Health & Spiritual Practice

Our primary focus at the Sixth Ancestor Zen Center is the practice of Zen, but our founding teacher, Ven. Hyunoong Sunim, always included practices to help us take care of our health, understand our own body’s specific needs to create internal energy balance, and open our energy meridians. In Korea these kinds of natural, holistic, energy-based health systems are widely practiced by Buddhist monks and lay people alike.

Energy blocks, internal energy imbalances, and health issues can result in many distractions for the mind when we sit in meditation. They can also trigger a variety of emotions and negative attitudes that become obstacles for our practice. Chronic health issues can be an ongoing distraction for us on a daily basis. These are unnecessary obstacles from which we can free ourselves through a variety of health systems.

When we open our energy meridians, establish good energy circulation and learn to ground our energies, our mind will also become more grounded. In the process we learn skills that allow us to settle our mind and energies at will. This not only prepares the body/mind for deeper practice, but gives it the capacity to integrate the stronger energies that appear as we let go of thinking and rest more and more in silent awareness.

If you include a meditation practice in your daily life, you will soon discover that your body is an integral part of your spiritual being. Through meditation you become much more aware of your body, and your body may tend to get in the way of your meditation practice. Although our practice is to awaken to the mind, there is a deep connection between mind and body that we cannot avoid. If we try to go deeply into the mind with a body that is out of balance, energies that are blocked, emotions that are unpredictable, and thinking that is excessive, our Path will be filled with hindrances. When we purify and open the body, our journey will be much smoother, and we will experience a much deeper practice.

Our Dharma teacher Jaguang Sunim continues this tradition of teaching a variety of health systems as an important aspect of our spiritual practice. Her personal experience of 30 years of such practices has not only convinced her of their priceless value, but has also made her a skilled and intuitive teacher.