Walking

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Caodemarte
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Walking

Post by Caodemarte » Tue May 15, 2018 9:04 pm

Are there some good instructions on walking meditation, especially during kinhin? In the Chinese, Korean, and Rinzai centers in the US I have visited there seems little besides “don’t run into anybody.” In US Soto centers I have visited there seems a little more given to matching step with breath and people generally walk slower. I do realize that individual centers and teachers in one tradition may vary more among themselves than centers and teachers vary in different traditions. BTW, I have seen more detailed instructions on walking as meditation practice in Theravada texts.

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Meido
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Re: Walking

Post by Meido » Tue May 15, 2018 9:27 pm

We give differing instruction here depending upon the person, what method they are using in sitting, and so on. The essential point being to sustain the condition realized in sitting while rising from the seat, walking, and returning.

For beginners, the most basic instruction would be to use the eyes in the same sweeping manner as zazen (i.e. activate the peripheral field), relax, and remain present with the sensation of movement itself. If necessary, one can bring attention to the sensation of the feet contacting the floor.

The instruction would be different for someone working on an initial koan or wato, where the seamless holding of that is important.

For outside walking, i.e. not kinhin but normal walking over a distance, there are other practices and mudra that can be used, instructions for situations like walking at night, walking with one's eyes closed, etc.

Lots of interesting practice methods out there, nice topic to bring up.

~ 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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boda
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Re: Walking

Post by boda » Tue May 15, 2018 9:53 pm

Meido wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:27 pm
For outside walking, i.e. not kinhin but normal walking over a distance, there are other practices and mudra that can be used, instructions for situations like walking at night, walking with one's eyes closed, etc.
Can you say more about this, or maybe point out where such instructions may be found?

I've been walking my dog for a couple of miles after morning meditation practice and have been trying to stay in the zone, so to say. It makes the activity rather pleasurable.

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jundocohen
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Re: Walking

Post by jundocohen » Tue May 15, 2018 11:09 pm

Hi,

When in Rome, walk as the Romans walk.

Here are the instructions we generally give. I highlight lines often left out, but vital ...
You may wish to add 5 or 10 minutes of “Kinhin” (Walking Zazen) to your sitting,
either after seated Zazen or between periods of Seated Zazen if sitting more than
once. Kinhin is a continuation of seated Zazen into movement. To practice Kinhin,
first take the fingers of your left hand and wrap them around the thumb, making a
gentle fist. Place this against your abdomen, around the middle of the chest (as in
the pictures below). The right hand is then placed over the left. Your forearms are
parallel to the floor, and the elbows and upper arms are held sideways or gently
rest against your sides.

This Kinhin Mudra (way of placing the hands) is called Shashu, and helps to
maintain a settled and dignified demeanor while walking Kinhin. The back is straight
(but not too rigid), the head is held upright, and the eyes are open (half or onethird)
but lowered looking downward and ahead.

Kinhin can be done at any speed, but in Soto Zen a very slow pace is typical. You
can of course walk your own pace when practicing alone, but if you are with a
group you have to maintain about the same pace and spacing between people as
everyone else. The basic form of practice is to take a half step at the top of each
inhalation breath, walking around the edges of the room (although you will likely
only move a few meters in the allotted time). The mind should be just as in seated
Zazen, allowing thoughts to come and go without latching on or judging things. In
fact, in this kind of walking ... unlike most of our walking in life ... we drop all
thought of some "someplace to get" or finish line, and each step is Complete and
Total Arrival of its own ...
… just this step, then this step, and this …
One walks at one's own pace by stepping half-step as one's ordinary breaths reach the top at a nice, slow, relaxed breathing pace. Howver, when with a group, for practical purposes of preventing a traffic jam behind you in the Zendo, step with just enough length to keep even spacing with the folks in front. I have often seen one very slow person with half a dozen folks scrunched up behind.

Also, generally try to avoid walking directly in front of the Altar, and cross behind. However, if that is unavoidable, give a little bow forward in Shashu to say "excuse me."

