The aim of this meditation is to find a core in our body, to enter into this core, to mentally be in the core next to our energy source and to greet and question one of your Inner Zen Masters. What is a Koan(1)? A Koan is a question the student asks his Zen Master after exposing a description of an entire situation and vice versa. This specific question crystallizes its essence during your personal journey through the different layers of your body. The path is a figurative journey within yourself: you “hike” to your inner “home” and when you arrive at the energy source you will find your inner Zen Master. Only when you have arrived there you can ask your question and perhaps you will receive the answer to the Koan. The “home” is a place in our body where you, very tenderly and lovingly, embrace, preserve and protect your secrets, your thoughts, your knowledge and your experiences. In your “home” the energy source and the Zen Master are simultaneously dependent on what happens in the periphery and in different places of your body. The Zen Master is the guardian of your energy and his task is to communicate between all the other Zen Masters in order to turn the energy into a harmonious movement.
This is not a classical meditation, where one is obliged to sit still (one is allowed to remain in the 7 points of meditation). On the contrary: during our inner journey towards “home”, repetitive, quiet or fast movements can support this journey to dive into its essence. The movements are necessary so that we can walk through the different layers of the body and they also encourage us to enter the core. The movements also facilitate the conversation between the student and the Inner Zen Master. The movement allows the energy to express itself and, with a complicated Chain-Reaction, allows it to be linked between all the different Zen Masters.

Meditation with a Koan

With this meditation, you give yourself time to listen to and to observe your inner voice. What happens in your body when you hear this voice? Where has this movement taken you? Are you in front of your core? Wich movement allows you to enter the core and to visit your inner Zen Master?
For this inner journey, we need respect, intuition and SUPERestheisa (the exact opposite of anesthesia). Be respectful, awake and attentive to the signals your body sends you, be open to and perceive the inner movement. We stay open and listen to the invitation of the inner Zen Master. Each one of us has a core that sits in our body, in our mind and in our soul. The core contains the source of our energy and the Zen Master. All our experiences, emotions, abilities, muscles, bones, fluids, … are available through this source of energy. The Zen Master has the responsibility to transform this energy into a movement, to bring it to and to communicate with the next inner Zen Master, to ask him help and bring this communication in a Chain-Reaction with all other Zen Master to create an ever-greater movement forward till our skin and to the outer world.  

Trusting the inner voice with Meditation,
picture Coopzeitung/Heiner H.Schmitt Jr.

This Chain-Reaction occurs between all the cells that communicate continuously with each other, exponentially enlarging the Chain-Reaction. From the inside and unimaginably small to the outside and unimaginably humongous large and back again in the unimaginably small. All cells communicate continuously by means of chemical reactions or electrical impulses. They communicate since the first loving invitation of the egg cell to the only sperm among billions. This is the origin of the circular communication between the cells and the pure energy source. The circular and continuous cycle touches all cells from it “birthday”, during their life it takes care of his condition, it listens to other cells’ conditions and takes its responsibility, so that balances and imbalances and back to balance…, i.e. movement, arise. When this movement stops, the cell dies and another takes its place until the death of the whole being, i.e. no movement. Our cells are always ready to go through pain’s barrier because they want to find a new balance. They are ready to die and sacrifice themselves to trigger a new balance. This continuous cycle is one of the binding elements of our body. Our body can be consciously controlled: by language, by our evaluations and judgments, by comparing, by memories and thoughts about the future, by faith and all teachings transmitted from outside. But more often this continuous cycle is unconsciously controlled and the wonderful alchemy takes place every time we feel, see, speak, smell, move, digest, get excited, happy… Our receptors and our inner unknown senses remain continuously in the present moment and “store” all useful states of balance. For example, small wounds can recover unconsciously. Our core, where our inner Zen Master moves with the original energy source, can be anywhere in our body and in a specific place. This movement serves to bring our being back into balance. This place is at the same time free of evaluations, judgment, reason, free of ego, forms, colors, taste, flows like the breath, is transparent like a pure water source and, at the same time, it can take all forms, colors, all evaluations, comparisons, knowledge.

So, when you are with the Zen Master, ask the Koan:
Who is speaking now? Who feels what? Who senses what? Who can recognize this perception?
Recognize and feel what happens.

After you ask the question, there is an opportunity to observe what movement is taking place in you. How your emotions flow in your body? Does the Zen Master tell you anything? How does he/she (the Zen Master) let your energy move? How do you express this emotion to the outside world?

