Buddhist monk in meditationKorean Zen Dance is an ancient practice rooted in Zen Buddhist philosophy. The purpose of Zen is to find one’s “True I,” to attain the indescribable Suchness—Enlightenment—and to end the suffering of humankind. Words cannot pin down its meaning, nor can rites, rituals, music, or dance. But every human ac­tion may be undertaken as an exercise toward

Enlighten­ment and performed in such a way as to suggest the ineffable. Thus Zen Buddhism has given the world Zen archery, Zen karate, Zen swordsmanship, Zen flower ar­ranging, Zen tea drinking, and the art of Zen dance.

 

For the Zen dancer, dance is not only a medium of artistic expression; it is a path that leads to Enlighten­ment itself. The basic techniques of Zen meditation have been adapted and applied to dance. Through the use of mantras, hwa-tous (koati in Japanese), and tanjun (lower abdomen) breathing, practitioners learn how to align the mind and body correctly in order to enter the Enlight­ened state.

In Korea, Zen is known as Hwalgu-jam Son, “Utmost Vehicle Meditation.” This tradition holds that Enlighten­ment, or Buddha nature, is the birthright of every human being. Since it already exists within us, it can be neither bestowed by a teacher nor obtained by a disciple—the “Utmost Vehicle” is oneself!

about Buddhism:
Zen mind is “everyday mind.” Enlightenment does not pertain to some other time or place; it must be here and now or not at all. It must be experienced in every situa­tion, in
Breathing is the basis for all human activity and death is the final exhalation. In Zen meditation, the tanjun area (midway between the navel and the pubic bone) is con­sidered th
While mantras help to eliminate ceaseless mental chatter, something else is needed to rein in the more abstract workings of the brain. For this the hwa-tou is brought into play. A
Since Enlightenment exists beyond words and concepts, the greatest hindrance to its realization is the human brain, which, in its ordinary state, never ceases to put forth its conc
According to the scriptures, when Gautama Buddha was still a prince in his father’s palace, he was entertained by musicians, singers, and dancers. But after his Enlighten­ment,

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