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Kiai

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Kiai

Postby upanishad on Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:50 am

Hello all,

I'm wondering if there are any ways to increase kiai and raise one's personal vibrations? And if kiai has anything to do with what we might call charisma, stage presence, personal magnetism, etc.?

I'm an actor hoping to increase stage charm. I hope that's not anathema around here, but I think it might be. Sorry about that, I come in peace at least :Namaste:

I've read that after a bow is wielded by a master archer, it responds better to whoever wields it next. And of brilliant conductors raising the performance of entire orchestras through their presence.

And I've seen this effect in person myself. When a high caliber actor is absent from the ensemble, the performance lacks a certain spark. When that actor returns the next week, everyone's game is raised.

It seems like the universe just flows through certain people, they live in accord and harmony with its energetic rhythms, and I'm wondering if there's any explanation for that.

Why do some people seem to have more of this internal energy naturally?

And how might the rest of us go about increasing the level of energy we radiate for the benefit of all?

I'm aware that this energy is not particularly meaningful without corresponding realization, but as far as I understand, they tend to support each other.

Thank you.
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Re: Kiai

Postby Meido on Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:02 am

Some people do naturally have strong kiai, while many others do not. It is much easier to train someone endowed with kiai to concentrate and refine it, than it is to train someone lacking kiai to manifest it. Kiai is not something that can be taught, but a particular type of practice can cause it to manifest. Usually this will be a physical training.

Specific methods need to be prescribed to fit the individual, so a teacher with such qualities and experience needs to be sought out and consulted. But generally speaking: situations that are fearful or difficult, i.e. to which one has strong aversion, can be entered willingly and repeatedly with one's whole body. For someone who is younger and physically able, activities which require an outpouring of energy rather than its contraction - taken repeatedly to the point of physical exhaustion - can be undertaken. We are talking here about types of practice that would be characterized as intensive or severe.

Whatever method is used, the training rests upon a transmitted understanding of how to use body/breath to integrate mind, energy and physical strength (shin, ki, ryoku). Kiai should not be thought of as something that is generated through practice. It is, rather, a natural result when body and mind are balanced.

It is true that Zen practice in general, if correct and sufficiently intensive, will accomplish much in this regard since it removes obstructions and leads to an awakening which not only smashes habitual views and limitations, but transforms the body. My observation, however, is that these aspects of training - which have to do with the embodiment of realization, and upon which rests the promise of Zen as an extremely swift path of liberation - are not well understood in the West.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
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Re: Kiai

Postby jundo on Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:23 am

Hello,

Just a small note that not all Zen teachers, let alone other folks, believe in such powers as based on some mysterious "vibrations" and "energy". Much regarding such phenomena may just be confidence, bodily training and control, a still and focused heart ... a good deal of physical and mental training (much as a piano student, after months of practice, just comes to flow with the notes as a result of mastering a piece) and a self-psyche. As well, manypeople certainly possess extra charisma, charm and leadership skills without need to explain it all by some hidden cosmic principle.

If one believes that one is in such a mental place, and develops certain levels of skill, then one is so whatever the cause, whether there are hidden "vibrations" and "energy" in harmony with the cosmos or not. Do one's practice, develop some high level abilities, and go out with some confidence. That is all that counts.

Gassho, Jundo

PS - One experienced martial artist sums this up better than I ever could:

In my opinion, after practicing and teaching kung-fu and tai chi for almost 30 years, there is nothing mystical or magical in the so called chi/ki/qi. One must remember that martial artists, doctors, warriors and, in general, societies of past centuries that developed oriental martial arts, medicine and philosophies didn't have the scientific approach, knowledge and vocabulary that we have and use nowadays. So they described their experiences and knowledges in different terms that we do today. In my opinion, what they called "ki" is an experience, a feeling, of physical energies and psychological focus. When breathing, muscles, joints and the whole body move and act in a synergic and harmonious way, it feels good and allows us to achieve higher efficiency (i.e. power, speed, precision, etc), so high, that it may even feel "magical". I don't think it is so, though. When one adds psychological focus and confidence to the physical skill and synergies, the effects, feelings and experiences can turn out quite amazing. I would say that martial artists, or any other person, with a "big ki" are those able to focus their minds and exploit synergies in any movement or technique they perform, being are able to flow in that state where body and mind encompass the situation and become mutually self-aware. I see no mystical energies here; "ki" is an elegant and ancient way of describing excellent physical synergies and mental focus acting harmoniously. A simple word, for a simple and wonderful feeling rooted in many convoluted elements.