So… before we start, are there any questions? Your questions are always welcomed.

What is actually an inner journey? Is there an airport or a train station, where to start? What should I take with me?

This inner journey starts on your skin and ends again on your skin. It’s an inward journey towards the inner core. To the source of the Chain-Reactions, where all your inner Zen Masters move your body. And this movement can be one of your states or a certain attitude in everyday life, one of your habits or another resource. Give yourself the time to explore this movement. You can take a situation that occupies you, you will find the Zen Master at the roots of that situation. Observe how this Chain-Reaction from the inside out brings your body into motion.

How long does this inner journey take? Which signals show me that I am in front of my inner core? How do I walk through the wall of the inner core, is there a door or a gate?

Time, in this inner journey, does not matter, much more important is a safe place where we meditate and the movements that create this inner journey. One of these movements could be a repetitive thought. For example, as long as I decide for (sitting), b. (standing) or c. (walking) or another posture in this meditation. As long as I am loving, respectful, mindful and open to my body, I am still on the way to the inner core. Then I really have the opportunity to observe how the Chain-Reaction brought me to that (a) to that Situation, (b) Thought, (c, d) to that Behaviour… I stand in front of the core, how did I end up in front of the core of this particular Chain-Reaction? Now I have the chance to go through the wall of the core, do I really want to go through the wall?
More practical: I sit comfortably and all this allows me this inner journey and I think a thought appears: “(a) This inner journey is boring and brings me nothing, I have many other things to do that are more interesting and important than my precious time to invest in this meditation, (b) I have to get up and go away … (c) or I have to stay here and show everyone that I am a good person … (d) or I perceive one of my cores and go through the wall with my body perception.
With this meditation, you are in a safe place where you are conscious with mind and soul to observe patterns, a certain posture and the Chain-Reaction. A safe place, where you are also comfortable with your body, makes this Chain-Reaction easier to express and manifest.
So I can well understand if you don’t feel comfortable in front of your core, it happens to me also. As long as you remain respectful, SUPEResthetic, intuitive, and along with the Chain-Reaction you are on the way to the core, you will find more and more information that will allow you to find the key to go through the core wall. Hold on your question and the Zen Master will invite you in the core. Tell him how did you end up here? are you in balance? How do you feel? What emotions are in you now? What do you perceive? Can you recognize old patterns / a certain attitude in everyday life? Can you express or suppress your emotions? The answers to these questions can bring you through the wall of your inner core, but also a repetitive movement: taking a step, taking an imaginary door handle and opening a door, pounding in the air, screaming or laughing, taking the baby posture, taking an imaginary phone and calling your mother or father, letting the tears freely run.

How do you define energy?

The energy is an entity and is constantly moving in you and around you, with or without your will. For me specifically is mostly controlled unconsciously; for example, I was once in the tram and watched a pregnant woman who was in a loving embrace, suddenly I was in tears. Another example… whenever I have to explain what happens when I swim into cold water, I feel the warmth in my kidneys… Or when I smell pizza, or lasagna, or chestnuts, or a certain perfume, I get goosebumps, a certain memory and everything that goes with it…
The energy can also consciously controlled, for example when I train for a competition, or I decide to fast…

Who’s the Zen Master? Do all my cells have a Zen Master? Are there stronger and weaker Zen Masters? If there is a practical example of the inner Zen Masters, can you give me one?

I don’t think the Zen Master has a certain appearance, because he takes on a new appearance in every part of my body, for every emotion, and for every memory. Fortunately, he always has a similar responsibility: to set the energy in motion in order to achieve a certain balance. I see this Zen Master as a regulator of the self-healing powers, as a Member of Honour who promotes the common well-being, thanks to the Chain-Reaction and all other Zen Masters. He is a guardian of the natural intelligence of our body, he is a mentor of the natural global state… For example, there are songs that I know by heart, and every time I sing these songs, sometimes the tears run, sometimes the laughter explode, sometimes the goosebumps come, sometimes sends a shiver down my spine… so always different memories in connection with a movement…

Who controls the inner Zen Master to make this move? Can I influence this movement?

