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Old 07-07-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
Fatal Guillotine
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Default The Origin(s) Of Zen

I want to create a thread on Ch’an for little is truly known about it except in
certain secret circles for it has been passed down from Master to Disciple for the last 1500 yrs. It all started with a man named Bodhidharma (Tamo/Damo in Chinese [460-534 AD]) who traveled from central Persia to spread his teachings of Buddhism to China.

Earliest account of Bodhidharma from 547 AD
“At that time there was a monk of the Western Region named Bodhidharma, a Persian Central Asian. He traveled from the wild borderlands to China. Seeing the golden disks [on the pole on top of Yungníng’s stupa reflecting in the sun, the rays of light illuminating the surface of the clouds, the jewel-bells on the stupa blowing in the wind, the echoes reverberating beyond the heavens, he sang its praises. He exclaimed: “Truly this is the work of spirits.” He said: “I am 150 years old, and I have passed through numerous countries. There is virtually no country I have not visited. Even the distant Buddha-realms lack this.” He chanted homage and placed his palms together in salutation for days on end.”

When he arrived in China he stayed at a Temple in Canton [520-527 AD] until he was summoned by the Emperor Wu in Nanking.

Meeting with Emperor Wu

Emperor Wu: “How much karmic merit have I earned for ordaining Buddhist monks, building monasteries, having sutras copied, and commissioning Buddha images?”
Bodhidharma: “None. Good deeds done with worldly intent bring good karma, but no merit.”
Emperor Wu: “So what is the highest meaning of noble truth?”
Bodhidharma: “There is no noble truth, there is only void.”
Emperor Wu: “Then, who is standing me?”
Bodhidharma: “I know not, Your Majesty.”[

After leaving the Emperor he traveled to Loyang and to Mount Song arriving at the northern Shaolin(Young Forest) Temple. The monks at first rejected his teachings;
His Teaching

‘A special transmission outside the scriptures,
Not founded upon words and letters;
By pointing directly to [one’s] mind
It lets one see into [one’s own true] nature and [thus] attain Buddhahood.”

So he went to a nearby cave and sat in Ching T’suo (Sitting at Peace) meditating by staring at a cave wall for nine years as the legend goes. When he emerged finally he presented the monks at the Temple with two exercises and the Lankavatara Sutra. The two exercises were the Yi Jin Jing (Muscle/ tendon Changing Classics) and the Xi Sui Jing ( Brain/ Marrow Washing Classics).

This is the legend there is much controversy surrounding it. It is agreed by most that Tamo did indeed travel to the Temple and that he did stay in the cave for nine years but the Yi Jin Jing and the Xi Sui Jing time of development is in question.

Ch’an means Dyhana(meditation) it is that after it traveled to Japan became Zen but Zen became more public because the Chinese are a very secretive people. Ch’an is a blending of Buddhism and Taoism and it is distinctively Chinese. It is a revolution in Buddhism that spread all over Asia. I was fortunate enough to learn it at a young age and now have been practicing it for a quarter of a century. I am of the Southern Shaolin Lineage 3rd Generation.

The Temple was burned to the ground and the monks ordered to be executed in 1926. My Great Grand Master was one of the lucky few Master Fighting Monks to escape. He traveled to Tibet and eventually ended up in Germany where he ended up teaching my Teacher privately for almost a decade. I met my Grandmaster when he was well into his sixties and was taught mainly by his direct Disciple my Master and occasionally The GM would come and teach me himself. I was a Chief Instructor for his studios and lived in the studio from 20 - 25 from 25 - 30 I was married so I moved out of the studio and continued to learn and teach. I went on my own after that.

I am now a Master of Kung fu, Chi kung, and Ch’an as well I am an expert in Taoist Internal Alchemy. I am going to share in video and writing what Ch’an is about to me and how to practice it if one is interested. I welcome anyone to share as well and give comments as a matter of fact I would greatly appreciate it. I have had many small awakenings and two large awakenings I am going to start right now by describing the two large ones briefly the best I can so the reader will know what they are and what happens in them for meditation , seeing into ones original nature and awakenings are what it is all about.

The next post I will post the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing as I was taught its different than everything you will find on the internet or in books. This is from the draft of a book I am writing on the subject.

“These practices are completely safe. There is no fear involved about having Chi kung Deviation or Kundalini syndrome which are psychotic episodes brought on by improper practice or incorrect methods of practice. They are common side affects in many systems but not this one because the mind is not allowed to wander or become void. There is always a focus one one thing but being aware of everything around or being aware of everything but paying no particular attention to any one thing.

One learns through time how to see into their original nature and may even achieve awakening. I did when I was twenty eight. One morning before going to my studio to teach for the day I went through all of the exercises one directly after the other. When I was finished I stretched out my legs to shake out the numbness then as I began to stand up it hit me. A complete falling away of my ego (emotional mind) all of my emotions and senses except my awareness left me. There was nor fear no feeling not even of the presence of my body.

I was still mindful though and mindless at the same time. Remember mindful means focused and remembrance. So I was attentively aware of what was happening it was a subtle and profound awareness. I remember I had an intuitive impulse to go get a paper bag and cut out eye holes and placing it on my head and moving to my full body mirror hanging on the wall and seeing myself without my face. It was weird it was like a numbness throughout my body but not I was unrecognizable and it didn’t bother me.

Fear of losing myself or harm to my being fell away, everything seemed to fall away. My self was there but I seemed to view everything in a third party sense. I was simply an observer and feeling non duality through experience for the first time. For I felt I was in the mirror and the mirror was me. It is very hard to describe in words almost impossible only an allegory will fit. It was like viewing all the facets of a diamond refracting and being able to view each facet at the same time even the opposite side. At the same time I was the diamond viewing me through each refracting facet.

I was in the world and the world was within me. There was no difference between myself and the mirror. There were no attachments to anything, not my reflection , not even myself. I stood there in the experience for awhile. I remember my son was there but there was no attachment towards him I felt nothing but at the same time we were one. I was experiencing a oneness with everything around me, the chair, my son, the mirror. Eventually I took the bag off and looked into the mirror again it was simply a reflection I was aware of that’s all.

Then I went down and took a shower. It was truly incredible now the water and I became one as it pored over me I was aware of it covering my body like a blanket but it was apart of me and I was numb to its contact there was no temperature which I thought to myself was weird but then the thought passed away like a drifting cloud. There was a plastic glass in the shower which we kept there for my son’s baths it was green at the time though I was not aware of color or even it being a glass now though I was one with the water and the glass for the glass was in my hand and part of me.

I was completely aware of the chi of everything though from the mirror time to the shower time. I can’t tell you how long I spent in each for time was non existent. Anyway back to the shower. I began to empty and fill the cup with the water over and over again. I was completely fascinated with this new experience. The only word I can use to describe it is profound. I composed a sort of poem while I was in this moment. Everything was here and now moment to moment. Here is the poem;

Of a Cup and Water
1)Water is completely neutral to the nature of a cup.
2)A cup’s very nature is to contain and transport water. If there is no water, there is no need for a cup.
3)An empty cup has no use except for the potential to be filled.
4)A full cup cannot be added too for it will overflow.
So it has no use except for the potential to be emptied.
5)If the empty cup is never used or if the full cup is left to sit un- used, the potential for the cup’s change of state is neglected.
6)In their interaction they share a mutual experience, which will effect their existence relative to their individual natures. Although, in essence, the cup is still a cup and the water is still water, (their reality has not changed.)
7)Therefore, the cups entire purpose for existence is to be filled and emptied. As long as this cycle continues, there is purpose for the cup.
8)But, with or without the cup, the water will always be.

