Fumon S. Nakagawa and Relia Wecker
Nakagawa Roshi has been studying topics around “Wholesome Living” because it is obvious to him, that modern societies as well as individuals are looking for orientation towards a wholesome life.
In the Zen Centre Eisenbuch we offer JIN SHIN JYUTSU courses in conjunction with meditation, whereby meditation is always practised as the fundamental element. What does that mean? The Zen Centre Eisenbuch understands wholesome interaction with oneself as well as the world as a part of spiritual training. In the following article, Nakagawa Roshi and Relia Wecker describe this connection with JIN SHIN JYUTSU, an ancient method to activate and harmonise the energy flow in body and mind.
JSJ practised with a still mind is nothing else but meditation. The true essence of JSJ is not only the application of knowledge and technique but to surrender to the flow of life energy which has always been there.
Mary Burmeister (2) who studied for 12 years with Jiro Murei in Japan came from Japan to the West in 1954. She teaches us to practise JSJ with a pure mind (TEXT 1 S.2).
Self-centred thinking and actions separate us from the universal love and life force. Through meditation we come back to ourselves and wake up to the life in ourselves. It is the same with JSJ.
Why do we offer a JSJ course in conjunction with meditation? Because both are going in the same direction; it is the path of healing and training. It flows, it breathes in the shape of the body and the mind: the breath of the body in the mind, the breath of the mind in the body – in unity with the universal breath.
“To enter the stream” in a Buddhist view, means to have woken up to life. In JSJ we put our hands on different parts of the body and let life energy flow freely. The lotus posture is a form of JSJ as it combines important “security key locks” (3). The breath deepens and becomes free. Carried by the fundamental flow of life we experience mental and physical clarity. Dogen Zenji (1200 – 1253) was once asked how the path can be achieved – “through the body” – was his answer.
I would like to explain the meaning of the three words Jin, Shin and Jyutsu as follows:
“Jin” means the highest virtue to be expressed by men, being the essence of humanity, in short: compassion, karuna and love, maitri.
“Shin” has different meanings. It can be translated as “wonderful effect”. We cannot comprehend this with our intellect and knowledge, we cannot understand how JSJ works, and we do not understand why it works. Our heart is beating, blood is circulating, it breathes, which is the ability and the functioning of the universe, the Divine itself. “Jyutsu” translates as “path” and means “art” or “method”, also “knowledge”.
If this healing method or meditation is practised with self-attachment, something unwholesome could be the result. We have been given our self-consciousness to serve life within ourselves. Who else would do it, if not us as “I”? Our ability to think dualistic and have a dualistic view of the world serves us to live life in our communities well.
Meditation is taking JSJ a step further and JSJ is taking meditation a step further. “I meditate and abide well in life.” Through breathing – In and Out – it is flowing through us and out into the world. Every breath is the universal breath within us, always and everywhere. When we are asleep, it continues to breathe, through and through. Self-consciousness is not present then and no-one will say: I am breathing incorrectly when I am asleep. Everyday life is the expression of In and Out. All the time, we encounter ourselves and the dignity of existence, the dignity within us. Let’s wake up to the fundamental beauty and dignity of life within us and in the whole world. Of course it is sometimes very difficult to accept the words “beautiful body, beautiful world”. Even if we are disabled or have to live in constant pain, we should progress on the level of mental, emotional and physical peace by accepting what our situation is. Whatever is possible will be done and sustained.
This is the path.
Act of Love
If one experiences the healing flow our inner blockages open up and make healing possible. What we do here together is an act of love. Within us flows the love of life, the love of the universe, we are in the life of the universe and are loved by life.
We respect and honour our body as well as the body of others as the universal breath. Do we have fundamental respect for our hands, liver, lungs and eyes? They do not belong to us; we must treat them with great gratitude and serve them to live well. If a part of our body hurts we need to find the cause and dissolve the pain. We develop the awareness that we ought to, want to, can, may and must do so. If we want to but cannot or may not do so, we suffer. This suffering will even be increased on the level of “I”.
We can work with this level of “I” by listening to what our body’s universal life wants and what life in our body really wants.
To love means also to give joy to oneself and others. True joy is to be in peace. To give true joy does not mean to give only things. To give means to awake. A serene person who is present in a loving, quiet way is a gift to all. It is the fundamental meaning of giving (Dana) to give true joy. In reality we don’t give anything because there is nothing to give. Peace and joy are here, they only need to be expressed in a flow. This is true giving, true joy. The healing power of life is always present in us.
Training and Healing
We have the innate ability to develop on a mental and psychological level. To do that, we need intention, good conditions, and the support of others. Practising is healing; we process and solve our problems. We need to take care of ourselves. The best way to do this is to sit in the tranquility of meditation and streaming. When practising Zazen, we only sit on a cushion but our mind is processing the problems of today, reflections on the future and unfinished issues from the past. Dwelling in tranquility while being intensely present, our mind is alert and honest – everything is being settled and solved.
When practising JSJ streaming, the flow of life in the body and in the different levels or shells of the body is hamonising (4). If the energy is flowing harmoniously in the body, the mind settles.
If we are open and honest we realise a basic need for love, a need to understand completely as well as being understood and recognised. If we have a deep understanding of ourselves we can accept and embrace ourselves. We can understand and love others. The path of JSJ and meditation and in fact many other spiritual paths means to encounter oneself and others and to love oneself and others truthfully. This is the path of training and healing and we can open the gateway to life together to be truly happy.
(1) Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) is an easy to learn healing system and was recovered by Jiro Murai from Japan at the beginning of the 20th century. It is based on the central concept of universal life energy that circulates in each organism and grants mental and psychological harmony and well-being if it can flow freely.
(2) More information in:
Alice Burmeister/Tom Monte, Touch of Healing, The: Energizing the Body, Mind, and Spirit With Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Bantam (August 4, 1997)
(3) There are 26 so-called security key locks on each side of the body. They serve as our security alarm system. They close if we abuse our body and thus warn us if we veer towards problems or disharmonies.
(4) This means the density grades of life energy manifesting in the body. There are 9 depths in all, where the density of energy increases continually to permeate all aspects from the spiritual down to the physical existence.
Waltraud Riegger-Krause: Jin Shin Jyutsu, Suedwest Verlag (August 31, 2006) engl.
Alice Burmeister/Tom Monte: The Touch of Healing: Energizing the Body, Mind, and Spirit With Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Bantam (August 4, 1997)