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Zazen and breathing

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:30 pm
by 47635
I have recently (re)learned to do so-called belly breathing, and now I would like to learn what I understand is called tanden breathing. How/where can you get instructions on this?

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:31 pm
by Matylda
47635 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:30 pm
I have recently (re)learned to do so-called belly breathing, and now I would like to learn what I understand is called tanden breathing. How/where can you get instructions on this?
From the zen teacher like Meido Roshi

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:39 am
by 47635
Matylda wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:31 pm
47635 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:30 pm
I have recently (re)learned to do so-called belly breathing, and now I would like to learn what I understand is called tanden breathing. How/where can you get instructions on this?
From the zen teacher like Meido Roshi
Thanks. However, I live in Europe.. Will any real zen master be able to give instructions on it?

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:31 pm
by seeker242
47635 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:39 am
Matylda wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:31 pm
47635 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:30 pm
I have recently (re)learned to do so-called belly breathing, and now I would like to learn what I understand is called tanden breathing. How/where can you get instructions on this?
From the zen teacher like Meido Roshi
Thanks. However, I live in Europe.. Will any real zen master be able to give instructions on it?
In person? Depends on where you live in Europe. There are real zen masters in Europe but obviously not everywhere in Europe. :smile: Meido Roshi's new book probably contains such instructions. https://www.amazon.com/Rinzai-Zen-Way-G ... 1611805171

Although, depending on how you practice "belly breathing" it could be the same thing as tanden breathing as "tanden" literally means "belly".

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:19 pm
by Matylda
Matylda wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:31 pm
47635 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:30 pm
I have recently (re)learned to do so-called belly breathing, and now I would like to learn what I understand is called tanden breathing. How/where can you get instructions on this?
From the zen teacher like Meido Roshi
I read he comes to Europe each year.. there was somewhere on DW info about sesshin in Germany... It is Europe.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:23 pm
by Matylda
Matylda wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:19 pm
Matylda wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:31 pm
47635 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:30 pm
I have recently (re)learned to do so-called belly breathing, and now I would like to learn what I understand is called tanden breathing. How/where can you get instructions on this?
From the zen teacher like Meido Roshi
I read he comes to Europe each year.. there was somewhere on DW info about sesshin in Germany... It is Europe.
And I am not sure if there are many in Europe who can really teach fukushiki shin kokyu, deep abdominal breathing or tanden kokyu, which is still slightly different. Tanden does not mean abdomen or belly as suggeted before. Belly in Japanese is onaka or less politely hara. two different words though the same chinese character is used. Go to meet Meido Roshi and ask for details.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:03 pm
by 47635
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:31 pm
47635 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:39 am
Matylda wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:31 pm


From the zen teacher like Meido Roshi
Thanks. However, I live in Europe.. Will any real zen master be able to give instructions on it?
In person? Depends on where you live in Europe. There are real zen masters in Europe but obviously not everywhere in Europe. :smile: Meido Roshi's new book probably contains such instructions. https://www.amazon.com/Rinzai-Zen-Way-G ... 1611805171

Although, depending on how you practice "belly breathing" it could be the same thing as tanden breathing as "tanden" literally means "belly".
Chapter 12! Thank you.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:54 pm
by Meido
There is some basic instruction in the book for "belly breathing" (fukushiki kokyu), which is something necessary to practice zazen (it's not "Zen" breathing per se, just normal human breathing, but many people lose the habit of breathing this way).

As Matylda said, tanden soku or kokyu is different. It is more cultivated, and requires instruction regarding use of the diaphragm, pelvic floor, etc. There is some basic instruction in the book about this that someone could use as a foundation, but it really needs to be learned in person from someone who can help you understand if you are doing it correctly, how to avoid problems, practices to use if problems do arise, etc. After that, there is a long training to integrate and refine it until it is very subtle and constant. This process is something done in relationship with a teacher, and within the overall context of one's Zen training under that teacher.

