There are countless techniques to control the body, to master the body, to shape it to our will in order to find health. This post is about a type of exercise and opening to a way of being which looks at the body in a different way. It emphasizes letting go of control, effortlessness, feeling our own body weight, and efficiency of use. Rather than fixed choreography or a certain form to follow, it emphasizes unique movement to help let go of unnecessary tension. It is called Noguchi Taiso.
Zen Embodiment’s 5 Most Popular Blog Posts
Thank you for reading my blog! Below are the all time most popular posts. I’ve linked to the sister blog site for this.
These are not necessarily my favorite. I will do a list of my favorite posts soon. What are your favorite posts of this blog? And what topics would you like to read more about? Please let me know! And thanks again for reading! Lots of love! Corey
Because of this osmosis, and part of our whole training, in everyday life, we begin to be able to open ourselves up in profound ways to the environment and to others. We now have this tool for communicating with others. A type of nonverbal exchange. Our life begins to take on a type of sophisticated sensing. Where once we were wandering around lost in our heads, our sensory vocabulary refines our experience.
Most of the inquiries I get are about energetic problems people are having. Sometimes it shows up as headaches or anxiousness or energetic sensitivity or breathing problems. Or it can present as stomach issues, shaking, abrupt temperature changes in the body, insomnia, or a deep need to discover the meaning of life.
One practice that really helped me in the beginning to go deeper into my zazen, and continues to keep me healthy in my life every day, is a type of Chi Kung first introduced to me in the monastery by a fellow training person. It is Zhan Zhuang, "Standing Like a Tree" and it involves standing and holding static positions for some period of time.
With my clients these days, through hands on work, sharing this second breath with them is the same as working with the breath of life. There are techniques involved, of course, but this is the foundation. If we can become more present in our own skins, in a very basic, very real way, we can begin to get a sense of being guided internally how to heal. But most of the time it is locked up in areas of our body that we are not ready to look at. So it takes help from someone like me who is familiar with this fluidity. What is locked up might show up as sciatica or bad posture or knee pain or headaches or a sense of meaninglessness. But this is what my craniosacral sessions are like these days, with client and practitioner, like two flashlights shining in the dark, something hidden begins to move. The practitioner can act as a tuning fork, and the client begins to find harmony.
There is no formula for internal work, but it must be continually creatively investigated. I hope everyone finds a way to fall in love with their own unique process, until it has real momentum, and begins to feed their entire life. I hope they begin to shine for no reason, finding freedom through this exploration, and deeply transform. My intention when working with my clients has always been, and continually is, about helping people in this process.
But when we find our entryway into the present moment, it is so strange. It is the opposite everything we’ve ever done. It’s like we’ve never really touched the ground and we finally do. And it supports us and melts through us like warm honey. It’s like all of our cells synchronize. And we see how huge it is, this present moment. Bigger than anything we could have ever imagined. No thoughts can touch it. Our questions vanish. No ideas can describe it. Millions and millions of miles high, autumn blue sky!
A friend recently asked me to help clarify the tanden, also known as lower Dantien. This is a big subject. I have written about it before here. I will try to briefly convey a sense of what it is like to feel the tanden, develop the tanden in sitting and everyday life, and what it is like when the tanden matures.
There seems to be a feeling among some practitioners who have never lived in a monastery or zen center, that it is some kind of cloistered, strange place, where socially awkward people go to be alone and get away from society. That society is one thing and the temple is separate. I thought this as well before I met a couple of folks who had lived in the Monastery I lived in in Japan.
When we learn to become what is happening, right now, instead of reality being something over there, and us trying to interpret it from a distance, we feel reality as our consciousness. So, we see the flower, we become the flower, and we feel that the flower is ourselves. Or we are walking along the shore, and we hear an eagle cry, and the cry is not far away, but is inside of our bodies.
Each of us has our own personal unique way of practicing and engaging in our internal process. We all have our own style of discovering our entryway into truly experiencing reality. In this blog post I am attempting to shed light and give permission to anyone feeling a bit lost in his/her internal world. It is for the overly busy mom who can’t seem to slow down. Or the young person full of energy in the middle of a volatile energetic transformation. Or the dad trying to figure out how to begin a much needed meditation practice. To empower all of us to keep deeply investigating. And to find a true joy in oneness.
What does it mean to relate? When we are with someone, what is actually going on? How can we really connect? What does this look like, feel? Why is it that we feel good with some people and bad with others? Why do we feel awful in certain situations? Other times we feel liberated? What is true intimacy? Not necessarily sexual intimacy, but to be truly close with someone or some thing, on a cellular level? To find a language, to thread the needle, to read the grid, to truly connect? And how can we live this way all the time and make it our own? In our own creative constant discovery?