What does ChaCha mean? – Center For Social Dance Lansing Michigan
ChaCha means “chao chi” (literally, “the mind”), the “way of peace” (Zen), the “unification of all” (Yin, or “non-contradiction”), and the “path of attainment” (Mao): I think it all means the same thing when you really think about it, that the mind is all. It’s just a different way of looking at things.
There’s certainly an analogy to be made. I’d say that there are some things that are really important in Zen; for example, the path of enlightenment is one of the most important things that we can do, and that’s because the mind is a huge part of it. That’s probably going to sound really old-fashioned when you say it like that, but there are plenty of ancient people who came before Socrates who were actually really interested in how to live a life that is conducive to enlightenment and happiness.
How does ChaCha practice apply here?
ChaCha practice is probably the most practical way to understand Zen’s teachings. It’s like the Chinese version of Mahayana Buddhism, a collection of teachings that has a lot of similarities with a lot of the Taoist and Japanese systems, too. What we call the Taoist/Shinto schools in Chinese, for example, are all centered on the idea that the mind is like a mirror that reflects our deepest thoughts. Some of the teachings in these systems focus on practicing mindfulness, and some focus on focusing our thoughts (or, more specifically, their “energy”) on our heart, which is the most powerful center.
When you look at both Taoist and Mahayana meditation, they’re often said to be centered around the energy of the mind. In Taoist systems, you have the idea that when you meditate on the energy of the mind, you can feel its presence as something larger than you can currently see. You become the focal point of that energy. But Zen’s teaching is based on the idea that that energy doesn’t really have a focus. You can move it to a point where you want it to, but in other places you can feel its strength and presence. That’s where ChaCha practice comes in.
I’ll take you inside one such practice that I have. It’s a meditation called Zazen. When you go into Zazen, you actually visualize yourself sitting, and then you move your legs in the correct motion like you would
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