Toning up and sedation are decided based on our feeling while we perform the basic exercises serie: a kind of test to evaluate how we feel right here and now and what we need right now. It is a gradual expansion of the self knowledge, through a research of the movement and a sensitization on the meridians. The choice of the exercises that most fit the subjective condition of each person is made with the help of the Facilitator, by educating your own sensitiveness towards yourself and your own body and towards your answers to the stimulations received. Thus an extremely individualized work results, and this enhances the self listening ability and, in the end, improves the general psychophysical condition. Both the amateurs that meet for the first time the eastern concepts of movement and health, and the people who already started to practice any type of exerxise inspired by this idea or practising shiatsu can benefit from the Zen-Stretching activity: the latter, in particular, find it very useful in order to learn how to recognize on themselves the lines of the energetic meridians, before understanding the same on other people. Years of Shiatsu practice with people of all ages and conditions have taught us the great importance and value of being able to involve those who are undergoing treatments in the path that, starting from any initial conditions of discomfort, leads them to appreciate an increasing fluidity in movement and rediscover the pleasure of a renewed wellbeing , the opportunity to develop their full potential.
When you perform the whole serie all together, without making any choice, you generally have a toning up effect, even if it is less evident than what results from an aimed choice, just as in the Zen-Stretching session. It is useful to remind that, in this case, the identified pathways are the ones related to the codification established by Shizuto Masunaga, that is not totally corresponding with the location generally indicated in the acupuncture theory of the Chinese Traditional Medicine. Complementary exercises With these exercises, having a common quality of a more dynamic execution, with stretches and sudden returns, like in the movement of a spring or a lash, it is possible to obtain a dispersion in the blocked energy in some point or meridian. Therefore they are suitable to bring a regulation of the energetic level of the body parts involved through dispersion. When you perform them as a series they have a general relaxing effect and allow to relieve any tension hidden or transformed in stiffness or blockage. During a Zen-Stretching session, among these exercises we choose the one related to the meridians that we found in an excess condition jitsu while doing the basic serie. More simply, you can verify the utility and effectiveness of these exercises by trying one of these for a while after finding the most difficult basic exercise for the same meridians. Then, when you go back to try the basic difficult exercise, you might fin dit easier, which means that your energy in that aspect or body part has changed already. Therefore they are used as a relax or concentration, or preparation, control, self listening moment, within your Zen-Stretching session, and are conveniently distributed according to your need at any moment. Pietro Val Lemina TO —.
Wisdom Quarterly has a nice how-to on zazen , or Zen-style meditation. It begins with this:. Zazen, the formal practice of seated meditation, is the cornerstone of Zen training. In its beginning stages, zazen is a practice of concentration, with a focus on following or counting the breath. But more than just concentrating, zazen is a powerful tool of self-inquiry, boundless in its scope and ability to reveal the true basis of reality. Through zazen we realize the unity of the self with all things, which has the potential to transform our lives and those of others. Practical guidance complete with diagrams will take you through the basics.
With his experience in Yoga and Taichi, Stephen teaches most clients some form of exercise; usually it's a simple Meridian Exercise for their specific energy imbalance. In ancient China energy balancing exercises called Do-in and An-jiao were practiced. Master Masunaga studied various traditional exercises and developed a modern version called Meridian Exercises. Meridian Exercises complement a shiatsu session and empower people to balance their own energy on a regular basis. Not only do Meridian Exercises serve to speed up the healing process, they also serve to maintain our health. The main difference between Meridian Exercises and other forms of stretching exercises is the active use of visualization. The mental imagery is used along with movements as a device to keep our mind engaged with our body. There is no predetermined or "correct" image for a particular movement.