We do have a short sesshin in Germany each year, in Laufen (Bavaria, on the Austrian border and very close to Salzburg). Dates this year are August 23-26. It's geared toward relative beginners, so I will often teach various practices related to breath cultivation (of course one should have some instruction and experience of sitting practice already).

If interested, feel free to PM me.

~ Meido

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:49 am
by Varis
Meido wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:54 pm
There is some basic instruction in the book for "belly breathing" (fukushiki kokyu), which is something necessary to practice zazen (it's not "Zen" breathing per se, just normal human breathing, but many people lose the habit of breathing this way).
Is this universal in Zen? Do Soto practitioners utilize these techniques aswell?

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:40 am
by Matylda
Varis wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:49 am
Meido wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:54 pm
There is some basic instruction in the book for "belly breathing" (fukushiki kokyu), which is something necessary to practice zazen (it's not "Zen" breathing per se, just normal human breathing, but many people lose the habit of breathing this way).
Is this universal in Zen? Do Soto practitioners utilize these techniques aswell?
Soto has lost a lot of its original instructions.. but if you look into teachings of Hara Tanzan or Keido Chisan you would have a lot of these instructions.. with the 50th abbot of Eiheiji in the very end of the XVIII cent. who oppossed koan within soto which was completely unjustified there was more and more loss of instructions through the XIX century, and zazen became more vague.

But there are still a few soto teachers in Japan who may transmit teachings on fukushiki shin kokyu, tanden kokyu, kikai kokkyu and even sennin kokyu, the last is rather rare.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:10 am
by Matylda
Varis wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:49 am
Meido wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:54 pm
There is some basic instruction in the book for "belly breathing" (fukushiki kokyu), which is something necessary to practice zazen (it's not "Zen" breathing per se, just normal human breathing, but many people lose the habit of breathing this way).
Is this universal in Zen? Do Soto practitioners utilize these techniques aswell?
There is no difference between soto and rinzai tradition originally.. one cannot experience different satori. and instructions are in fact exactly same. What differs is only teacher his realization and experience. The teacher not lineage is the main point.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:21 pm
by Meido
Matylda wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:10 am
There is no difference between soto and rinzai tradition originally.. one cannot experience different satori. and instructions are in fact exactly same. What differs is only teacher his realization and experience. The teacher not lineage is the main point.
:good:

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:21 pm
by KeithA
Matylda wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:10 am
Varis wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:49 am
Meido wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:54 pm
There is some basic instruction in the book for "belly breathing" (fukushiki kokyu), which is something necessary to practice zazen (it's not "Zen" breathing per se, just normal human breathing, but many people lose the habit of breathing this way).
Is this universal in Zen? Do Soto practitioners utilize these techniques aswell?
There is no difference between soto and rinzai tradition originally.. one cannot experience different satori. and instructions are in fact exactly same. What differs is only teacher his realization and experience. The teacher not lineage is the main point.
This should be a sticky somewhere. :thumbsup:

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:28 am
by 47635
Thank you for your comments and explainations!

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:03 am
by Varis
Matylda wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:40 am
Soto has lost a lot of its original instructions.. but if you look into teachings of Hara Tanzan or Keido Chisan you would have a lot of these instructions.. with the 50th abbot of Eiheiji in the very end of the XVIII cent. who oppossed koan within soto which was completely unjustified there was more and more loss of instructions through the XIX century, and zazen became more vague.

But there are still a few soto teachers in Japan who may transmit teachings on fukushiki shin kokyu, tanden kokyu, kikai kokkyu and even sennin kokyu, the last is rather rare.
How far back do these practices go? And what are the Chinese words for these practices if I might ask? These breathing exercises seem exactly like ones I've seen in Daoist meditation manuals. Very interesting!

