Tag Archives: Practice

Kanpo is a word that refers to a traditional system for herbal health science and herbal health formulas within Japan. This is actually an integral part of the way of life and the way of health throughout the country of Japan. Throughout the centuries, this has presented the Japanese people with a unique approach for using herbal formulas to improve health and well being. Originally, this science of herbal medicine was unknown outside of Japan, but now these herbal remedies and herbal teas are becoming increasingly well known throughout the rest of the world as the health benefits become glaringly apparent.

Kanpo is a modern system in Japan for herbal medicine practice. Scientists in Japan have spent the last fifty years working closely with doctors in order to apply modern testing methods to these medicines in order to validate their use. In this way, they have been able to determine which traditional herbal formulas are actually capable of doing the things that they were purported to do. Many different herbal formulas exist as part of this system, and the recent validations of their effectiveness have allowed their popularity to spread to other countries across the globe.

There are a wide variety of different herbs and herbal concoctions that are approved for use as part of the study and practice of Kanpo. This study of herbal medicine is essentially an adaptation of the traditional herbal medicine practiced in China. Four different herbal medicines were approved in 1967 by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan. Since then, numerous others have been approved. There are currently more than 150 different types of medicines offered as part of this traditional herbal medicine practice. As new traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines are validated, they are added to this list.

A leading creator of medicine in the Kanpo style is a company called Tsumura, which is responsible for making 128 of the currently-available medicines. The most common type of herb found in this medicine is known as Chinese liquorice root or Glycyrrhizae Radix, which is found in 94 different medicines. There are a number of other common herbs including Zingiberis Rhizoma which is ginger and Paeoniae Radix which is Chinese peony root. Each has different medicinal capabilities, and so these herbs are mixed into the medicines in different concoctions to treat a variety of different ailments ranging from the very simple to the very complex.

Many people are not aware there is a healthier Japanese herbal tea than Green teas, called Tenchicha. The tea contains 12 herbs with no caffeine. Tad Kumagai is the president of Eco Vita, which provides information on health benefits of herbal products including Ten-Chi Cha. For more detail, please visit TenChiCha.com.

There is a joke in Buddhist circles: "Don't just dosomething, sit there."

What is Meditation?

Meditation is how we train in continuous awareness. It is also how we train in letting go. Meditating might not appear to be very exciting or productive, but try it and give inner peace a chance.

Meditation is a truly transformative spiritual exercise. Beginning meditators do not always connect the simplicity of what they are doing to the essence of the spiritual search, but it is all there to be discovered by those who try it. The Dzogchen teachings of Tibet say one moment of total awareness is one moment of perfect freedom and enlightenment. You do not need to seek elsewhere; it is all within.

The Practice:

Begin your meditation practice in a place that is quiet and free of distraction. Sit comfortably with your back erect. Stay alert and yet relaxed and at ease. This begins the training in mindfulness, or in cultivating heightened consciousness and awareness.

Begin breathing in and out through you nostrils.

Mindfully breath in, mindfully breath out.

Let go of the natural flow of energy and breathing, and learn to simply let it be.

Pay close attention to each and every inhalation and exhalation, following the breath - the object of your attention, all the way in and all the way out.

What is the Purpose of Practicing Meditation?

Breath awareness practice may not seem immediately productive, but give it a chance. Some spiritual masters make it their primary practice throughout their entire lives. Mindfulness of breathing is the basic mediation practice, and yet it has the power to reach and enhance all levels of consciousness. It may appear simple, but even so it works on all levels of the path and it is certainly not just for beginners.

It may not be immediately apparent, but to be totally in the moment, which is what meditation requires, means relinquishing the past, the future, and the dualism that makes a distinction between self and others. This is the essence of letting go.

(Inspired by Lama Surya Das: Letting go of the person you used to be)

Want to know more? Have a look at my blog.

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