Image

Image

The above is Soto way of course.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Walking

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed May 16, 2018 12:56 am

Cha-Cha-Cha! ;)

Or the Foxtrot.

Master Sheng Yen also taught us fast-walking. This could be as fast at times as running-speed, except it was not running, as there was always to be one foot on the ground. Steps were short, but, very, very quick (not as long as running "steps").

This is a great practice on retreat for emptying the mind completely, as holding any considerations at all will slow you down, and you will be run over by the person behind you. One must "put everything down". And it's a great practice for exceeding your supposed limitations, and for cultivating an expression of the utmost of one's reserves of energy and balance. It is often interspersed with slow walking, or at least slower walking.

Transitions from one speed to the other are signaled by the leader with a number of taps of the tail-end (handle-end) of the kyosaku (xiang-ban) straight down onto the floor of the Ch'an Hall (or, differently, if done outdoors), so that speaking is not needed. It is a great exercise for the legs and whole body, and of course is rather "aerobic", and a real "waker-upper".

So I experienced it on many retreats.

Ven. Sheng Yen called this kind of fast walking "Lin-Chi walking", or Rinzai walking.

--Joe

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lindama
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Re: Walking

Post by lindama » Wed May 16, 2018 1:39 am

too funny elG, did it burn long enough to cross?

I used to love walking in the dark in the woods... that is, in the woods on a path where I could walk in barefeet and feel into each step. a nice practice of letting go. kinhin for me is simply forgetting that I am going anywhere, step by step, just follow the person in front of me just like walking in the woods. I come from the fast walking school in the morning and varied paces otherwise. There was no notice, just follow the pace in front of you. I've always had a prob with soto kinhin, it is so slow that I have to think about it.

Bodhi, let your dog lead the way....


el gatito wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:59 am
Meido wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:27 pm
... instructions for situations like walking at night, walking with one's eyes closed, etc...
That would be interesting. More than once, while traveling in various countries/places and returning late at night after a walk, the situation was like "absolute" darkness.

In one curious case, when I had to find my way home very late, I had to cross a small stream in absolute darkness. Seemingly impossible. Then I decided to burn my map (the only piece of paper I had with me back then) to enlighten my way through the water. That was way too funny.

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fuki
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Re: Walking

Post by fuki » Wed May 16, 2018 11:25 am

lindama wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:39 am
There was no notice, just follow the pace in front of you. I've always had a prob with soto kinhin, it is so slow that I have to think about it.
We always start fast and gradually pace down, when in a "state of non-dwelling" everything happens automatically so there's really no (seperate) one walking and the adjustment to the pace just happens effortlessly. We don't practise under a single tradition so it depends on the teacher, but I adjusted the fast->slow between 2 zazen sessions at home too.
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KeithA
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Re: Walking

Post by KeithA » Wed May 16, 2018 2:15 pm

At one hit of the chugpi (slotted stick of bamboo), we stand up and fall in line behind the HDT (monitor) or the teacher, if present. We just walk at a normal pace, nothing special. If you need a drink of water, or use the bathroom, walking period is the time to do so. The instruction is to just keep practicing, as you were when sitting. After ten minutes, the chugpi is hit again and when we come to our cushion we stop and face in. The chugpi is hit one more time and we sit back down.

Let's face it, the point of walking is to stretch the legs. Not so sure any special instructions are necessary. Different strokes and all, I guess.

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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jundocohen
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Re: Walking

Post by jundocohen » Thu May 17, 2018 12:43 am

I sat Sesshin at the 6th Ancestor Temple in China (next to Hui-neng's mummy), Nanhuasi, which monastery was restored last century by Ven. Hsu Yun. Boy, they go fast there. I just tried not to be run over. The happened to be filming a documentary that week, so You get to play "Where's Jundo?", cause I am in there somewhere about the 00:20 and 02:50 marks ... where I can be found cruising in the inside "slow lane" of the Kinhin highway, closest to the Buddha statue . They do pick up speed quite a bit at the 01:00 mark.



