Kinhin

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Members of Kanzeon Zen Center during kinhin

In Zen Buddhism, kinhin (traditional Chinese: 經行 jīngxíng; Japanese: 経行 kinhin; Vietnamese: kinh-hành), or kyōgyō (教行?), is the walking meditation that is practiced between long periods of the sitting meditation known as zazen.

Practitioners walk clockwise around a room while holding their hands in shashu (叉手), with one hand closed in a fist, while the other hand grasps or covers the fist. During walking meditation each step is taken after each full breath. The beginning of kinhin is announced by ringing the bell twice (kinhinsho); the end by ringing once (chukaisho 抽解鐘 ‘the chime to let go and detach’).

In Chinese Zen, walking meditation is done with a wooden fish, whose rhythm one's footsteps follow. Each strike of the wooden fish is a step.

The pace of walking meditation may be slow (several steady steps per each breath) or brisk, almost to the point of jogging.

The terms consist of the Kanji kin (経 ‘to go through (like the thread in a loom)’, with ‘sūtra’ as a secondary meaning) and hin (行 ‘walk’). Therefore if taken literally, they mean ‘to walk straight back and forth.’ Although it can be translated loosely as meditative walking or walking meditation. Its meaning is similar to the idiom "walk-the-talk" as its literal meaning includes "walking to religious teachings" or "sutra walking", because the double meaning of the first character connotes walking the truth that is talked about in the sutras.

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