Saturday, August 22, 2009

Benefits of Zhan Zhuang

Benefits of Zhan Zhuang (Standing Meditation):
I have noticed a TON of benefits from exploring this simple exercise, which is the core of my wujifa practice.

Sequoia sempervirens in Redwood National and S...Image via Wikipedia





I'm a bit of a Zhan Zhuang fiend, I'm all about it. My friends and I get together about once a week to help motivate each other and give each other help on whatever we're working on in our lives, and whatever issue a friend of mine brings up, I find myself drawn to say "Stance practice would help with that"

"I'm having trouble focusing" - practice stance
"I get so angry I can't deal with it in a positive way" - practice stance
"I can't poop" - practice stance

whatever... I pretty much think that if it's practiced with the right mindset, stance can do anything you need it to do for you.... that's why they call it the million dollar secret of qigong. It's so simple too!

There's plenty of information on specifics in training in these few posts by Rick, which I would recommend checking out:
The Concept of Sit Down in Wujifa Training
Basic Tips for Zhan Zhuang and the Pelvis
More on Zhan Zhuang and Movement

I'd actually recommend reading and following Rick's blog, since he's always putting out top shelf information on internal martial arts. He may be one of the best IMA teachers in the united states today, definitely one of the best whities.

So returning to my recommending stance practice for anyone for anything, this just comes from my experience, that whenever I've had a problem and I've gone to my Zhan Zhuang practice for answers , I've tended to find them. I believe in the spiritual truths inherent in a wide variety of religions, and I'm a christian, or maybe a bit buddhist, but not really any of these things - however, my religion is pretty much standing meditation.

Sometimes you meet those fanatics who are all about "the answers you need are in the bible/quran/talmud/sutras/gitas/whatever" I'm kind of nutty in the same way for stance, but the cool thing about stance is that it's INTERNAL... which means that you're exploring yourself and looking for the truth there instead of going on someone else's word. In Christianity, they say "The kingdom of Heaven is within you" and the Buddha said (and this is paraphrased) "Don't take my word for it" so I figure stance kind of fits both of these ideologies.

At any rate, try it for yourself. There's a lot of good information out there, especially on the blog I suggested. You're the only person who can see how great stance can be for you and how many benefits you will find in it.


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10 comments:

  1. I whole heartedly agree. All of the comments the zen guys make about their zazen practice is equally true for zhan zhuang.

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  2. That's a pretty... Big tree in the picture... What kind of tree is it... Red Cedar? It's not a mighty oak I believe... A pine on some kind? It's a pretty... Big tree... I really like trees... Ash and pines are to of my fav's... Bamboo forests rock though... Ok enough about tree's from me... Fir now... LOL

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  3. It's a redwood, it's grounding is amazing. Because of good roots, it can reach so high!

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  4. Hey To DiscoverFreedom

    Actually the Giant Redwoods root system isn't that deep compared to other big trees... The Giant Redwoods roots inter-lock with other redwoods... like a community... or doing stance with a group is different than standing on your own... I like to compare the Giant Redwoods with group practice and the Might Oak standing alone to solo practice... The Giant Redwoods fall over on the edges of the Redwood forest if they get cut off from the group... A good community can create great support when they learn to work together... Personally I think training both ways an be very helpful... both solo practice and group practice... something different shows up in each of these.

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  5. Huh... very nice. I guess because of good community, the redwoods can reach so high!

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  6. Yes... when they stand alone they can fall to easily... training both ways... like a might oak and like a giant red wood can give a lot of insights to both...

    "However, redwood trees have no deep tap root, but instead have lateral root systems that extend 4-6 feet deep and 125 feet out from the tree, with a superficial fibrous layer that forms a dense mat in the top 3 feet of soil. These roots interconnect with those of other trees..." From http://www.culturechange.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=420&Itemid=65

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  7. Hi there

    I'm very interested in wujifa and appreciate the reference links in your above post.

    However I'm wondering if there are any other references for beginners covering such aspects of stance training as how far to have feet apart, what angle etc

    Whilst I realise there is no substitute for a teacher, I have a background in sitting meditation, yoga and mindfulness so feel curious enough to 'feel' my way into practising zhang zhuang. But certain basic pointers would nonetheless be useful.

    Many thanks

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  8. thats one of the least dogmatic and least insane articles about martial arts/qigong i remember reading. how strange.

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  9. Has anyone heard of Baron fersons fearsome stance? i've seen it on youtube and have been practicing it regulary. I feel fantastic so it must be working.

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