I like both the brisk Rinzai style and the slow Soto, but the slow Soto reminds me that there is no place to go in life even as we keep moving and progressing forward. After all, we walk in transcendence of "fast vs. slow, here and there."

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Walking

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu May 17, 2018 2:45 am

Fascinating, Jundo. Thanks!

It seems to me there are a number of lay people in attendance (not sure), as well as monastics. Discipline among the attendees also appears to me to be quite lax, but the monitors appear well coordinated.

As for speed of the fast-walking, it seems not up to Sheng Yen's speed, but maybe is two-thirds. And we do not/did not do the vocalizing.

I'm interested by the shape and heft of the sticks (and so many of them! So many monitors). I may try to make some sticks like that. Thus far, I've only made the much more usual kyosaku, although I have added some detail of my own. But these in the video are quite different: I've never seen the like.

Thanks again; a wonderful cultural glimpse.

Interesting too that the PRC allows the temple to operate.

--Joe

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jundocohen
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Re: Walking

Post by jundocohen » Thu May 17, 2018 4:40 am

In fact, the temple appears to be growing with new building and flourishing. A lot of Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong wealthy donors, I suspect.

(And the sound track is interesting too)



As I recall, the men were mostly priests, the women were mixed nuns and lay women. Of course, they have to stay in their own area.

It is home to the famous mummy of Master Hui-neng. The mummy walks too, although not like the ones in the movies.

Image

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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fuki
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Re: Walking

Post by fuki » Thu May 17, 2018 9:32 am

jundocohen wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 12:43 am
I sat Sesshin at the 6th Ancestor Temple in China (next to Hui-neng's mummy), Nanhuasi, which monastery was restored last century by Ven. Hsu Yun. Boy, they go fast there. I just tried not to be run over. The happened to be filming a documentary that week, so You get to play "Where's Jundo?", cause I am in there somewhere about the 00:20 and 02:50 marks ... where I can be found cruising in the inside "slow lane" of the Kinhin highway, closest to the Buddha statue . They do pick up speed quite a bit at the 01:00 mark.
That looked chaotic and non-uniformed.

I prefer small groups in small rooms anyway, ppl are 'moved' by a uni-energy instead of 'personal effort'
could also be my imagination :cat:

The beard made it easy, Jundo.
vlcsnap-2018-05-17-11h37m55s895.png
vlcsnap-2018-05-17-11h37m55s895.png (270.14 KiB) Viewed 642 times
Image
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fuki
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Re: Walking

Post by fuki » Thu May 17, 2018 9:58 am

jundocohen wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 4:40 am
As I recall, the men were mostly priests, the women were mixed nuns and lay women. Of course, they have to stay in their own area.
Why is that an `ofcourse`
How does that work in today´s days, are the genders still seperated or apartheid/ed, curious how that works in Meido´s new monastery

sorry for the lack of question marks, the keyboard needs a reboot
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bokki
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Re: Walking

Post by bokki » Thu May 17, 2018 12:28 pm

and all of this walkig around..
i mean LOL
walking around a piece of wood?
lol, y dont the chit walk around u?
r u some kind of slave to a statue..?

lol, how much bowing and slaving can u endure..?


lol, bow on..honey.. sure feels good..


LOL



not.
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson

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fuki
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Re: Walking

Post by fuki » Thu May 17, 2018 9:00 pm

bokki wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 12:28 pm
and all of this walkig around..
i mean LOL
walking around a piece of wood?
lol, y dont the chit walk around u?
r u some kind of slave to a statue..?
As long as there's still a you and a statue, one is merely enslaved by the loophole of one's own narrative, or the samsaric mind. Unrespectful speech over and over should be a clear sign, no?
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lindama
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Re: Walking

Post by lindama » Fri May 18, 2018 3:59 am

oh gee, I don't see any disrespect. All good zennies laugh at their practice to the same degree that they take it seriously once we understand that discipline is an illusion just like folly is, just like purity is. These are outer phenomena to point the way, best not to take them tooooo seriously. The zen heart has nothing to do with discipline, sticks, etc tho it may be a stop on the way to freedom. Discipline and folly can be engaged from the bottom of one's heart... it's the heart that knows, and laughs.

