Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Zen & Chi-gong
Some people ask why Zen does not have any special meditation, chi-gong, yoga or cakra activation techniques like Taoist or tantric traditions. They have an impression that Zazen is incomplete as a system due to its no frills simplicity. Regarding the cultivation of chi or chakra energy, Taoists have a very famous adage that goes "To refine the Essence (semen) into Chi, to refine the Chi into Spirit, to refine the Spirit into the Void." Each stage involves specialized chi-gong techniques that leads the Taoist yogi to deeper union with Heaven and Earth.
However, when it comes to Zen, all these practices are not necessary for they are already inherent in the Buddha-nature. One might as well ask "Who" is refining the Essence into Chi, into Spirit and into Voidness? If one realizes what is "Who", one will also see that Essence is "Who", Chi is "Who", Spirit is "Who", and Voidness is also not apart from "Who". Nothing is really apart from it. That's why when Yinzong asked Huineng what other teachings did he received from Hongren, he replied there was only "instructions on seeing one's own nature, but nothing on meditation and liberation." And although Huineng never practiced any formal meditation, chi-gong or tantra techniques, yet he automatically developed various psychic powers all the same. How can this be possible if Zen is not complete? I leave this for your wise consideration.