sitting, in falling asleep, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, he applies clear comprehension.
    Whereas sitting meditation allows us to be aware of the body and mind whilst sitting, walking meditation brings the same kind of awareness to the body in motion which is appropriate to much of our daily life off the cushion.

    It is for this reason that I think it is included as part of Zen practice and in Theravada also. I have not encountered it in Tibetan dharma, however.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ania View Post
    I tried to find out little more about the origin and meaning of Kinhin, but all I came across is that :
    - it's a break to stretch legs between zazens,
    - and that it helps to carry the awareness from zazen to daily life.
    Is there more to it?
    Why do I find it more challanging to walk mindfuly for 10 minutes around a room than sitting still for one hour?
    Gassho
    Sat
    Kinhin is like no other walking we do since we donít really walk to anywhere in particular and thereís this beautiful coordination between the feet and the breath. Each half-step mirrors a breath and balances the entire body, suspending it just long enough for us to become aware of that little moment between the inhalation and the exhalation when there is nothing. There is no purpose to the walking in kinhin but the walk itself and the destination is always right where we are.

    SatToday lah
    Bion
    美音

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post

    In the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Sutra (Satipatthana Sutta), it is pointed out that monks should be mindful when doing all manner of things:

    Whereas sitting meditation allows us to be aware of the body and mind whilst sitting, walking meditation brings the same kind of awareness to the body in motion which is appropriate to much of our daily life off the cushion.
    Hmmm. There is some difference between such mindfulness of the body in the Theravadan way and in Zen Practice. It can be summed up by saying that the Theravadan wishes to establish awareness as a form of control of the mind, deep attention of the mind, perhaps to realize that selfhood is a mental construct whereby thoughts and emotions need to be restrained. The Soto Zen fellow merely wishes to forget the body, not tangle with the body or thoughts, and allow all to drop away. A subtle but important difference.

    I was reading something on Chinese Chan yesterday that touches on this ...

    In most of Chinese Buddhism, all sentient beings are believed to be intrinsically endowed with enlightenment as their natural state. Unlike in much of Mainstream Buddhism [including Theravada] and Indian Mahāyāna, the practice of Buddhist cultivation in East Asia was often not aimed at fighting the mind’s natural tendencies by controlling it through ethics and meditation in order to remove or destroy defilements and to bring it to a state of cessation or awakening. Rather, practice was aimed at allowing mental disturbances to naturally settle in order to let the mind return to a natural state of luminous awareness. Clearly, these are different attitudes toward the fundamental tendencies of the mind and the quality of Buddhist practice. The centrality of mind and the idea of original enlightenment appeared in the writings of most of the major indigenous East Asian schools of Buddhists thought, such as Huayan 華嚴 and Tiantai 天台 [and] is strongest, however, in the Chan school ...
    Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal (2010, 23:71-92)
    In Kinhin, do not try to be mindful of the body, but just as in seated Zazen, let the body be the body. One may lightly keep the attention on the body, or on the breath, or on "open awareness," just as in seated Zazen, but basically forget about the body and "pay it no nevermind" just as in seated Zazen. Nothing to specially notice or be aware of. Walk with equanimity, as if each step is the only step in the universe without before or after. There is no other place to be, and nothing lacking in the spot where one stands ... and yet, one steps half a step forward at the top of each breath. Then, the new place is now the only place in the universe, nothing lacking, no before or after ... etc. etc.

    Why do we walk this way?

    Usually, people walk in day-to-day life with a destination, in order to "get some place." There are places to go, people to see. In Kinhin, there is no other place to go, no destination but arrival right where one stands.

    Now, on the history of Kinhin, it is actually something that was reconstructed by the great Soto reformer Menzan in the early 18th century. The reason is that Dogen (nor other early Zen writings) was not so specific on the details as he was with seated Zazen. So, Menzan had to piece it together, imagine and fill in many gaps, but basically ... it is seated Zazen with the feet slowly moving forward. Here is a little more about that:

    http://www.sanshinji.org/sanshin-sty...mends-our-ways

    and

    http://www.sanshinji.org/sanshin-sty...w-old-practice

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-15-2020 at 05:50 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Interesting, I've still been focusing on the idea of awareness of the body which I've always interpreted to mean paying attention to it (not necessarily to control it, but to just be aware of what it's doing, without analyzing it though, just being aware of it) or maybe that's the same thing?


    Evan,
    Sat today, lah
    Just going through life one day at a time!

  8. #8
    I say, except as a place perhaps to rest attention lightly (if not the breath or "open awareness"), in Zazen and Kinhin "pay the body no nevermind."

    For non-speakers of Southern USA slang ...

    “No nevermind” is an informal way of saying that something is of no concern or does not matter.

    Now the way that the term is constructed (double negative) makes it seem that one should mind. ... However this has not always been the case. In Middle English duplicated negation was used as an intensifier…and reduplication meant even more so. (Chaucer: “He nevere yet no vileinye ne sayde”)

    This old style of usage persists to a degree in colloquial speech: “ain’t no way” means really not any way. In fact, one often hears “ain’t no nevermind” as well.
    One may be lightly aware of body, breath or open circumstance ... but do not tangle with it or particularly give it any concern. It is what it is, but just ain't no nevermind.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-15-2020 at 12:09 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ania View Post
    Why do I find it more challanging to walk mindfuly for 10 minutes around a room than sitting still for one hour?
    Gassho
    Sat
    I totally do, too. Rushing around all the time focused on the destination, without respecting the walking process and the journey, is a very tough habit to break!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  10. #10
    I've noticed the same thing!

    According to scientific studies, walking increases your ability to have creative thoughts, which is of course exactly what we don't want during kinhin.
    https://news.stanford.edu/2014/04/24...itting-042414/

    It's great practice for "just walking", neither wanting those thoughts nor not-wanting those thoughts, an excellent non-challenge non-obstructing us from our non-goal.

    Gassho
    Kenny
    Sat Today

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny View Post
    ... neither wanting those thoughts nor not-wanting those thoughts, an excellent non-challenge non-obstructing us from our non-goal.
    Somebody has been listening! Yes, exactly.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Hmmm. There is some difference between such mindfulness of the body in the Theravadan way and in Zen Practice.
    Indeed. What I was trying to convey is that there appears to be a forerunner of kinhin in early Buddhism which may have transferred to practice in other traditions.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  14. #14
    For me as a disabled person kinhin allows me to catch my breath, as it were be mindful is a different way. Yes to be exquisite or not exquisite or be in short or long Shikantaza or les or more or not all at the same time. It lets me change position so what of the person who must sit or lie all the time? They too can change position. This for them is kinhin.
    Gassho
    sat / lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

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