Eventually I got out of the shower and dried myself off and got dressed to go to work. I was the whole time moving on a sort of subconscious level, I mean I was a sort of automaton moving like a heart beats or the lungs breath it was just happening. I went to work and pulled out the Diamond sutra from my library in my office. I read it quickly through until I just stopped because a part of it hit me very profoundly, I know I use that word a lot but it is the only word to describe what was happening to me. The part was simplified “A book is not really a book it is a book because we call it a book therefore it is a book.” The book can refer to anything fire, water, wind, whatever. I went through the group kung fu class feeling the experience as my day had been for quite some time now. Then it was time for the meditation/chi kung group class and while I had them meditating and looking at me I dropped all of these new discoveries on them like a bomb shell that exploded. They were in awe and very grateful for the class. I had gone through a complete paradigm shift in consciousness and world view in the span of a day. That lasts and continues to grow to this day in graduation.

Still things of my self fall away as well. I continue to change but am still myself. The self never disappears even if it is obliterated as happens sometimes in deep meditation. It still returns like in a survival mode again just like the heart beats or the lungs breath. I had one more awakening when I was thirty two. It was a spiritual awakening it is when I became one with the Tao. I experienced and understood the concept of the chi driving the bi polar interactions of yin and yang which are both facets of the same Source, the Tao.

This understanding made me truly realize cause and effect (karma) and I truly became balanced. I learned to flow effortlessly with the Tao and its changes. I intuitively learned that following turns to leading and leading turns too following and the cycle continues. Now I feel the chi in everything when I open myself up to it or my mind makes me aware of it on its own. The Truth is impossible to describe but I gave it my best shot and kept the wording and concepts as simple as I could.

Some skeptics may not believe this for I am bi polar and was diagnosed at age thirty three because my family didn’t understand this experience for I had changed. They were Christian and had no knowledge of these practices. I did have four manias in my late thirties which were hardcore spiritual experiences and changed my view of reality itself. If I was in Asia people would understand. They were not psychotic episodes but euphoric revelation experiences but no one understood what was happening to me. I did and had no fear I embraced each experience to its fullest. I worked hard to attain those experiences through many hours of meditation and chi kung.”

I hope this is a good start its all me and I figured lets go right to the meat then we can go for the potatoes with a little gravy. The potatoes are the exercises and the gravy the philosophy. Anyway comments good and bad are appreciated like I said and If anyone wants to add or talk about Zen as well it is okay with me.

Namaste
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
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Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing
Yi Jin Jing(Muscle/ Tendon Changing Classic)

I am going to describe below the three most important exercises of the Yi Jin Jing. These three exercises form a complete meditation and chi kung regimen. The purpose of this classic is to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments by nourishing the different levels of fasciae in the structure of the body with chi. At first with the Chi breathing exercise we learn to develop and store the chi, then with the Lesser Heavenly Circle we learn to circulate the chi through the vessels and meridians around the microcosmic orbit and finally with the Muscle/ Tendon Changes we complete the Greater Heavenly Circle strengthening and stretching the muscles and tendons as well as send chi through the macrocosmic orbit to the limbs.

Before beginning practice one should do gentle warm ups and stretching especially loosening up of the joints. Do not practice if you have just finished eating or if you are hungry. It is best to practice in the morning and evening. Do not train if you have drugs or alcohol in your system.

In the beginning practice one until you have mastered it then move on to the next exercise usually taking from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Then after all of the exercises are comfortable practice one after the other without break until you have completed the whole regimen. 36 breaths of Chi Breathing (on inhalation and one exhalation counting one breath), 36 breaths of the Lesser Heavenly Circle and 10 breaths for each of the 10 Muscle/ Tendon changes. After completion do some cool down exercises and stretching. The warm ups and cool downs are very important because you want an unimpeded flow of chi in the sitting exercises and the Muscle/ tendon Changes require dynamic tension. You will work up a sweat if done properly. After some time when this level is accomplished add in the Xi Sui Ching sittings everything back to back and that is the full and complete session it should take the practitioner around an hour to finish.
If at all possible find a place to perform these exercises where you are facing an empty wall. Because of this condition Ching T’suo (Sitting at Peace) Ch’an meditation is called Wall Gazing.

CHI BREATHING
The first attempt at mind training is the Chi Breathing exercise it is the first meditation of the Yi Jin Jing. It has a two-fold purpose: the first is to begin circulating and storing the vital energy creating the elixir; and, the second is to practice expansive empty awareness. Expansive empty awareness is our original nature, the natural state of mind. Because of this twofold purpose this exercise is the foundation of all the meditation exercises that follow.

The basic rules for meditation are as follows; 1) the back must be straight, allowing the spine to follow it’s natural curvature up the back. 2) the head is raised up as if suspended from a string hanging from the sky, with the chin tucked inwards toward the chest. 3) the shoulders are relaxed and pulled slightly back. 4) the tongue is rested with the tip sitting on the top of the mouth behind the top front teeth. 5) the eyes remain open.

To prepare for the exercise find a quiet place with no extraneous noise. Place yourself in a cross legged position on the floor facing a clear wall. Sometimes this exercise is called wall gazing because of this. Now, following the basic rules, gaze at a point on the horizon of the wall to the forefront; take a relaxing deep sigh, allowing the shoulders to relax and settle as well as the elbows. The hands are placed facing upwards on the knees which allows the elbows to fall into the correct position.
The breath is relaxed and deep. For each inhalation allow the diaphragm and abdomen to expand, for the exhalation the abdomen contracts to the diaphragm. Inhale relaxed for 4-5 seconds and without a pause exhale for a count of 10 seconds. At the end of the exhalation when the diaphragm is contracted following the wave of the abdomen contracting in time with the breath make a “tuh” sound removing the tongue from the top of the mouth were it was placed through the breath. So with the inhalation the tongue touches the roof of the mouth at the end of the exhalation a soft “tuh” sound is made as the tongue is removed from the roof of the mouth. The motion of the abdomen is that of a belly dancer, smooth and not forced a rolling motion like a wave , expanding and contracting with the breath.

On review we start the exercise with a relaxed sigh after we have assumed the correct position. Then with the first inhalation we find a spot on the wall directly in front of the eyes. At the beginning of the exhalation we expand the vision to the peripheral, viewing everything but paying no particular attention to any one thing. Keeping the expanded empty awareness continue the exercise for 36 breaths at the end of the final exhalation bring the vision back slowly to the original point focused on at the beginning of the exercise with the “tuh” sound and then make one final relaxed sigh.

The sigh prepares the mind to begin the exercise and signals the end. The expansive awareness is practiced through the breaths and each exhalation is counted in the mind from 1 to 10, on 10 we make the “tuh” sound. The tongue being placed and removed forms a circuit for the energy to follow. It is quite common to feel warmth in the abdomen and see a white mist passing over the vision down the front of the face, this will be explained in more detail in the Greater Heavenly Circle exercise. With practice the count can be eliminated for there will be a natural feel to the exercise and the mind will keep count with the timing of the ‘practiced’ breath.

