Resource Room

For Steve Kobrin's Jewish Meditation Class

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Resource Room for Jewish Meditation

Standing Still in prayer:
Rabbi Kaplan – “Jewish Meditation” pp 104 – 105
Does standing still help you be receptive and prepared to act?

Another Torah source: Gen 47.29 (Hirsch p 543; Malbim 338)

Standing meditation: Zhan XHuang.


Zhàn zhuāng (站樁/站桩, lit. ‘standing [like a] post’) is a training method often practiced by students of neijia (internal kung fu), such as Yiquan, Xing Yi Quan, Bagua Zhang and Taiji Quan. Zhan Zhuang is sometimes translated Standing-on-stake, Standing Qigong, Standing Like a Tree, Post-standing, Pile-standing, or Pylon Standing. It is commonly called a form of Qigong, despite the differences from other Qigong methods in Zhan zhuang’s orientation.[1]

The original Zhan zhuang were health methods used by Daoists; in recent centuries, martial artists who already had static standing methods combined these with the internal mechanics of Zhan zhuang to create a superior exercise. The goal of Zhan zhuang in martial arts has always been to develop a martially capable body structure,[2] but nowadays most practitioners have again returned to a health-preservation orientation in their training, and few teach Zhan Zhuang as a martial method.

Zhan Zhuang has a strong connection with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some schools use the practice as a way of removing blockages in Qi flow, believing Zhan zhuang, when correctly practiced, has a normalizing effect on the body; they claim any habitual tension or tissue shortening (or lengthening) is normalized by the practice, and the body regains its natural ability to function optimally. It is claimed that a normalized body will be less prone to muscular-skeletal medical conditions, and it is also believed that Zhan zhuang, when practiced for developing relaxed postures, will lead to a beneficial calming effect.[5][6] The Dan Tian is also involved in the practice of Zhan zhuang.[7]

Many styles, especially the internal styles, combine Post Standing with Qigong training and other coordinated-body methods to develop whole-body coordination for martial purposes. The martial practice is thought to strengthen the body’s Central Nervous System and develop the coordination required for effective martial performance. In Yiquan, a clear distinction is made between health postures and martially oriented postures. In Bagua Zhang’s circle-walking practice, the upper body is held as a Zhan zhuang posture, while the lower body is more dynamic.


Scott Jeffrey
Cultivate Boundless Energy With An Ancient Standing Meditation Called Zhan Zhuang by Scott Jeffrey
Zhan Zhuang (pronounced “Jan Jong”), a dynamic form of standing meditation from ancient China.
Zhan Zhuang is a standing meditation where you stand still. The initial goal is to relax and sink all the tension in your body beneath your feet.
This standing method cultivates the body’s natural energy called chi.
It’s a simple practice with extraordinary mental and physical benefits. You can practice it anywhere.
For creative professionals and knowledge workers, Zhan Zhuang offers a fast and effective means to recharge your energy, reduce stress, gain superior mental clarity, and stay focused.
Zhan Zhuang helps rebalance your energy from your head to the center of your body.
The Chinese call this center the lower Dantian; the Japanese call it the Hara.
This center point is below the navel, down the width of two or three fingers.
By learning to bring some of your awareness to this region, you begin integrating your body with your mind.
This helps you reconnect with your instincts and your gut feelings, leading to clearer thinking to make effective decisions.
You gain more energy, improving your focus, concentration, and effectiveness at whatever you do.
Although there are thousands of forms of Qigong, most of them use a derivative of Zhan Zhuang as a foundational practice.
Zhan Zhuang means “standing like a tree,” “pile standing,” or “post standing.”
As the name implies, Zhan Zhuang is a standing practice where one stands still, in an upright posture, as if standing like a tree.