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Mudra position

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Mudra position

Postby RenEx1 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:04 pm

Hello everyone,

I asked this on the main forum and was given the suggestion to post my question here:

" I was wondering what everybody's position on the placement of the cosmic mudra is?

By this I mean, do you hold it up so that the thumbs are in line with the navel or do you rest it in the lap?

I've seen both positions promoted and I can see the logic in both. One view is that holding it up makes you stay attentive and that you can learn to relax into it. Another view is that it creates too much tension to hold them up.

Here is an example of a teacher who suggests holding them up:http://www.chzc.org/posture.htm

Chip"
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Re: Mudra position

Postby Nonin on Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:34 pm

Chip,

When I give Zazen Instruction to a rank beginner, I tell the person to place the left hand on top of the right hand, palms upward, with the fingers directly under the fingers, thumbtips lightly touching. I tell them that the thumbs should be about the height of the navel, with the little fingers resting gently against the lower abdomen. The arms should be hanging loosely at the sides, and nothing in the overall posture should be either tense or lax.

Because each person's bodily configuration is different, gradually the mudra will settle into a comfortable position, usually somewhat below the navel, but not always.

It's very difficult to explain posture verbally or through writing. It's best to get face-to-face instruction from an authorized teacher, so hands-on correction can be made if necessary.

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin
Soto Zen Buddhist Priest. Transmitted Dharma Heir of Dainin Katagiri Roshi.
Abbot and Head Teacher, Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
http://www.prairiewindzen.org
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Re: Mudra position

Postby RenEx1 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:57 pm

Nonin,

Thank you!

You touched on the heart of my question. When I don't support my mudra I notice that my little fingers stay against my abdomen, but my shoulders get tense easier. When I rest my mudra on my feet, lap, or a cushion, I notice that my little fingers slip away from my abdomen.

Chip
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Re: Mudra position

Postby Judy Roitman on Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:57 am

The mudra should surround your tiantien (Jap. hara, Korean tanjin), the power spot, a.k.a. energy garden (literal meaning of the Chinese) three fingers below your belly button. What this means as far as hands resting or not resting on the legs differs according to body type and posture (kneeling, sitting half-lotus, sitting full lotus, etc.). But ideally (and not everyone can do this) the tiantien should be in the center of the mudra. The whole point of the mudra is to, as my teacher used to say, make your center strong, i.e., center your energy in your tiantien.

Hope this helps.
Judy Roitman (Zen Master Bon Hae), Kansas Zen Center, Kwan Um School of Zen
www.kansaszencenter.org
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