When one has become used to the exercise it can be practiced and should be practiced in a less quiet, more active environment in order to enhance mental training. Also without the mental process of actually counting one can focus more clearly on the abdominal movement, thus bringing the mind to the Lesser Heavenly Circle being completed between the lower elixir field and the middle elixir field. It is in this circuit that essence and vital energy are mixed and stored in the lower elixir field. The middle elixir field at the solar plexus is the home of the vital energy we receive from eating and breathing. The lower elixir field about 3.5 inches below the naval is the home of the essence or original vital energy we received from birth. When these two energies combine in the naval and are mixed in this “sea of energy” the golden elixir is created.

This exercise can be practiced for more breaths as well. The practitioner will become more adept with continued practice. Obviously, the more breaths the more energy is cultivated and stored. This exercise is the precursor to the next series of exercises which will be described below. Each exercise is to be practiced after the other using a 36 breath count.

LESSER HEAVENLY CIRCLE

The Lesser Heavenly is the second and final meditation of the Yi Jin Jing. In the Lesser Heavenly Circle exercise we assume a different position and the breathing becomes more difficult. To start we execute a 25 second exhalation and introduce the concept of “mind following”. The circle now grows to encase the entire torso. All of the basic rules remain the same except now we assume the “tripod position”. This position will be used for all of the following meditations as well except the final sitting meditation. Instead of the feet crossing the feet they now come together and touch on the soles with the knees bent inwards. The hands rest the same as in Chi Breathing. So you can see the only thing that has changed is the feet position.

Facing a wall in the correct position we now focus on a single point directly to the front. Taking a deep sigh we begin the exercise with the same abdominal motion. Because of the lengthy exhalation we have to take care not to run out of air or gasp. Gasping is referred to as the “ drowning phase”. To prevent entering into the drowning phase and dissipating the vital energy we must relax the diaphragm at the end of the breath after making the “tuh” sound. It is important that these muscles are relaxed and not tense. When this is accomplished it is referred to as the “dream cycle” for we relax the diaphragm and allow a smooth transition of breath without a pause.

After the sigh we inhale expanding the diaphragm. A longer inhalation is preferable so there is full capacity in the lungs for the exercise. Focusing on the spot on the wall to the direct front we begin the slow controlled 25 second exhalation. The focus is at first at the lower elixir field and moves down around the torso up the back and around over the head to finally descend down the front of the body. The breath is broken into 5 parts. The first 5 seconds we visualize the energy moving from the lower elixir field down around the anus to the sacral pump which is roughly just above the tailbone at the base of the spine. The second 5 seconds we move the energy through this visualization up the back to the point on the spine just opposite the heart. The third 5 seconds of breath we move the energy from this point up the back over the head to the upper elixir field. The fourth 5 seconds we direct the energy down the front of the face along the throat descending down the torso to the middle elixir field. The final 5 second count we slowly close the eyes and move the energy through the naval (the sea of energy), through the point we focused on , on the wall that is still in our minds eye, back to the lower elixir field with the “tuh” sound removing the tongue to finish the cycle.

Here it is important that we make the smooth transition, opening the eyes and replacing the tongue with the relaxed inhalation and then repeating the cycle 36 times, until ending the last breath with the closing sigh. The “mind following” is important as it is the way we lead the energy by directing our mind along the path to certain points on the torso. Where the mind goes the energy will follow and with practice you will begin to actually feel the energy follow your mind. The white mist from Chi Breathing can be seen as well as the energy passes through the field of vision. Concentration and focus are the key to this exercise. If focus is lost the energy will dissipate and the effort will be wasted. This is the natural path of energy flow in the body.
This cultivated energy can fill the vessels, meridians, and channels of the body.

Once Chi Breathing has been accomplished and practiced proficiently one can fill the reservoirs with this cultivated chi on the first cycle and even change the breathing process. For each breath one can direct the chi to certain points filling them with energy and moving along the Greater Heavenly Path so that a more efficient flow can be maintained. There are 12 major points that can be filled in this manor I will list them in order and describe the breathing process.

First we assume the correct position with the eyes open using expansive empty awareness to the forefront. Inhale using abdominal breathing but using Chi Breathing method with 10 second exhalations. First of all, sigh, then breathe in and focus on the lower elixir field then exhale and visualize the energy circulating there. With the next inhalation direct the energy to the “gate of life and death”, the perineum. With the exhalation again circulate the energy there. With each point the breathing and focus remain the same so I will simply list the points. From the perineum we move to the “door of life” the kidney point, roughly in the area of the kidneys. From the kidneys direct the energy to the point opposite the heart on the spinal column. Next we move to the Jade Pillow were the spine meets the skull. Moving up the head we stop next at the crown point then move to the Crystal Palace the upper elixir field. Descending down the front of the body we stop next at the throat center were the Adams Apple sits. Moving down further we direct the energy to the heart, then on to the solar plexus, the middle elixir field, then to the sea of energy, the naval and finally we end up again at the lower elixir field finishing the Lesser Heavenly Circle.

Having now filled up these important points we can circulate the chi with two breaths , inhaling for 10 seconds, we lead the energy from the lower elixir field to the upper elixir field following the Lesser Heavenly Path, exhaling we descend down the path along the front of the body to the lower elixir field again. In this method the tongue stays on the roof of the mouth throughout the cycles until a desired finish at the end of the whole exercise, then make the “tuh” sound by removing the tongue and breaking the cycle. Throughout the exercise you will produce saliva - do not swallow it until the very end of the exercise. When it is swallowed, follow it with the mind down into the stomach and then visualize it moving into the lower elixir field . This same method should be used for all of the exercises; saliva is an elixir in itself.


Don’t just practice only one of these methods of the Lesser Heavenly Circulation but master them all until you can mentally produce the circuit regardless of the breathing method used.
Always use these exercises to cultivate energy. This exercise is the jewel of Taoist practice; it is a basic exercise, but remember, the basics in everything are always the most important for everything is built upon them. The Lesser and Greater Heavenly Circles are the foundation, the corner stone and the capstone of the system.

THE GREATER HEAVENLY CIRCLE ; MUSCLE/ TENDON CHANGES

Motion 1;

In the first motion you stand erect with the chin tucked slightly inward and the eyes gazing forward. The feet are shoulder width apart and the hands rest to the sides. Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth directly behind the two front top teeth. Tuck the thumbs inside the fists, keeping the arms straight as you breath in through the nose raise the arms with dynamic tension to shoulder level with the palms facing each other so the thumbs are on the top, expanding the chest at the same time. At the very end of the lift squeeze the thumbs gaining a greater stretch in the wrist to the shoulder. At the end of the inhalation open the hands with the palms facing downward, relax and slowly exhale lowering the hands back down to the sides. There should be around a 5 second inhalation and a 7 to 10 second exhalation. Repeat 10 times.

Motion 2;

Keeping the feet shoulder width apart on the balls of the feet turn the heels outward and bend the knees down until they are touching each other. Make fists with the thumbs to the outside of the fingers form a semi circle with the arms so that the knuckles of the fists face each other at the level of the lower dan tian. Breath in gently with the tongue resting on the top of the mouth behind the teeth as you exhale stretch out the thumbs away from the fists so that the touch each other and point directly at the lower dan tian with dynamic tension. You should also feel tension on the outside of the fore arms. Breath in relaxed and bring the thumbs back to their original starting place. There should be around a 4 second inhalation and a 7-10 second exhalation. Repeat 10 times.