The concept of "ki" makes a perfect example of how Western philosophies and bodies of knowledge tend to divide, split and analyse the elements of a phenomenon, while the Eastern approach tend to be holistic and inclusive, prone to describe and emphasise the whole over the individual parts. Each approach, having its advantages and strong points at given moments.
https://www.quora.com/Martial-Arts-What ... id=2#!n=30


Of course others disagree, and will offer all manner of anecdotal stories. People are free to believe in many things.
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Re: Kiai

Postby Meido on Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:16 pm

jundo wrote:Just a small note that not all Zen teachers, let alone other folks, believe in such powers as based on some mysterious "vibrations" and "energy". Much regarding such phenomena may just be confidence, bodily training and control, a still and focused heart ... a good deal of physical and mental training (much as a piano student, after months of practice, just comes to flow with the notes as a result of mastering a piece) and a self-psyche. As well, manypeople certainly possess extra charisma, charm and leadership skills without need to explain it all by some hidden cosmic principle.

If one believes that one is in such a mental place, and develops certain levels of skill, then one is so whatever the cause, whether there are hidden "vibrations" and "energy" in harmony with the cosmos or not. Do one's practice, develop some high level abilities, and go out with some confidence. That is all that counts.


This is not actually what we are discussing, or what is meant by kiai 気合 in this context. What you wrote is understandable, however, given the odd things sometimes attributed to ki/chi...for example these days by what I would call "carnival show" martial artists.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
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Re: Kiai

Postby lobster on Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:57 am

upanishad wrote:
I'm an actor hoping to increase stage charm. I hope that's not anathema around here, but I think it might be. Sorry about that, I come in peace at least :Namaste:


You come in peace? :dance:
I'll take it ... does not seem to be an act :O:

I once went to see a stage production of '12 angry men', staged by accomplished British actors. It was flat. They were acting very well BUT emotion is felt and they were not feeling it and nor was I. It needed 'method acting'.

In the spiritual domain it is sometimes said 'fake it till you make it'. In some ways it is the reverse. In other words [lobster puts on zen hat] don't act, be.

Image

:rbow: time to bow out :rbow: cue crowd :)X :)X :)X
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Re: Kiai

Postby Caodemarte on Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:50 pm

Anything meant as an helpful aide can be abused. It takes great care not to go down rabbit holes and great effort to dig ourselves out.

I have head from one well trained Zen teacher that he has worked with many students (from the context, Western) that have seriously distorted their zen practice by a too intent pursuit of these kind of practices, specifically breath practice. From my perspective, it would be like Christian warnings of taking a healthy and necessary practice of repentance and making it into the unhealthy pursuit of punishment.
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Re: Kiai

Postby upanishad on Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:03 pm

Meido wrote:But generally speaking: situations that are fearful or difficult, i.e. to which one has strong aversion, can be entered willingly and repeatedly with one's whole body.


I know you were intentionally being general here, but still I'm curious (naturally). By this, do you mean something like doing a polar plunge? Or taking cold showers? Or mental fears, for some of us, like public speaking?

Meido wrote:For someone who is younger and physically able, activities which require an outpouring of energy rather than its contraction - taken repeatedly to the point of physical exhaustion - can be undertaken. We are talking here about types of practice that would be characterized as intensive or severe.


Would any type of rigorous exercise do, the key being physical exhaustion?

Are you familiar with Zhan Zhuang? Sometimes called standing qigong, basically you stand still in a pose and it gets increasingly intense the longer you stand. It's purported to build energy, get the internal energies bubbling, flowing. Do you have any thoughts about that as an internal energy practice?
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Re: Kiai

Postby organizational on Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:55 pm

I have some bad news.I hate to give so but have to say.In the future there will be no humans.We all humans will transform into something else.We will be like aliens that you imagine.This will be genetical and biological.I don't know how long will it take.But I don't evenwant to meet any of them.

Surely they will be sentient beings but will be very different.

Is it possible that we are the ancient anchestors or parents of the aliens or other creatures.

There is possible to open alot of questions about.

Like should a boddhisattva have to save aliens?

or more...

but better to cut here.

This is just a future projection of mine.Don't know hows this related to the topic.but you can connect or attach it.

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Re: Kiai

Postby organizational on Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:28 pm

OK, Let's leave science to scientists.
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