Therapy: Zuowang 坐忘  “Sitting in Oblivion”

Zuowang means “Sitting and forgetting” or “sitting in oblivion”. Origin is from  Jingzuo 靜坐 “quiet sitting” Qin dynasty 221-206 BC. Zuowang 坐忘  “sitting and forgetting” made popular in Tang dynasty  618-907 AD. It is a Taoist “wu wei” pure awareness meditation. This page is dedicated to and inspired by the writings of Jiang Weiqiao and Chen Yingming.

Healthwise, still quiet sitting therapy can help with various problems like: dizziness, lightheadedness, palpations, restlessness, insomnia, blurred vision, tinnitus, panic attacks, anxiety, moodiness, forgetfulness, weak constitution, weak digestion, and those lacking motivation. Jingzuo/zuowang was used in sanitariums in the treatment of tuberculosis. It is more effective when added to qigong and tai chi movement therapy.  This is not a replacement to seek professional medical treatment if you have those signs and symptoms, but can be a adjunct to helping with those.

Health depends on breathing. We cannot live long if our breathing stops. Breathing helps with the circulation of blood and lymph. Exhale releases carbon dioxide and inhale brings in oxygen. Blood can be blocked by incorrect breathing. Also half of our blood is deposited in our abdomen, so poor abdominal breathing can result in stagnation of blood flow and this can cause malfunctions in internal organs. 

Zuowang pointers:

1. Keep the body still.

2. Keep the mind silent.

3. Tune out all thoughts, lose the self/ego.

We’ll use Zhuangzhi’s (369-286 bc) “Listen to breathing” Mind tranqility method. Gather your thoughts and heart-mind before starting , Listen to nose and lungs, listen to the inhale and exhale. Listen to the qi, listen no more, merge with the Dao the great void, Wuji.

Key points: breath with the nose, eyelids are like curtins or closed, use the lower dan tien, noiseless breathing that slowly lengthens. *the chattering of the mind may interrupt the breath, bring awareness back to the breath. *Let go of everything, forget everything. *dwell in own being: present and empty *release and forget moment after moment,. Release and forget even releasing and forgetting.

Suggested readings: Quiet sitting, The Daoist Approach for a Healthy Mind and Body. Jiang Weiqiao and Chen Yingming. with Introduction by Yanling Johnson.

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