The Zen Master follows his inner natural intelligence and knows exactly why and wherefore and his goal is to focus on the well-being of the whole body. You have the knowledge to influence this movement and be fully involved. But sometimes I don’t fully understand or I don’t want to follow what my Zen Master wants from me and the whole Chain-Reaction blocks itself somewhere… So, with this meditation, I can give trust my Zen Master again and bring the energy back into free flow. And remember, your Zen Master is your host during meditation, and you can influence him with your impeccable posture while you are Koaning him: maybe you want to give a gift to your host (flowers, fruits, water, wine, a stone…), maybe you just sit there without words for a while and then you start greeting him and thanking him for his presence… you can surely use all your strategies, but actually you know your Zen Masters for a long time… since this invitation of the egg cell to the only sperm between billions…

Meditation Description:

– Intro: Arriving in to silence through the posture:

we sit comfortably and straight with crossed legs (if possible). The spine is straight as a candle, the elbows are spread out to the right and to the left, the right hand lies on the left hand and the thumbs touch tenderly. The spine is straight up to the head, the shoulders, neck and face are as much as naturally relaxed as possible. Eyes, mouth and teeth are naturally open and the tongue touches the upper palate. The eyes look towards the tip of the nose (7 points posture). Take this posture or another that supports you to find the connection with the earth where we sit and move, the connection with your body and the connection with the sky above our head.

– Feeling: perceiving different connections:

Feel the different possibilities to bind you with earth, with your center and the sky: feel the skin expanding and sliding back, feel the natural rhythm of your breathing, feel the natural rhythm of your heart, feel the connection with the earth where you sit, feel the connection with your core, feel the connection with the sky above your head, feel the virtues that arise in these movements.

– Journey with the Koan to your core: what would you like to share with your Zen Master? Who speaks? Who feels what? Who senses what? Who knows this perception? How can this perception be deepened?

Are there tensions, needs, emotions, warmth, lightness, love, joy, sadness… Who can feel it? Where and how? Feel your own energy bringing you to the core, to the original energy of this Koan, which is free of evaluations, judgments, lies and excuses. Open all your known and unknown senses. Perceive with full love what is going on in your body. Who speaks? Who feels what? Who knows this perception? Where does this perception come from and where does the energy flow? When you feel you are standing in front of your core, get inside and tell your Journey to your Zen Master and express your Koan.

– Returning: Perceiving the different connections, what has changed in your posture? Feel the connection with the earth, the inner core and the heaven.

take the time to say goodbye to your Zen Master. Give your Zen Master a gift and thank him. This gift will be your lighthouse for your next journey to your Zen Master. Feel the connections, integrate the experience and anchor it in your body. In your feet, in your hands, in your ankles, in your wrists, up to your elbow and your knees, in your hips and in your shoulders, in your organs and deep to your inner core.
Please thank yourself with all your cells and express your own energy, with stretching, laughing, playing, scratching, hugging, jumping, kissing.
Also be grateful to the people who meditated with you and allowed you to connect with the earth, your core and heaven.

As a conclusion I would like you to read these two quotes:

Although the number of Koans is said to be only one thousand seven hundred, actually the mountains and rivers, the great earth, the grasses and trees —whatever is seen by the eyes, whatever is heard by the ears, whatever is tasted by the tongue, whatever is touched by your skin, whatever is smelled by your nose— all of these are Koans.
– Nanpo Shomyo Zenji (1235-1309)

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Only care can manage them, so don’t resist them, that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
― Lao Tzu (601 BC – ???)

(1) – What is a Koan?
The Japanese word Koan comes from the Chinese gongan, which means “public case.” The main situation or question in a Koan is sometimes called the “main case.”
Koans (pronounced KO-ahns) are cryptic and paradoxical questions asked by Zen teachers that defy rational answers. Teachers often present Koans in formal talks, or students may be challenged to “resolve” them in their meditation practice. For example, one Koan nearly everyone has heard of originated with Master Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769). “Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?” Hakuin asked. The question often is shortened to “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
(source Sept 2019 Introduction to Koans – www.learnreligions.com)

The word “Koan” means an enigmatic question designed to bring your rational thinking mind to one point of focus – a question that points to a deeper truth about this consciousness. An enigmatic question to awaken one to a clear connection with Heart and Mind and our deepest self, which includes unconditional compassion. The Koan process is an awareness practice to a specific Emotional, Physical, Spiritual question.
(source Sept 2019 2018 Mondo Zen Manual – http://mondozen.org)

Shiatsu provides a space for self-awareness. Letting go judgments, assumptions and expectations

Massimo Martino
Dipl. Shiatsu Therapeut,
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