Zen is to transcend life and death (all dualism), to truly realize that the entire universe is the True Human Body, through the discipline of mind and body in oneness. Miyamoto Niten (Musashi) called it Iwo no mi* (body of a huge boulder going through life rolling and turning like a huge boulder); Yagyu Sekishusai named it Marobashi no michi* (a bridge round like a ball, being in accord with the myriad changes of life). Besides this actual realization, there is nothing else.
Zen without the accompanying physical experience is nothing but empty discussion. Martial ways without truly realizing the Mind is nothing but beastly behavior. We agree to undertake all of this as the essence of our training.
All our students, strive diligently! Gentlemen of the Rinzai Honzan (Main Temple) in Japan, open your eyes to this and together let us send it out to the world.
Archbishop Omori Sogen Rotaishi,
Dated 1 October 1979
The Chicago Zen group at the Japanese culture center is made up of zen practitioners from various formal practices. Members unite once a week for two hours for zazen (quiet sitting meditation) and body work (including martial arts, yoga, hara development, etc.) Incorporating the two, we open our bodies to the fullest potential of breath and body alignment to deepen our practice.
Zen Meditation & Ki (Energy) Development – Thursdays from 5:15 -6:15 pm
Experience grounded awareness and decrease stress and improve your meditation practice.
In this class you will learn methods to improve your meditation practice and develop hara (center) and ki (vital energy) in order to experience more relaxation, focus, clarity and ability to participate more fully in daily life. This transformative practice will help you engage your energy and develop grounded awareness by incorporating a variety of breath, body, and energy techniques. We will also explore common obstacles and challenges to meditation as well as setting up a personal practice of your own.
Morning Zazen – Tuesday & Thursday from 6:15– 7:00 am.
Deepen your relaxation, relieve stress, as well as develop the body, mind and breath.
Zazen, or the practice of zen meditation, is a group meditation class meant for anyone who has some meditation experience or has gone through the Intro to Zen Meditation Workshop. With regular practice, meditation can noticeably reduce stress, increase relaxation, improve mental clarity and help balance and enhance your experience of daily life.
Morning Meisho and Kokyuho – Monday through Friday from 10:00 – 11:00 am
This virtual class incorporates breathing exercises (kokyuho) and meditation practices (meisho), such as zazen. These exercises come from Aikido and Zen, however, no prior experience is needed.