Energy practices in East Asian Buddhism

Energy practices in East Asian Buddhism

Postby himalayanspirit » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:59 pm

I had heard of energy practices in Rinzai Buddhism of Japan where monks and disciples used postures, breathing, mudras etc for spiritual purposes. What about other sects and especially the Chan sect? Were there similar practices of manipulating the Chi in the body through the meridians?

This is a very ancient Tientai meditation manual from China dating back to 550 AD and uses many terms like Yutona (which was probably called Dantien) which is located one inch below the navel. I am not versed in Mandarin language at all, but got this information from some other forum.

http://www.utdallas.edu/~edsha/Buddhism/TiantaiMed.pdf

Does anyone of you practice any energy method?
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Re: Energy practices in East Asian Buddhism

Postby plwk » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:13 pm

From one Pure Land perspective...
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf73.htm#realms
For example, certain externalist deities urge vegetarianism and Buddha Recitation, but teach that the sacred words should be visualized as circulating throughout the body -- this, they say, is "turning the Dharma wheel," to release blockages in the energy system. This is the preaching of externalist demons.
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf73.htm#realms
There are cultivators who teach Buddha Recitation, but do so according to the practices of externalists (non-Buddhists). There are others who vilify Buddha Recitation because they lack deep knowledge or because they have an erroneous understanding of Pure Land. Thus, some clarification of the Pure Land method is required.
Let us leave aside, for the moment, those who do not believe in cause and effect or the Dharma and consider only those who are connected, at least on the surface, with Buddhism.
There are some externalists who appear to be monks and nuns, residing in temples and pagodas. However, they neither study nor understand Buddhism and only follow the practices of externalist cults. These people are peddling a hodgepodge of other beliefs under the label of Buddhism. They and their followers secretly transmit their beliefs to one another.
Many of them, while claiming to practice meditation, in fact specialize in exercises to balance energy currents, with little knowledge of what meditation is all about. As far as the Pure Land method is concerned, they teach that one should visualize the Buddha's name "shooting" from the navel to the back of the body and up the spinal column, and then returning to the navel. This, they say, is "turning the Dharma wheel."
This is the practice of "releasing blockages in the energy system," according to certain non-Buddhist schools. Such teaching is not consonant with Buddhism.
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Re: Energy practices in East Asian Buddhism

Postby himalayanspirit » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:29 am

Hi,

Thanks for posting Pure Land perspective and it is relevant to me because I practice that.

I was however more interested in the Chan, Tientai and other East Asian sects that are not as devotional as Pure Land. What are your opinions of the manual I attached? Is it useful?

I practice Tai Chi and do come across energy elements, so I dont think this should be of any harm?

Thanks
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Re: Energy practices in East Asian Buddhism

Postby Huifeng » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:49 am

himalayanspirit wrote:I had heard of energy practices in Rinzai Buddhism of Japan where monks and disciples used postures, breathing, mudras etc for spiritual purposes. What about other sects and especially the Chan sect? Were there similar practices of manipulating the Chi in the body through the meridians?

This is a very ancient Tientai meditation manual from China dating back to 550 AD and uses many terms like Yutona (which was probably called Dantien) which is located one inch below the navel. I am not versed in Mandarin language at all, but got this information from some other forum.

http://www.utdallas.edu/~edsha/Buddhism/TiantaiMed.pdf

Does anyone of you practice any energy method?


There are a range of such techniques that came into China, most of which via forms of breath meditation from the Sarvastivada tradition in Kasmir area.

The term "yutuno" is a phoneticism from Sanskrit "udana", one of the air / breath types.

There are a range of such methods in Tiantai, but not just limited there.

Later, when the Daojiao teachings went in the tantra direction, there were a whole range that sprung up, such as the qigong types, etc.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Energy practices in East Asian Buddhism

Postby robaire » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:11 pm

thanks for this thread.

____________

the vipassana tradition begins with the study of the respiration cycle.
it then extends to the body's awareness ...................
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