Motion 3;

Return the feet to being shoulder width apart in the same position as the 1st motion except the thumbs rest on the outside if the fingers in the fist still. Take a deep relaxed in breath on the exhalation at the same time with dynamic tension raise the arms to shoulder level and lift the heels until you are poised on the balls of your feet. Only exhale 3/4 of the breath with the palms still facing each other hold the breath and stretch the arms back at shoulder level still until they are directly to the sides. Open the hands turn the hands so the palms are facing downward relaxing for the rest of the breath lower the hands to the sides. The inhalation should be around 4-5 seconds and the total combined exhalation around 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Motion 4;

Turn the heels out so that you are slightly pigeon toed but the knees are not touching and you are still erect. Tuck the thumbs inside the fingers turn the palms downward and place the hands in front approximately 2-3 inches apart. Breath in gently and raise the arms to shoulder level. Breath out and for 3/4 of the breath with dynamic tension pull the fists back to the shoulders keeping the elbows at shoulder level . Imagine you are holding a bar and while holding your breath circle the bar around the head and pull down so that the elbows are pointing downward. Relax lift the elbows back to shoulder level and open the hands for the remainder of the breath lower the pals like you are pushing a table downward until the palms reach the hips. The inhalation is about 4-5 seconds the exhalation is a total of approximately 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times

Motion 5;

Straighten out the feet and place the right foot in front of the left so that the two feet form a “T” with the knees touching but the body is still erect. Breath in and keeping the hands open this time lift the hands to chest level so that the wrists are pointed upward and the fingers are pointed downward in the form of a monkey paw with a separation of about 2-3 inches between the hands. On the exhalation lift the fingers up so that the palms are protruding downward. Lower the hands in time with the stomach contraction with dynamic tension until the palms reach the lower dan tian, then turn the hands inward so that the two index fingers are touching each other and pointing directly at the lower dan tian at the end of the breach and contraction simultaneously. As you lower the hands with the contraction bend the knees a crouch slightly in time with the breath. The inhalation is about 4-5 seconds the exhalation approximately 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Motion 6;

Assume the same feet placement except place the left foot in front of the right. With fists made with the thumbs on the outside of the fingers assume the chamber position. Which is formed by placing the fists on either hip pulled back to settle on the middle of the hip with the palms facing upward. Breath in and reach forward to eye level with the palms open and facing downward. Make a fist again and breath out pulling the fists back to the chamber position with dynamic tension. Expand the chest and pull back the shoulders with the out breath. Inhalation is 4-5 seconds exhalation is approximately 10 seconds.

Motion 7;

Begin in the same position as motion 4. With the thumbs tucked inside of the fingers. With the in breath raise the arms to shoulder level the draw them back until the elbows are level with the shoulders and pointed out to the sides. The forearms should be at such an angle that the fists with the palms facing forward are about 2-3 inches from the temples. Breathing out with dynamic tension bring the forearms together in a crunch to the front of the body with the fists at eye level and the palms facing inwards toward the face for 3/4 of the exhalation. Relax the arms and body, open the hands and allow the palms to return to the sides of the body with the remainder of the breath. The inhalation should be around 4-5 seconds, the exhalation a total of approximately 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Motion 8;

Make fists with the hands with the thumb on the outside of the fingers. Place them in front of the body so that the fist are approximately 1-2 inches apart. Let the elbows move away from the ribs naturally so the are in a comfortable position. the fists are hanging down at waist level. Breath in relaxed as you breath out lift the hands up with dynamic tension to the level of the forehead but forward in front of the face for the arm swings with the position not changing.

Do this for 75% of the breath. As the hands rise upwards move in time with the motion and rise up onto the balls of your feet. Hold the breath and swing the hands inverted with the elbows holding the same position to the sides of the body so that the fists are slightly below shoulder level. Feel the downward stretch in the shoulder.

For the remaining 25% of the out breath open the hands and move them in a reverse motion back to the front of the body at forehead level make a form with the open palms like a triangle with the thumbs and index fingers touching breath out relaxed and move the hands down like you are pushing a table down to the level of the lower dan tian. In breaths are 4-5 seconds, exhalations 10 seconds approximately. Repeat 10 times.


Motion 9;

Place the hands in the position of exercise number two. The only difference between this exercise and the second is that the thumbs circle upward then outward with the exhalation. The elbows will be tucked id and the pinky fingers touching on the inverted fists. On the inhalation reverse the motion back to the original position. Use 4-5 second in breaths and around 10 second out breaths. Repeat 10 times.


Motion 10;

Return feet to toes pointing forward an feet shoulder width apart. Close the fists so that the thumbs rest on the outside of the fingers. With a relaxed in breath circle the fists inward and upward so that the elbows rest on the short ribs and the palms of the fist are at shoulder height facing the body. On the out breath push the fists upward and make a quarter turn so that the thumbs are facing each other. Push up with dynamic tension for 3/4 of the exhalation. Then relax and open the fist and turn the hands so that the palms are facing out and away. With the remainder of the breath allow the hands to settle once again at the sides. The in breath should be 4-5 seconds the exhalation a total of about 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.


Xi Sui Jing ( Marrow/ Brain Washing Classic)

The Marrow/ Brain Washing Classic is the second part to the Muscle/ Tendon Changing Classic. It concerns it self with nourishing the marrow, internal organs and brain with chi as well as training the spirit (shen). I will not go into in depth discussion but stick to the three meditations most important to the classic.

Nourishing the Bones and Marrow

In this exercise we nourish the organs and the brain, in doing so we also refine the elixir into spirit. There is spirit in every organ and the spirit that rests in the body is of two as well there is the “heart/mind” which resides in the heart(middle elixir field) and the “wisdom mind” which resides in the brain(upper elixir field). As well there is the spirit of consciousness that is again two the “spirit of knowing” and original spirit. The elixir is refined into all of these spirits which are one spirit.

Once again we assume the tripod position but in this exercise we alter it throughout the practice to achieve different results so we may directly affect each organ. We begin with a sigh then lean slightly to the left, contracting the abdomen with a wave like action to the left side, when we start and focus on the spleen with the first four breaths. With the inhalations bringing the mind to the organ and with the exhalations nourishing the organ with the elixir. The second four breaths we move to the left lung then with the next four completing twelve on the left side we move to the left kidney. Finishing the twelfth breath we straighten up the body, contracting the abdomen in a wave like fashion to the center of the body, and direct the next four breaths to the stomach and upper/lower intestines. Then we move to the heart with the next four breaths and finish on the bladder and sexual organs four the last four breaths before we lean to the right, contracting our abdomen to the right with a wave like motion, and focus on the liver for four breaths then the right lung and then the right kidney. Finishing those twelve breaths we move again to the center and finish with twelve breaths focusing solely on the brain but with special attention placed on the pineal gland. At the end of the breathe finish with a sigh.

Again this exercise can be done spending more time on each organ if preferred. If on is to take a break between exercises and rest then on each exercise the number of breaths is up to the individual it is the exercise , the process that is important and the technique not the counting of breaths. I present the exercises as 36 breath sets for the benefit of practicing one exercise then straight into the next until all are completed. This method though is extremely difficult and will take time to achieve do not push or rush through the exercises even if only one a day is practiced there is still great benefit in the practice.

Nourishing the Organs and Brain

In this exercise we nourish the organs and the brain, in doing so we also refine the elixir into spirit. There is spirit in every organ and the spirit that rests in the body is of two as well there is the “heart/mind” which resides in the heart(middle elixir field) and the “wisdom mind” which resides in the brain(upper elixir field). As well there is the spirit of consciousness that is again two the “spirit of knowing” and original spirit. The elixir is refined into all of these spirits which are one spirit.

