Sila or ‘Moral Discipline’ as Qi Cultivation

The maintaining of physical discipline in the Buddhist sense, is a form of what is known in China today as ‘qigong’ (氣功), or to use the much older name – ‘daoyin’ (導引). Qigong is the cultivation of inner energy (qi) through directed willpower and effort (gong), whilst daoyin is the practice of ‘directing’ and ‘leading’ (dao) inner energy (qi), whilst ‘yin’ is the wilful process of ‘pulling’ the inner energy (qi) through the body and causing it to flow to all areas without hindrance.

The Difference Between Gong-an and Ko-an Practice

It is bizarre to consider that as Japan descended into fascism and racism prior to WWII – the distorted, nationalistic Zen Buddhism of that time was popular in the West amongst intellectuals, despite a number of its masters expressing openly hostile attitudes toward the Western people. It is even more bizarre to consider that after WWII – many of these very same masters remained popular as they quietly pushed their formerly racist rhetoric into the background, and applied a more ‘neutral’ policy toward the acquisition of Enlightenment.