Where are we if we can't trust our companions on the way to be exactly who they are, inside and out.... free from our identification with them. My teacher was far from perfect, yet I love him for being exactly who he is.... I trusted him for that. "gotta pay your dues if you want to sing the blues" .... walk on
It don't come easy, Ringo Starr

Lyrics
One, two,
One, two, three, four!
It don't come easy
You know it don't come easy
It don't come easy
You know it don't come easy
Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don't come easy
You don't have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy
Open up your heart, let's come together
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better
I don't ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don't come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don't come easy
Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you're big enough to take it
Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don't come easy
You don't have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy
Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you're big enough to take it
I don't ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don't come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don't come easy
"What's my name?" Ringo!
"What's my name?" Ringo!
"Just in case anybody forgot"
Songwriters: Richard Starkey

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lindama
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Re: Walking

Post by lindama » Fri May 18, 2018 7:14 am

The topic is walking.... nearly forgot my introduction to walking meditation.... walking the labryinth back in the 90's. Walking by any name exists in many traditions.

here is Lauren Artress, Cannon for Special Ministries at Grace Cathedral in the 90's. I spent time with the Labryinth and Hildegard of Bingen with her.... tho I had no connection with the institution of the church.... no matter. I always spent time with a small side altar for the Magdalene, soul sister. real ppl .... walking the Lebryinth is finding your own pace ... you fall into rhythm with yourself and your surroundings and it's not all the same pace :111:



I have friends who walked a sacred pilgrimage in Europe that is quite famous. Pilgrimage is universal.

ha, I only remembered tonight because I saw a post on FB talking about Beyonce singing at Grace Cathedral (as above).... and the past becomes the present.

AND..... with my qigong, Bagua Circle Walking is a meditation

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bokki
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Re: Walking

Post by bokki » Fri May 18, 2018 9:45 am

thank u Linda, Fuki..and all.
i was sent to north of japan, i accepted,
2 look after a quite big temple that had no 1 there.

how many butsudans do u thinck i had to attend daily,
after morning practice, and at 5 o clock.

well, every butsudan in the temple, and every one in the seven storey
pagoda.

and all the rooms, kitchen, toilets, u name it..

so, i walked around a bit...

i can understand u not happy with my words...

have u cooked a meal for monks and nuns i n a temple?

maybe ill understand ur objection better.

anyway,, ur posts do please me...lol, i mean, lol, no one..
yup, thats me...
LOL
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson

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Emmet
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Re: Walking

Post by Emmet » Fri May 18, 2018 5:19 pm

Years ago, I attended a retreat with some TNH folks; their instructions for outdoor walking meditation was not to do so mindlessly; lost in thought, but to simply perceive the experience directly, not through our usual filters of analysis, discrimination, and categorizing; a surprisingly difficult thing to do for an amateur naturalist with all of my taxonomies. Later, I was introduced to the concept of shinrin yoku; “forest bathing”, and all of the health benefits which accrue from the practice. Today, it's my favorite walking meditation; a trail in the Nantahala National Forest, refraining from all thoughts, rumination, and contemplation; simply maintaining open, non-discriminating awareness of the totality of my surroundings in complete solitude and “noble silence”. Rather than the sound of the inkin bell, when my little elderly dog calls a halt, it's an invitation to stop, release any thought my mind might have inadvertently glommed onto, expand my awareness once again, and deeply look, listen, and feel.

Brief introduction to the science of Forest Therapy
5 Simple Steps to Practising Shinrin-Yoku

HIKING
"I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter?' It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, 'A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them."
John Muir

Caodemarte
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Re: Walking

Post by Caodemarte » Sun May 20, 2018 2:25 pm

Based on advice from a fellow sitter and former Tai Chi, I am experimenting with 🚶‍♀️ by breathing in while raising the foot (“inhaling” the foot up and very slightly leaning into the rise) and exhaling on the lowering into a half step. Any suggestions on using breathing with walking?

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