Once again we assume the tripod position but in this exercise we alter it throughout the practice to achieve different results so we may directly affect each organ. We begin with a sigh then lean slightly to the left, contracting the abdomen with a wave like action to the left side, when we start and focus on the spleen with the first four breaths. With the inhalations bringing the mind to the organ and with the exhalations nourishing the organ with the elixir. The second four breaths we move to the left lung then with the next four completing twelve on the left side we move to the left kidney. Finishing the twelfth breath we straighten up the body, contracting the abdomen in a wave like fashion to the center of the body, and direct the next four breaths to the stomach and upper/lower intestines. Then we move to the heart with the next four breaths and finish on the bladder and sexual organs four the last four breaths before we lean to the right, contracting our abdomen to the right with a wave like motion, and focus on the liver for four breaths then the right lung and then the right kidney. Finishing those twelve breaths we move again to the center and finish with twelve breaths focusing solely on the brain but with special attention placed on the pineal gland. At the end of the breathe finish with a sigh.

Again this exercise can be done spending more time on each organ if preferred. If on is to take a break between exercises and rest then on each exercise the number of breaths is up to the individual it is the exercise , the process that is important and the technique not the counting of breaths. I present the exercises as 36 breath sets for the benefit of practicing one exercise then straight into the next until all are completed. This method though is extremely difficult and will take time to achieve do not push or rush through the exercises even if only one a day is practiced there is still great benefit in the practice.


REFINING SPIRIT TO NOTHINGNESS

The heart/mind mind rests in the heart (middle elixir field) while the spirit mind rests in the upper elixir field. The first step to refining spirit is to merge these two minds. Up until now we have just worked on the body and the mind now we will attempt to work with the spirit. First, we mix the water energy in the lower elixir field with the fire energy in the middle elixir field, boiling them in the cauldron we refine the elixir and refine the heart/mind spirit then we move this refined spirit to the upper elixir field and mix it with the spirit mind thus refining the spirit into one spirit. Now we are focusing on consciousness. This spirit consciousness is who we are it is “I”. “I” must be relinquished and become nothing. So we begin searching for our original nature. Our original nature is empty mindful awareness. There is no I , my, me, mine there is only oneness. Oneness is great love, great compassion, great joy. We become perceivers perceiving. Simple awareness, still with emotions, but only the higher self, as the self has now disappeared.

I will use two Japanese words to describe what is happening one experiences; Kensho then Satori. I used these words because this is the experience. Kensho is seeing into one original nature; it is seeing that you are pure awareness. Satori is enlightenment of both the mind and the spirit as these are crushed and something new appears, perception, which changes everything to pure. It is crystal clear. If cup needs to be washed, you wash the cup; if the floor needs to be swept you sweep it; if someone needs food you give it to them. And this continues moment to moment. You laugh , you cry , but everything you see is more brilliant. Flowers are prettier , a birds song touches your heart. There is death to one reality and a new life experiencing a new reality.

Once you have meditated and mixed your spirit, empty your mind and meditate on no mind. You empty your mind and as a thoughts passes, try not to abide to it, let it pass. If it disappears, do not cling, just continue to meditate. Do not worry about breath - let it be natural and it will become very shallow as you relax. Let this happen naturally and eventually the breath will almost disappear and thoughts will pass away, and then there will be emptiness – a mindful emptiness for you are still focused and all that will be left is awareness. Stay here if you can, and observe nothing. Here in this place you will find yourself, your true self. This is not an easy practice and it takes time to stop clinging to thoughts and it takes time to reach the proper meditation time, the time of no breath. This is the path, though eventually you will not need to sit or wait for the proper meditation time, you will just do it naturally, moment to moment in everyday life 24 hours a day. This is because you have achieved the Golden Elixir, you have seen into your original nature. Without that you will not reach enlightenment. The golden elixir is enlightenment there is nothing more. This new reality will fill you with great compassion, love and joy.



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Theory of Ch'an Yoga


In the Tao Te Ching it states “ He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”. The is not an idle statement. To me it means words are inadequate and sometimes redundant and fail to hit the mark. Inadequate in the sense that most of the so called secret knowledge is quite simple yet very complex in its depth. There are layers of meaning and to use any one word narrows the scope of the meaning. Redundant in the fact that “There is nothing new under the sun.” , that everything has already been said before by someone at sometime. This has left me for years trying to figure out how to go about writing such a book as I am undertaking at this time. The answer finally came to me that I should just write it and let the chips fall as they may, that this would be the best way to tackle the problem.

So on that note I will keep the writing as simple and concise as I can. Letting the exercises I am providing speak for themselves on the basis that understanding comes from the experience of practicing them not necessarily in the work that leads up to them. I will provide the knowledge for a basic understanding of the why the exercises should be practiced and what can be gained from such practice as well as an in depth description as to how the exercises should be practiced. Then leave it up to the reader to do the practice and gain a deeper understanding from the experience of the practice itself. Wisdom comes from experience not from intellectualization. To learn by reading alone is like listening with ones ears covered.

Ch’an means meditation it is not necessary to read Buddhist or Taoist scriptures to learn and understand it though they do help to a certain degree. For they are records of the past masters who tried to share their knowledge and experience in writing for future generations to learn from. Ch’an is distinctively Chinese and is a mixture of Indian Buddhism and Taoism that together form a unique system of practice. Meditation and Chi kung combine creating a different form of meditative yoga than that had existed in India previous to Ch’an’s development. Physically health and longevity is the goal, mentally and spiritually enlightenment is the goal. Ch’an yoga treats the body, mind and spirit as a whole and trains them in togetherness creating a harmonious oneness within the individual.

Once one learns of oneself they learn of others for they see themselves in others and others in themselves creating a unity amongst human beings as well. I will not go into the history of Ch’an for I want to speak about what it is and means to me not what it once was. The present moment is what is important not the past or the future for the past is already gone and the future has yet to appear. It is what Ch’an is at the moment it is experienced that the greatest benefits are realized. It changes with each individual it touches for reality is relative to the individuals perspective at any one particular moment and Ch’an teaches us to experience and realize each and every moment. In the beginning I only practiced when I sat to do meditation now every moment is meditation to me so I barely sit at all.

The first thing one asks themselves when they begin to practice meditation is “ Who am I?”. This is a very important question because it is the query into our original nature or true nature. The nature before we were born the nature of our lives and our nature after death. Each person has to discover this answer for themselves through experience. If I was asked the question “who are you?” I would reply simply empty mindful awareness that is my original nature it is also enlightenment. The words mean much my original nature is emptiness, a focused natural emptiness that is pure awareness. When I empty my mind of ego a self still exists but this self is just perception, perception perceiving itself. I view my mind as an outsider third party if you will yet I am supposed to be inside my mind.

What is mind though there is an old saying when a Ch’an master was asked “What is Ch’an?” The master replied “ Ch’an is the mind.” When asked “ What is the mind?” He replied “ The embodiment of Ch’an.” Awareness can view the mind and its interactions indifferently. This is true non attachment. Non attachment is the main way to avoid pain and suffering, it is what is meant by nothingness. If there is no ego and no self then what can be hurt ? What can suffer? This does not mean I have no mind or body. I breath, my heart beats if you cut me I will bleed. I do not attach myself to emotional pain and suffering though. Physical pain can also be handled easier with this understanding for you do not dwell on the pain it is embraced then let go.

