Properly, Zen is… Sorry, it is not that simple. As anybody who has regarded into Zen is aware of, making an attempt to outline Zen is like making an attempt to catch a fish along with your naked palms. It instantly wriggles between your fingers and slips away. The extra you search it, the tougher it’s to seek out. To say Zen is freedom, fluidity or perfection is a begin. However to say Zen is the reflection of the moon in a mountain stream, simply leaves us scratching our heads. Zen is true right here, proper now. Zen is that this second of existence. It’s motion with out thought. It’s thought and motion as one. It’s motion earlier than response. Zen is Zen…although I do know that is not useful.
The roots of Zen are primarily based in historic Chinese language philosophy. The Chinese language phrase for Zen is ch’an. In Sanscrit, the traditional language of India, it’s dhyana which may be roughly translated as pure human spirit. It may be imagined as the mixing of the disparate features of the self into one full and divine being. Zen was finally delivered to Japan the place it was elaborated and “perfected” by the Japanese samurai. It’s the basis of the Bushido code, the way in which of the warrior. The samurai, who lived their lives on the fringe of a sword and will die at any second, have been taught to focus on and immerse themselves within the right here and now to be able to join with the elemental core of their being. It helped them develop the powers of focus, self-control, consciousness and tranquility. In the event that they approached every battle as if it have been their final, they’d be capable of have each a part of their being at their disposal.
Zen itself has no concept. It’s not meditation. It’s not pondering. It’s not not-thinking. It’s not one thing you be taught. It’s merely one thing you might be. To follow Zen is to stay absolutely and utterly, not prior to now or the longer term, however proper right here and proper now. Zen is, in reality, the reflection of the moon in a mountain stream. It doesn’t transfer, solely the water flows by. Zen implies a contemplative, mystical factor to the method of self-discovery. Zen permits, and certainly encourages, a deeper exploration into the person self.
So let’s flip now to Yoga. What’s Yoga?
Yoga originated in India. The phrase “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root yug that means to hitch collectively and direct one’s consideration. It’s the union of the physique and thoughts with our religious nature. It’s also the union of the person with the Common Spirit. It’s each the objective and the trail to comprehend that objective. At its most simple, Yoga is any follow that may flip its practitioners inward to seek out and expertise their religious essence. By doing this they’re able to impression extra than simply themselves. When one is ready to deliver their very own physique, thoughts and spirit into health and concord, then they will deliver health and concord to these round them and even to the world as a complete.
Within the West, Yoga is commonly thought of to be a purely bodily follow. However, in reality, it’s a lot deeper than that. At instances, within the examine of yoga, the physique has been likened to a temple. Yoga teaches the way in which to deal with the physique with reverence to be able to give the spirit or soul a particular place to reside and flourish. Whereas this description is sort of true, it’s woefully insufficient. Yoga is an entire philosophy of dwelling. It’s psychological in addition to bodily, psychological in addition to religious. It teaches moral self-discipline and the right method of interacting inside a society. It additionally teaches a solution to flip inward and discover the internal core of being. There are a lot of completely different strategies of training Yoga. Some deal primarily with dynamic bodily postures, whereas others focus totally on respiration workout routines. In nonetheless others, Yoga strategies are dedicated to chanting, studying or worshiping. Lastly, there are some that target deep meditation to assist deliver a way of peace and serenity…to every day life.
The underlying philosophy of Yoga is that of wholeness, wholeness inside the particular person and wholeness within the particular person’s connection to the world. When there’s coordination between the physique, thoughts and spirit, wholeness turns into holy. Not “holy” in a traditional non secular sense, however extra of a connection to the divine a part of us that exists inside. The normal Yoga greeting namas te actually means “the divine inside me greets the divine inside you.” Very merely, Yoga is about harnessing all the varied features of particular person existence and creating unity inside. On a grander scale, any religious follow or self-discipline that helps people awaken and understand their connection to one thing bigger and extra profound than their particular person existence may be thought of a sort of Yoga follow.
In order that brings us to Zen Yoga. Zen Yoga is a holistic system that unites all features of the human self by assembly the elemental wants of bodily health, psychological readability and religious peace. It’s a religious self-discipline that’s huge and profound.
It’s Zen and it’s Yoga.
The idea of Zen Yoga is peaceable stretching and respiration workout routines of Indian Yogic traditions. It encourages going at your personal tempo and solely doing what’s best for you. Everyone seems to be completely different. We are available in all sizes and styles. Studying how your personal physique capabilities is of the utmost significance. Zen Yoga can be primarily based on the energized respiration and shifting philosophy of Chinese language Qigong (generally written Chi Kung) and Tai Chi. Qigong is the traditional Chinese language follow of respiration workout routines that fills the physique with oxygen-rich blood and power. Tai Chi may be described as shifting meditation. Its swish, flowing actions encourage the circulation of power. Zen Yoga additionally incorporates the psychological serenity achieved by way of Zen meditation. Studying to calm the myriad ideas which might be repeatedly vying for consideration inside the thoughts permits us to assume extra clearly and with higher perception. However, most assuredly, Zen Yoga is way more than a set of bodily workout routines. By the mixing of physique, thoughts and spirit Zen Yoga creates flexibility, health, vitality and peace of thoughts.
The tempo of recent life is characterised by hectic social and financial exercise. We generate stress in our every day lives as our focus is fractured and our power is sapped. Train is placed on the again burner as a result of we’re so caught up in all the different issues which might be demanding our consideration. Zen Yoga seeks to reverse this circulation.
Its advantages embrace:
• Stress aid
• Elevated will energy
• Improved focus
• Improved blood circulation and launch of poisons and impurities from the physique
• Firming and strengthening of muscle tissue
• Extra restful sleep
Much more vital, by bringing into stability correct and efficient respiration, motion, and deep rest practices, we are able to turn out to be conscious of and be taught to entry the pure power of the universe, referred to as Chi or Prana.
Training Zen Yoga shouldn’t be meant to be an aggressive or rigorous bodily exercise. As a substitute, it seeks to problem you to comprehend your personal potential by stretching, shifting and respiration at your personal tempo. There are not any comparisons with how nicely different folks can do the workout routines. If you’re doing all your finest, that’s one of the simplest ways of doing it. It’s not a contest. It’s not a contest. It’s merely a solution to really feel higher and higher, to be pleased and wholesome, and to get pleasure from life to the fullest. Deep inside every of us lies the potential for perfection. This potential is religious in nature and is commonly blocked or displaced by the difficulties we face in life. Zen Yoga provides the chance to turn out to be conscious of that religious essence and provides it the nourishment it must develop and flourish. Zen Yoga shouldn’t be about what you’ll be able to’t do. It has been designed to be accessible to anybody no matter their stage of health or religious improvement. Crucial problem comes from inside. Most of us are looking for extra from life. Sadly, life, itself, usually will get in the way in which of our search. Zen Yoga provides a possibility to get to know the self…to really feel pleased, wholesome and alive.