Rinzai Mudra Question

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fuki
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by fuki » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:43 pm

Meido wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:57 am
non-foveal use of the eyes,
Could you explain this in easy to understand English please, I couldn't get this translated in my mother's tongue.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
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lindama
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by lindama » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:54 pm

out here on the farm, I am familiar with the fisted mudra. it is most comfortable for me. I learned by watching. The technicalities are interesting tho I was never taught. all for the best. when it comes to cooking, I can prattle on for hours.
linda

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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by Meido » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:40 pm

fuki wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:43 pm
Could you explain this in easy to understand English please, I couldn't get this translated in my mother's tongue.
The eyes in zazen are gently downcast, but do not focus (foveal or central vision) upon the spot where one's gaze rests. Rather, they are used broadly (peripheral activation). This causes a lessening of gross thought activity, and somewhat dissolves the habitual sense one has of being an observing subject separate from observed objects.

There are several ways this is described traditionally, e.g. that one should "use the eyes as if gazing at distant mountains," or that one should see in the ten directions simultaneously. It is a crucial, though remarkably often neglected, point.

Meditation is mistakenly assumed by many to be largely a mental/psychological exercise. But in reality, as a yogic practice engaging the whole psycho-physical being, details regarding how the body and senses are to be engaged are rather important.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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fuki
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by fuki » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:48 pm

Meido wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:40 pm
fuki wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:43 pm
Could you explain this in easy to understand English please, I couldn't get this translated in my mother's tongue.
The eyes in zazen are gently downcast, but do not focus (foveal or central vision) upon the spot where one's gaze rests. Rather, they are used broadly (peripheral activation). This causes a lessening of gross thought activity, and somewhat dissolves the habitual sense one has of being an observing subject separate from observed objects.

There are several ways this is described traditionally, e.g. that one should "use the eyes as if gazing at distant mountains," or that one should see in the ten directions simultaneously. It is a crucial, though remarkably often neglected, point.

Meditation is mistakenly assumed by many to be largely a mental/psychological exercise. But in reality, as a yogic practice engaging the whole psycho-physical being, details regarding how the body and senses are to be engaged are rather important.

~ Meido
Thank you for the clarity Meido.
Actually this is the only correct part of my posture (due to injury)
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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Nothing
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by Nothing » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:47 pm

Meido wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:00 pm

One important thing RE this hand position is that the palms should be facing up, same as with the "cosmic" mudra. But for some reason it is a common error to turn the palms inward toward the belly. Unfortunately, doing so causes tension in the shoulder girdle.
Hi Meido

Regarding the facing of the palms up or toward the belly, if I notice correctly from the pics posted above, Chan master Wei Chuei palms are facing more toward the belly, so my questions is if that is something crucial and is recommended to be corrected or not since I too hold the mudra as Master Wei Chuei.



Gashhou

Viktor

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Meido
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by Meido » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:17 pm

Nothing wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:47 pm
Regarding the facing of the palms up or toward the belly, if I notice correctly from the pics posted above, Chan master Wei Chuei palms are facing more toward the belly, so my questions is if that is something crucial and is recommended to be corrected or not since I too hold the mudra as Master Wei Chuei.
Hi Viktor,

As you know everyone's body is different, and not everyone will look exactly the same. It's hard to comment without knowing the person's actual conditions. So I won't say too much RE the master's photo (or your situation): the most I could do here is give general advice from the standpoint of my lineage, and the reasons for it.

Speaking from a general Rinzai practice standpoint, then: yes, I would turn the palms slightly more up than is shown in that photo. There is a subtle relationship between that detail of sitting posture and the alignment of the head/neck also.

That being said, the master is obviously aged. We do our best with our conditions. And it's good to remember that even someone of tremendously profound realization like Daito Kokushi famously couldn't sit in the classic posture because of a leg condition.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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Nothing
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by Nothing » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:30 am

Meido wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:17 pm
Nothing wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:47 pm
Regarding the facing of the palms up or toward the belly, if I notice correctly from the pics posted above, Chan master Wei Chuei palms are facing more toward the belly, so my questions is if that is something crucial and is recommended to be corrected or not since I too hold the mudra as Master Wei Chuei.
Hi Viktor,

As you know everyone's body is different, and not everyone will look exactly the same. It's hard to comment without knowing the person's actual conditions. So I won't say too much RE the master's photo (or your situation): the most I could do here is give general advice from the standpoint of my lineage, and the reasons for it.

Speaking from a general Rinzai practice standpoint, then: yes, I would turn the palms slightly more up than is shown in that photo. There is a subtle relationship between that detail of sitting posture and the alignment of the head/neck also.

That being said, the master is obviously aged. We do our best with our conditions. And it's good to remember that even someone of tremendously profound realization like Daito Kokushi famously couldn't sit in the classic posture because of a leg condition.