In Ch’an mindfulness and mindlessness are trained together as one concept. Mindfulness is having awareness focused on the present, being in the now. Where memories of the past can be contemplated and the present moment can be lived to the fullest. Sometimes mindfulness is just related to focus or memory in truth though both definitions can be applied at the same time. Mindlessness is the focused and empty potential state of the mind. When practiced together, mindfulness and mindlessness create the perfect mind state for meditation.

The analogy to be businesslike in mind and mindless in business describes this mind state aptly, where business is the everyday affairs we live through. Being focused and aware of the task you are doing while maintaining non attachment to the task allows one to be present without dwelling on other tasks already accomplished or to be accomplished in the future. Non attachment is the detachment or release of feelings and emotions toward the task at hand as well as to life in general. It is the removal of the ego leaving only the original nature or true self to remain.


The human being is already perfect one needs only to realize they are perfect this is naturalness. Letting things be as they are. We need not change ourselves only our perspective. All duality surrenders to oneness, a wholeness that is as it was intended to be. We came from nothingness and will return to nothingness in between we are oneness being, naturally. When practicing sitting at peace many things are happening at once. One is counting the breaths, expanding the consciousness by expanding the peripheral vision, using deep abdominal breathing and practicing empty mindful awareness. The secret is to be aware of everything but not paying attention to any one particular thing.

Over time one learns to follow instead of lead or more precise to lead by following. This act of doing through non doing is called effortlessness. Effortlessness allows one to deal with the constant changes in life in a purposeful and correct way. It provides balance and releases the mental and physical tension within the body allowing a efficient flow of internal energy to ensue. With effortlessness also comes tranquility and inner peace. Any true form of meditation will have all these concepts present being practiced at one time. This togetherness will bring eventually all the detached elements being practiced into a unified whole and they will become natural so that all that remains is the practice of empty mindful awareness itself without even being aware that it is happening.

Once this is accomplished over time everything you do becomes meditation. A walk in the park, drinking tea or doing chores all is accomplished in an effortless manner enjoying the moment and gaining from the awareness of being present in that particular moment. Sitting itself then becomes more of a breathing exercise used to develop and circulate the internal energy for meditation is now a 24/7 process of living. So as you can see sitting is never abandoned it simply takes on another role for the practitioner. Some still feel the need to sit even after it has become a natural process to them for the sake of meditation itself this is okay too for it is nice to set aside time to do something that has become a comfortable part of your daily routine. For myself though and many others the meditative mind set becomes a switch that can be turned off and on at will and this state of mind is still used while training the breath and internal energy anyway this better suites the scheduling of the day.

Chi kung means breath work and the breath and internal energy are linked together so by training the breath we learn to build up, store and circulate the internal energy. Yoga is chi kung. Ch’an Yoga would then be meditative breath work. It can be practiced either laying, sitting or standing. In stillness and in motion and/ or any combination of the above. Whether practicing static or moving forms the same meditative mind set is used in order to always keep the art efficient and effective. Since sitting is a form of static energy work along with the meditation exercises provided I will offer moving chi kung exercises to create a balanced harmony in this writing. Any motion timed with the breath using meditation could be considered energy work again in time once it all becomes natural forms are not really needed any more that is the whole purpose striving for naturalness in our daily affairs by at first breaking everything down to the basic components then building ourselves up again effortlessly.

Enlightenment shouldn’t be a goal but something we enjoy during our daily affairs. It is not something special reserved only for the elite or the guru’s of the world. It is something within each and every one of us. As Buddha said everything has a Buddha nature. All we have to do is realize our own. It must be something natural or how could a dog have it just by being a dog? It is something down to earth, something that grounds you not something that makes you soar to heaven. Heaven and hell are here and now. It all depends on our frame of mind at any particular moment in which place we reside at that moment. Enlightenment does not make you someone special it just makes you you in the truest sense. So this book and the exercises provided are meant to help you make your ordinary life special instead by offering a few health and longevity exercises that only take a short while out of your day. That will help make life natural and effortless so you can make the most of it until a ripe old age.

Ch’an yoga incorporates Taoist Alchemy. The two are trained together and being so similar in approach and striving for the same goal both Buddhist’s and Taoist’s used this method of training over the years. Ch’an is meditation and Internal Alchemy is the building, storing and circulation of internal energy in order to nourish, energize and train the spirit. It all comes from the Shaolin Temple anyway so names that have been incorporated over the years and practitioners of different faiths and philosophies have come together under the training of the Yi Jin Jing( Muscle/ Tendon Changing Classics) and the Xi Sui Jing ( Brain/ marrow washing Classic). So even though I will refer to the meditation exercises as Taoist Alchemy it is still originally Ch’an Yoga but Ch’an is more Taoist than Buddhist anyway. I will in this work post the meditations as Taoist alchemy but I will also include the Yi Jin Jing and Lohan Embracing Heaven and Earth to add the chi kung exercises that go with the meditation exercises to make a complete system.

Ch’an Yoga is the style that is trained and Taoist Alchemy is the method of cultivation for they brought the original system to higher levels and kept the knowledge until the modern era. Sometimes I think about adding the history but it is irrelevant all that is important is the exercises themselves and the training of them now. So I start this work with Ch’an Yoga introducing the Yi Jin Jing and the second part as Taoist Alchemy introducing the Xi Sui Jing. One of the chi kung ( energy work) exercises is hard style one is soft style I introduce the two for balance. The Yin and Yang are then balanced, the Five Elements are satisfied ( cause and effect) and the Bagua ( 8 trigrams) continue in there constant change. Change is what we effortlessly follow and these exercises help in that task so life is harmonious. Peace and harmony is what we strive for and we can train ourselves to be in tune with the Tao so we can experience them directly.

The Yi Jin Jing or Muscle/Tendon Changing Classics Deals with the strengthening of the tendons and ligaments. It is a form of exercise that incorporates both meditation and breath work. Breath work or chi kung uses deep abdominal breathing and stretching movements that are trained in unison. The movements are timed with the meditative breathing blending at first the basic meditation then later on include the advanced circulation meditation. The basic meditation chi breathing trains mental expansion and awareness as well as builds and stores the chi.

Chi is energy it is the energy that gives life to everything that is alive and sentient. It also exists in everything even innate objects. The Chinese believe there are three chi’s that effect or lives as human beings. These three forces or Heavenly, Earthly and Humanly chi. Heavenly chi is the chi that exists and comes from the heavens or the universe it is the energy that comes from space and it effects our lives in a positive way. Earthly chi is energy that comes from our planet and everything that makes the earth a whole it is also positive energy. Heavenly chi is yang and Earthly chi is yin. Yin and yang are the forces that interact as bi polar opposites in the Tao which is everything it is nature because it formed nature. Tao is not God but it is creation.
Humanly chi is the energy that gives us life it is made up of three parts they are called the three treasures. The three treasures are jing, chi and shen. Jing is the essence of our life and was present from conception and exist in the lower dan tian or lower elixir field which resides approximately three inches below the navel and about two inches inward. Chi is the vital force that gives us life it resides in the middle elixir field which is located at the solar plexus. The Shen is the spirit it resides at the placement of the third eye and about three inches into the brain near the pineal gland.

