kinhin instruction

Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

Suzuki, Roshi, continued the morning instruction by explaining the importance and way of practice of walking-meditation (kinhin) and standing-meditation. Because Suzuki, Roshi, was walking around the Zendo during his explanation, the tape recorder did not pick up his words. Briefly: hands are held, right hand around left fist, at waist level, but a little out from the body and arms a little away from the sides; breathing is fairly slow and deep, stepping forward on the exhale, and preparing to lift back foot before bringing it forward on the inhale; the walking is slow and in relation to the others doing kinhin; and the mind should be following the walking and breathing. When the bell rings ending kinhin, each person should close the gap in front of him so the line can walk at a more rapid pace back to the original places.

In standing-meditation feet should be planted firmly on the floor separated by about the width of a fist or hand, head and back should be straight as in sitting and walking meditation. Breathing should be what is called in China "toe breathing": you feel some strength in your heels when you inhale, as if you were inhaling all the way from your heel; and when you exhale you feel the strength in your toes as if you were exhaling there. When you stand in this very stable way after zazen, you feel as stable as being rooted to the ground.


File name: 65-10-16-K: kinhin instruction (titled by pf) (Not Verbatim) Included with October 1965 Sesshin Lectures in Wind Bell Vol. 4 No. 7.

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In Wind Bell, Vol. 4, issue 7, 1965