~ Meido
Thank you Meido.
It is understood.

Btw, looking forward to your book to see the pics regarding the detail about the small finger on the bottom hand, got me curious :)

Gasshou

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KeithA
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by KeithA » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:55 pm

Interesting thread! :112:

We teach the usual mudra. For whatever reason, I always say left over right. And then I say, that we don't have any "hand police", and if they want to just plop their hands in their lap, we don't get too nervous about it. As our old friend Adam was forever saying: "It's serious, but not that serious".

_/|\_
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KeithA
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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by KeithA » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:01 pm

As an addendum to my previous post, we occasionally get students from the Japanese side of Zen and it's been my experience that our easygoing nature really can rub them the wrong way. I can really appreciate the tradition of being very strict though. It's just not a Kwan Um thing. :)
You make, you get.

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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by Dan74 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:10 pm

KeithA wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:01 pm
As an addendum to my previous post, we occasionally get students from the Japanese side of Zen and it's been my experience that our easygoing nature really can rub them the wrong way. I can really appreciate the tradition of being very strict though. It's just not a Kwan Um thing. :)
You've just reminded me of the few years I sat every week with a Deshimaru group, Keith. The teacher, an intelligent and well-meaning South African chap, was, however, very particular about the details. What colours you wear, how you enter the room, never to walk in front of his (absent) teacher's cushion (if I remeber correctly), etc etc. My nature is kinda the opposite and in the presence of all these rules, I would ineitably get things wrong. Don't misunderstand - on a retreat with my Seon teacher, I could manage to sit without moving, survive without devices and stay silent for the duration (the longest was only 5 days). But with the Deshimaru guy, I would mess up every time. And then I would be back. Funnily enough I developed the strongest sits I've ever had in that group. Don't know if it was the discipline or or what... but there it is.

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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by KeithA » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:39 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:10 pm
KeithA wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:01 pm
As an addendum to my previous post, we occasionally get students from the Japanese side of Zen and it's been my experience that our easygoing nature really can rub them the wrong way. I can really appreciate the tradition of being very strict though. It's just not a Kwan Um thing. :)
You've just reminded me of the few years I sat every week with a Deshimaru group, Keith. The teacher, an intelligent and well-meaning South African chap, was, however, very particular about the details. What colours you wear, how you enter the room, never to walk in front of his (absent) teacher's cushion (if I remeber correctly), etc etc. My nature is kinda the opposite and in the presence of all these rules, I would ineitably get things wrong. Don't misunderstand - on a retreat with my Seon teacher, I could manage to sit without moving, survive without devices and stay silent for the duration (the longest was only 5 days). But with the Deshimaru guy, I would mess up every time. And then I would be back. Funnily enough I developed the strongest sits I've ever had in that group. Don't know if it was the discipline or or what... but there it is.
Oh yes, I am definitely not knocking it. I have lots of soldier karma and veer much more to the rigid discipline side. It just isn't the way we do things though, so I curb it somewhat. If one has the correct direction behind the discipline, then good practice follows. It's easy to fall into overbearing jerk territory. It's a balance, I suppose.

One time I made a correction. Very gentle and with a smile. Apparently the woman had PTSD and took great offense. Letters to my teacher, online bashing of the center, me and a monastic who apparently had also done her wrong ensued. You just never know, I guess.
You make, you get.

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Re: Rinzai Mudra Question

Post by Meido » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:44 pm

Vis a vis this general topic of strictness and form, something to share: I've heard recently from a number of folks in some Zen groups RE problems they perceived with what they called the whole strict "samurai Zen" atmosphere thing.

I've come to truly dislike that term, "samurai Zen". In every instance I've seen it used, it was clear to me the user had no idea what the term actually refers to historically or vis a vis practice (i.e., the flavor and methods of so-called Kamakura-era Zen). What such folks were really just referring to was plain old dysfunctional - and even, i thought, downright bullying - cultures that had for some reason taken root in their particular groups, regardless of lineage.

My own experience in a mainstream Rinzai lineage (and one that from my observations seems to have preserved things like sesshin forms perhaps more precisely and with less change than others in the West) is that there was not a "strict" or harsh atmosphere. Just one of communal effort.

To my mind, lack of knowledge regarding the sometimes subtle purposes and practical functions of things like the physical details we have discussed here is a big problem in the West. It may turn out to be an ongoing problem for some lineages here, if they have lost - or never received the (mostly oral) transmission of - such knowledge, due to various circumstances.

Absent the inherited knowledge of generations of practitioners, practice forms often become fetishes, and will in the end either lead to obstruction and dysfunction, or be reflexively abandoned...a tragic loss, really. With that knowledge, though, forms can function as intended: tools and supports for what is after all a whole body-mind undertaking.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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