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:54 am
by Matylda
Varis wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:03 am
Matylda wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:40 am
Soto has lost a lot of its original instructions.. but if you look into teachings of Hara Tanzan or Keido Chisan you would have a lot of these instructions.. with the 50th abbot of Eiheiji in the very end of the XVIII cent. who oppossed koan within soto which was completely unjustified there was more and more loss of instructions through the XIX century, and zazen became more vague.

But there are still a few soto teachers in Japan who may transmit teachings on fukushiki shin kokyu, tanden kokyu, kikai kokkyu and even sennin kokyu, the last is rather rare.
How far back do these practices go? And what are the Chinese words for these practices if I might ask? These breathing exercises seem exactly like ones I've seen in Daoist meditation manuals. Very interesting!
It will be not surprising if one may find some similarities within taoist practices or indian or tibetan yoga. they do not have to be exactly very same but similar, yes. However the aim might be very different. Finally taoism or indian non-buddhist yoga have different agenda. Moreover they have nothing to do with Nagarjuna's emptiness, or zen realisation of no-self.
It is main point which differs buddhist and non-buddhist ways. On the top of it one has to have some experience and insight if detailed instructions are same. But who has so much time to spend for that kind of investigation in this short human life? One may leave it to scholars and others, but I am not sure if they would come with any serious or reliable outcome. One should practice all of those ways first to have any idea. And we lack time to practice zen, so how one would have time to search in all of this?
Another point is that one needs a lot of effort to master given instructions, what makes less possible to go and check other ways as well.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:56 am
by Varis
Matylda wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:54 am
It will be not surprising if one may find some similarities within taoist practices or indian or tibetan yoga. they do not have to be exactly very same but similar, yes. However the aim might be very different. Finally taoism or indian non-buddhist yoga have different agenda. Moreover they have nothing to do with Nagarjuna's emptiness, or zen realisation of no-self.
I looked further into the subject, Thomas Cleary says that the practice of placing attention in the hara originated in Tendai. He also states that the practice was acknowledged by an 18th century Zen figure as having its origin in Taoism, I assume the breathing practices do as well.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:18 pm
by tingdzin
Matylda wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:54 am
One may leave it to scholars and others, but I am not sure if they would come with any serious or reliable outcome. One should practice all of those ways first to have any idea. And we lack time to practice zen, so how one would have time to search in all of this?
Another point is that one needs a lot of effort to master given instructions, what makes less possible to go and check other ways as well.
Yes. As practitioners, the first concern should be to master the teachings through experience.

IMO, such questions as what originated where and who influenced whom are always too simplistic in their very formulation, and can seldom be answered completely satisfactorily. It is interesting and sometimes useful to consider the historical connections between traditions, but in the end the value of the teachings depends on their application, and an indiscriminate hippie-style "Aloha amigo" approach to practice will seldom get one beyond a beginner's understanding.

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:18 pm
by Varis
tingdzin wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:18 pm
IMO, such questions as what originated where and who influenced whom are always too simplistic in their very formulation, and can seldom be answered completely satisfactorily. It is interesting and sometimes useful to consider the historical connections between traditions, but in the end the value of the teachings depends on their application, and an indiscriminate hippie-style "Aloha amigo" approach to practice will seldom get one beyond a beginner's understanding.
I don't see how asking these questions is any more of a problem than any other samsaric activity.
What's the point in watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc. when you could spend that time practicing the dharma? What makes studying history worse than these other activities?

Re: Zazen and breathing

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:54 pm
by Pero
Varis wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:18 pm
tingdzin wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:18 pm
IMO, such questions as what originated where and who influenced whom are always too simplistic in their very formulation, and can seldom be answered completely satisfactorily. It is interesting and sometimes useful to consider the historical connections between traditions, but in the end the value of the teachings depends on their application, and an indiscriminate hippie-style "Aloha amigo" approach to practice will seldom get one beyond a beginner's understanding.
I don't see how asking these questions is any more of a problem than any other samsaric activity.
What's the point in watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc. when you could spend that time practicing the dharma? What makes studying history worse than these other activities?
Oh that is one of the great mysteries of the forum.