Books on the hara

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frankc
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Books on the hara

Post by frankc » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:19 am

Anyone know any good books specifically about the lower hara?

ItsRaining
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by ItsRaining » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:10 am

Are you talking about the Dan Tian? That's the same as the hara is it not? There are a lot of Daoist works talking about it though I don't know any English Buddhist books that will talk about it.

If you are fine with Daoism there is:

These two are more modern works that will probably give you a better practical guide on how to do things:

https://www.amazon.com/Internal-Elixir- ... 1943155135

http://www.goldenelixir.com/press/tao_0 ... tions.html

Understanding Reality by Zhang Bo Duan with Commentary by Liu Yi Ming: This is a core work of Inner Alchemy from where practices relating to the "hara" or Dan Tian began. It's probably not as clear as modern works with a lot of cryptic or rather Daoist technical language. (Also has a set of Zen poems at the end)

https://terebess.hu/english/Cleary-Thom ... o-tuan.pdf

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jkarlins
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by jkarlins » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:58 pm

BK Frantzis is pretty good from the Chinese angle, with the dan tien.

I'd try some books on Aikido or Japanese arts for talk on the hara.

It's a funny thing, definitely a subject where the more academic or complicated you get, the more you go off track. It's something to be experienced and worked with through practice. But if you're looking for books those are my suggestions.

Jake

passel
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by passel » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:35 am

Hakuin’s Precious Mirror Cave has a good presentation of the hara. It’s in the biography section if I remember correctly.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

Soma999
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by Soma999 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:23 am

Hara, the vital center of man by Karlfried Graf Durckheim. Highly recommended.

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Meido
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by Meido » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:15 pm

Adding to the other suggestions:

Leggett's Zen and the Ways has some material.

His translation of the Shonan Kattoroku published as Samurai Zen: The Warrior Koans contains a few anecdotes revealing how such things manifested in the practice that late Song Chan masters brought to Japan.

Omori Sogen's Sanzen Nyumon, published in English as Introduction to Zen Training, has some basic info with a few drawings. My upcoming book (see my sig) has some foundation practices appropriate for beginners in regards to fukushiki kokyu (i.e. diaphragmatic breathing) and tanden soku (the so-called "hara breathing" used in Rinzai practice).

Hakuin wrote about it in reference to his naikan practice (e.g. "the belly should be pendulous and round, like a new ball") though actual practice details revealing what this means are transmitted orally.

I think I recall seeing some mention of the subject in newsletters put out by Harada Shodo Roshi's folks here in the USA. I have heard that he teaches something of this subject to his people.

Finally, I am aware of in-house materials published by Zen teachers for their direct students.

But in general, when such practices are explicitly taught this is done mainly through oral instruction. There are three reasons for this:

1. It is easier. You can see/feel what the teacher is doing with your own eyes/hands. The teacher can also impart practices that fit your specific conditions.
2. It is safer. If you mess up, you will be corrected - and if needed given corrective practices - to avoid health issues or physical injury.
3. Context. There is a defined purpose for such things in Zen practice, largely having to do with samadhi cultivation and integration of seamless awakening. Uses outside that context are not of much interest.

I'm not keyed in to what scholarly treatments of the subject might exist, though...I expect there's stuff out there.

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

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

Pero
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by Pero » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:13 pm

Meido wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:15 pm
Omori Sogen's Sanzen Nyumon, published in English as Introduction to Zen Training, has some basic info with a few drawings. My upcoming book (see my sig) has some foundation practices appropriate for beginners in regards to fukushiki kokyu (i.e. diaphragmatic breathing) and tanden soku (the so-called "hara breathing" used in Rinzai practice).

Hakuin wrote about it in reference to his naikan practice (e.g. "the belly should be pendulous and round, like a new ball") though actual practice details revealing what this means are transmitted orally.
Where do you locate the tanden in your tradition?
Oh and cool that you're publishing a book! :smile:
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

Pero
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by Pero » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:13 pm

Pero wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:13 pm
Meido wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:15 pm
Omori Sogen's Sanzen Nyumon, published in English as Introduction to Zen Training, has some basic info with a few drawings. My upcoming book (see my sig) has some foundation practices appropriate for beginners in regards to fukushiki kokyu (i.e. diaphragmatic breathing) and tanden soku (the so-called "hara breathing" used in Rinzai practice).

Hakuin wrote about it in reference to his naikan practice (e.g. "the belly should be pendulous and round, like a new ball") though actual practice details revealing what this means are transmitted orally.
Where do you locate the tanden in your tradition?
Oh and cool that you're publishing a book! :smile:
Is this a secret? :smile:
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Meido
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Re: Books on the hara

Post by Meido » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:20 pm

Sorry, just saw your question.

As you probably know the kikai tanden if mapped is often placed a few finger widths, or 2-3 inches, below the navel, and within the center of the body.

But that kind of description doesn't have any real bearing in my experience. The function and utility of what is meant by "tanden" is arrived at experientially through the transmitted body and breath practices.

In other words: in my experience the emphasis in practice instructions was not at all on "where," but rather "how." This is important, i think, since conceptualizing a kind of energy center at a defined place in the belly and attempting to concentrate on that misses the point (such an approach was in fact criticized by the Rinzai Zen master Takuan Soho as a fixation useful only for beginners).

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

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

Pero
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Books on the hara

Post by Pero » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:26 pm

Meido wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:20 pm
Sorry, just saw your question.

As you probably know the kikai tanden if mapped is often placed a few finger widths, or 2-3 inches, below the navel, and within the center of the body.

But that kind of description doesn't have any real bearing in my experience. The function and utility of what is meant by "tanden" is arrived at experientially through the transmitted body and breath practices.

In other words: in my experience the emphasis in practice instructions was not at all on "where," but rather "how." This is important, i think, since conceptualizing a kind of energy center at a defined place in the belly and attempting to concentrate on that misses the point (such an approach was in fact criticized by the Rinzai Zen master Takuan Soho as a fixation useful only for beginners).

~ Meido
Thanks! The reason I asked was because depending on the school (and mainly I mean Daoist ones here) the location often differs (like behind the navel, or two fingers, three fingers, four fingers etc. below the navel), which I found somewhat confusing. So far the only sensible explanation I saw was by Jeffrey Yuen who said something like the dantien (tanden) is where you cultivate it. But your perspective makes a lot of sense to me too.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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