Chi breathing builds up and stores the chi in the lower elixir field and mixes it with the jing this is the process of mixing water and fire. The next meditation the lesser heavenly circle circulates this chi around the body by going from the lower elixir field up the back over the head and down the front of the body back to the lower elixir field. This follows the natural circulation of the chi in the body but nourish the vessels and meridians along the path way. I will explain in more detail in the explanation of the exercise. The Muscle Change Classics/ Greater Heavenly Circle is a chi kung form that leads this chi to the tendons and ligaments also nourishing the muscles at the same time. It is considered a hard form for it does work on building physical strength and health. These three exercises complete the Yi Jin Jing.

The Xi Sui Jing was developed to mix and circulate chi in order to nourish the shen or spirit then experience the absence of self which is pure awareness. The jing is nourished as well and mixed with the chi this is water mixing with fire. This blending is sent out through different pathways to every part of the body from the marrow of the bones to the internal organs to the skin so everything is cleansed by this mixture of chi as well as energizing the shen. It is the advanced form of meditations that are really sitting chi kung exercises. At the end of practicing these exercises which will be explained in more detail later in the book I will introduce a soft version of the greater heavenly circle, this exercise blends breathing with movements and stretching leading the chi around the path of the greater heavenly circle and blends the developed Humanly chi with the Earthly and Heavenly chi.

I want to talk briefly about water and fire chi. Water chi is yin it is the chi that is stored in the lower elixir field the fire chi is yang and resides in the middle elixir field. The refinement and circulation of the blending and interactions of these two types of chi is all about balance. You do not want excessive fire or yang chi nor do you want excessive water or yin chi. The balancing of these to types of chi promotes health end longevity and eventually when you use the to nourish the shen enlightenment for your consciousness is balanced and you have control of your emotions and feelings which cause stress, worry and suffering in your life. Everything is about balance of the yin and yang, trying to follow the Tao effortlessly (wu wei) to guide you through the karma of cause and effect which is the five elements and then you can from doing by non doing using non attachment merge with the Tao and move with the changes as one with them.

The Tao is the natural law or way of the universe. Yin and yang are the complementary bi polar opposites that interact with everything in the universe they speak of balance and harmony. There is dark and light, man and woman, production and destruction and a myriad other opposites that form a whole. These interactions are shown and explained by the five elements which teach the karmic law of cause and effect. The bagua or constant change that drives the interactions of cause and effect and keeps everything in creation changing so everything is transient. Since everything is transient it is important to be aware of the moment for there are only so many of them and they may end at any time. The Yi Jin Jing and the Xi Sui Jing teach one how to follow the process of continual change and guide them through the karmic law of cause and effect. By using the concept of yin and yang understanding and training oneself how to create balance bodily, mentally and spiritually a oneness is achieved. Under lying all these forces is the vital force chi which gives life to everything and drives the universe through its cycles. By training chi kung and meditation the chi can be stored and circulated throughout the entire body. Satisfying the concept of yin and yang and gaining understanding of self through experience thus eventually blending with the Tao.

These exercises also strengthen the immune system. I personally have not caught a cold or flu in about fifteen years. It did take about five years of dedicated practice to get to that point but it shows that these exercises contribute to the health of the individual. You gain a relaxed strength that does not need the use of muscles the strength comes from the tendons, ligaments and bones. Muscles are still trained but are more for protection of the organs, tendons/ ligaments and bones. Bodily health is noticed quite quick in the training within days you will feel noticeable results that will continue to grow the longer you train. Longer does not mean more training in one day but training over the months and years.

Mentally it balances the emotions and thus helps one control their feelings. Learning to deal with ones emotions and feelings leads one to an understanding of inner peace. With this inner peace stress is reduced for you are learning to follow the changes in your life. The past is behind us we can bring up memories remembering events both good and bad from the past. These memories can now be viewed through the mind of inner peace that follows change and has non attachment toward the memories whether good or bad. The future is unknown we learn to not worry and accept what happens as it happens in the moment whether good or bad we use this mind of inner peace and its ability to detach the emotions and feeling from the event as it happens. If you do have a moment of loss where your emotions and feelings overcome you simply embrace them then let them go. Like clouds passing in the sky just watch them drift by if you become attached to one of them accept and embrace that attachment then let it go and turn back to non attachment. You can still experience joy and sorrow you just balance your emotions and feelings toward the experience.

Spiritually from a healthy body and balanced mind there is no stress so your consciousness can be free to experience life as pure natural awareness. Your spirit is nourished and trained to be involved in every process of the body and life’s interactions. It can be free to experience life and nature without the ego or self. Immersing itself in the oneness of everything. With empty mindful awareness the original nature of the self can be free of it’s bondage for periods of time allowing it to experience the nothingness and embrace the oneness of everything. This blending of body, mind and spirit being oneness and experiencing oneness and nothingness makes one stronger and braver in life for you are understanding the nature of nature. The shen guides the chi through the chi’s circulation, it guides the emotions thus the feeling and it guides every movement and process within the body. A healthy and vital body, a balanced mind that is focused aware and a spirit that is strong and brave. It is the answer to most mental and physical ailments. Practice of the Yi Jin Jing and the Xi Sui Jing provide these benefits.


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Old 07-07-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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1)
A zephyr visits the mountain
Bearing the fragrance of spring:
Abundant sprouting buds,
Fresh flowering blossoms.

The sounds of night gently
Lift on the breath of the wind;
As one voice whispering
Softly into my ear.

The hum of chirping crickets and
Flickering fireflies blend with
The thrush of grasses and
The rustling of leaves.

Not being able to fall asleep
I sit quietly at peace
In awe of my fortune
Beneath the crystal sky.



2)
Inhaling fresh air
Exhaling the toxic fumes
Breath in through the nose
And then breath out through the mouth
With the mouth slightly open

Lips slightly parted
And the tongue behind the teeth
Touching the palate
Upon the roof of the mouth
To collect the misty dew

With the inhaling
Have the abdomen expand
With the exhaling
Have the abdomen contract
Both in time with the breathing

Like a newborn babe
Breathing through the abdomen
Collecting the chi
In the lower dan tian
Adding to the sea of chi

With relaxed in breaths
And longer exhalations
Breathing deep and slow
Breathing deeply from the heels
Filling the belly with air

With rhythmic breathing
Just like a belly dancer
Rotate the belly
Relaxing and then crunching
The muscles and the diaphragm

Breathing in cycles
There is no holding of breath
As if in a dream
Make the transition go smooth
Avoid the gasp of drowning

Keep the eyes half closed
Begin and end with a sigh
Take thirty six breaths
Expanding the awareness
Empty mindful awareness
Mindful and mindless
Aware of all and nothing
With thoughts drifting by
Like clouds passing in the sky
Just being an observer

In the third person
Just perceiving perception
Emptying the mind
Enjoying the breath of life
Smile inwardly with great joy

Sitting peacefully
Removing worries and doubts
Is enlightenment
Seeing ones real nature
Is a satori itself


3)
Seek not the Buddha
For the Buddha is yourself
Practice true zazen
Enlightenment is not
Based upon written words

Paying objective
And subjective attention
Straight towards yourself
Empty and clean as a bowl
Remain a proper posture

This is true zazen
Embrace there is nothingness
Nothing is not void
Manifestations appear
Then in time they disappear

Me, my, myself, I
All reflect our oneness
Like zazen breathing
A consistent swinging gate
Swinging inside and outside

In to ourselves
Then outward into the world
Reaching two places
Enlightenment is zazen
Even if practice is used

Incorrectly
We still have Buddha nature
Without wrong practice
How would we discover
What the real dharma is

You are Buddha
And there is no Buddha
It is all in you
Everything that is is you
Your nature is zazen
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The Five Ranks of the Apparent and the Real
The Five Ranks Of The Apparent And The Real:
The Orally Transmitted Secret Teachings Of The Monk Who Lived On Mount To

Tozan Ryokai's Verses On The Five Ranks:

1)The Apparent Within The Real:
In the third watch of the night
Before the moon appears,
No wonder when we meet
There is no recognition!
Still cherished in my heart
Is the beauty of earlier days.

