Hara is a Japanese word that has no equivalent in English.
While it literally refers to the lower abdomen, the termalso has psychological and spiritual connotations in Japanese language and culture. In fact, hara can be seen as the unification of a person’s physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions.
Hara is critical to the Chozen-ji lineage of Rinzai Zen training. The development of hara is emphasized in all of our practices, zazen (“Zen meditation”), martial arts and fine arts. From our perspective, there is no Zen without hara.
In spite of the importance of hara in Japanese culture, few people know of it in the West. This is a shame. The purpose of this blog is to remedy this situation, so that people everywhere can benefit from developing and using the hara: their own vital center.