2)The Real Within The Apparent:
A sleepy eyed grandam
Encounters herself in an old mirror.
Clearly she sees a face
But it doesn't resemble hers at all.
Too bad, with a muddled head,
She tries to recognize her reflection!

3)The Coming From Within The Real:
Within nothingness there is a path
Leading away from the dusts of the world.
Even if you observe the taboo
On the present emporer's name,
You will surpass that eloquent one of yore
Who silenced every tongue.

4)The Arrival At Mutual Integration:
When two blades cross points,
There is no need to withdraw.
The master swordsman
Is like a lotus blooming in the fire.
Such a man has in and of himself
A heaven soaring spirit.

5)Unity Attained:
Who dares to equal him
Who falls into neither being nor non-being!
All men want to leave
The current of ordinary life,
But he, after all, comes back
To sit among the coals and ashes.

The Master's verse comment says:
How many times has Tokuun, the idle old gimlet,
Not come down from the Marvelous Peak!
He hires foolish wise men to bring snow,
And he and they together fill up the well.

"When the eight consciousnesses are inverted, the Four Wisdoms are bound together, the Three Bodies are perfected?" Therefore:

Your own nature is provided
With the Three Bodies;
When its brightness is manifested,
The Four wisdoms are attained.

"What are the Four Wisdoms they are the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom, the Universal Nature Wisdom, the Marvelous Observing Wisdom and the Perfecting-of-Action Wisdom."


I quote this from an old book I possess on the "Zen Koan" by Isshu Miura published in 1965. It is a complete anthology of Koan practice. The Public Records of the Enlightened. Koan means public record they are usually short poems describing an awakening experience or a profound understanding in the form of a sort of riddle. Ch'an and thus Zen are famous for the poems and use them to teach there students and reflect upon by themselves.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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I would like to share a chapter on the Platform sutra on Dhyana. It was written by the Sixth Patriach of Ch'an:



Chapter 5

Dhyana

The Patriarch (one day) preached to the assembly as follows:
In our system of meditation, we neither dwell upon the mind (in contradistinction to the Essence of Mind) nor upon purity. Nor do we approve of non-activity. As to dwelling upon the mind, the mind is primarily delusive; and when we realize that it is only a phantasm there is no need to dwell on it. As to dwelling upon purity, our nature is intrinsically pure; and so far as we get rid of all delusive 'idea' there will be nothing but purity in our nature, for it is the delusive idea that obscures Tathata (Suchness) . If we direct our mind to dwell upon purity we are only creating another delusion, the delusion of purity. Since delusion has no abiding place, it is delusive to dwell upon it. Purity has neither shape nor form; but some people go so far as to invent the 'Form of Purity', and treat it as a problem for solution. Holding such an opinion, these people are purity-ridden, and their Essence of Mind is thereby obscured.

Learned Audience, those who train themselves for 'imperturbability' should, in their contact with all types of men, ignore the faults of others. They should be indifferent to others' merit or demerit, good or evil, for such an attitude accords with the 'imperturbability of the Essence of Mind'. Learned Audience, a man unenlightened may be unperturbed physically, but as soon as he opens his mouth he criticizes others and talks about their merits or demerits, ability or weakness, good or evil; thus he deviates from the right course.

On the other hand, to dwell upon our own mind or upon purity is also a stumbling-block in the Path.

The Patriarch on another occasion preached to the assembly as follows:

Learned Audience, what is sitting for meditation? In our School, to sit means to gain absolute freedom and to be mentally unperturbed in all outward circumstances, be they good or otherwise. To meditate means to realize inwardly the imperturbability of the Essence of Mind.

Learned Audience, what are Dhyana and Samadhi? Dhyana means to be free from attachment to all outer objects, and Samadhi means to attain inner peace. If we are attached to outer objects, our inner mind will be perturbed.

When we are free from attachment to all outer objects, the mind will be in peace. Our Essence of Mind is intrinsically pure, and the reason why we are perturbed is because we allow ourselves to be carried away by the circumstances we are in.

He who is able to keep his mind unperturbed, irrespective of circumstances, has attained Samadhi.

To be free from attachment to all outer objects is Dhyana, and to attain inner peace is Samadhi. When we are in a position to deal with Dhyana and to keep our inner mind in Samadhi, then we are said to have attained Dhyana and Samadhi. The Bodhisattva Sila Sutra says, "Our Essence of Mind is intrinsically pure. " Learned Audience, let us realize this for ourselves at all times. Let us train ourselves, practice it by ourselves, and attain Buddhahood by our own

I thought I would share this chapter because it is the essence of Zazen all Chan and Zen practice of meditation is referenced from this chapter. I have found it myself an inspiring and important source of imformation on the practice of Dhyana.






Mind

The evening clouds of amber hue
mirror my warming fire.
Lucid, sitting at peace,
I stare into glowing embers.
To the crackle and snap
the flames flickering dance.
Fascinated, I dance with them
by letting go of mind.
I see in their hunger
the very essence of nature.


Namaste
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:28 AM   #7
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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Koans
I would like to post some koans from the Rinzai school of Zen that they use to lead one to see into there real nature, kensho. I will post them in order and give a koan for each level of understanding. Some you may have heard of for the are famous but I will list them in order of their use for the reader.

1)Kensho Koans (seeing into ones real nature)

The Sixth Patriarch asked the head monk Myo:
"Thinking of neither good nor evil, at this very moment
what was your original aspect before your father and mother were born?"

2) Hossin Koans(entering the Dharmakaya)

A monk once said to Dairyo Osho:" The physical body
decomposes. What is the indestructible Dharmakaya?"
Dairyo answered with this verse:
"Blooming mountain flowers
Are like golden brocade;
Brimming mountain waters
Are blue as indigo."

3)Kikan Koans (making our way through the interlockings of differentiation)

Tosoto Etsu Osho devised three barriers as tests for his students:
1)You pull out the weeds and study the profound mystery
only in order to see into your real nature
Where is your original nature at this moment?
2)One who has realized his original nature escapes from birth and death.
When the light of your eyes falls to the ground, how will you escape?
3)One who has escaped from birth and death knows whither he goes.
When thr Four Great Elements that compose your body seperate,
where will you go?

4)Gonsen Koans(the study and investigation of words)

A monk asked Nansen: " Is there a truth that has not been preached by men?"
"There is," said Nansen
"What is the truth?" asked the monk.
Nansen answered:"This is not mind, this is not Buddha, this is not a thing."

5)Nanto Koans(difficult to pass through)

When the Taifu Riko Ko and Nansen were talking one day
Riko Ko said:"The Dharma Master jo has said:"Heaven and Earth and I have one and the same source;
the ten thousand things and I have one and the same body." Is this not extraordinary?"
Pointing to a flower in the garden, Nansen said to the Taifu:"When men of today
look at this flower, it seems to them like a dream.
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