Learning to Breathe the Seon Way

by Paula Harrison and Shantal Starck, 19/03/2010

It’s relaxing, good for your health, great for your spirit, and most importantly, fun. Seon Meditation has been practiced in Korea for centuries and is now being made easily accessible to foreigners at the Seon Meditation Center in Insa-dong, Seoul.

But if the word “meditation” makes you think of sitting silent and motionless for hours on end, think again. At the Seon Center, a typical beginner’s class involves stretching and movement to stimulate the body’s energy centers, conversation and laughter to spark the mind, and a unique form of breathing to cleanse the entire mind/body system and create a sense of harmony and inner balance.

Typically, people breathe from the chest area, which limits the amount of oxygen taken in and is far less relaxing than even the deeper abdominal breathing which some people practice to calm the mind and help control stress.
Seon Meditation means learning to breathe from an even deeper place.  Just below the navel is an area that has long been known in Asia as ‘the secret spot of life’. It’s the same spot Westerners are probably referring to when they talk about ‘gut instinct’ or ‘going with your gut’. At the Seon Center this spot is called the “dungeon” and finding your dungeon and learning to center yourself there means putting yourself in touch with universal energy and thereby finding relaxation, balance, better health and possibly even a clearer direction in life. And the secret to all this is in the breathing.

During one’s life stress one accumulates and people adapt by breathing less and less effectively—taking in less oxygen and accumulating more toxins. Learning to breathe in the proper way first calms the mind and relaxes the body but its ultimate direction is to unpeel the layers of heaviness that make life so complicated. So although the initial rewards are physical the end results boost spiritual and emotional health as well.

Everyone feels dissatisfaction deep down at some level, where does it come from?  Fundamentally, we are created with an empty spot that needs to be filled and it is that feeling of emptiness that drives us crazy. We try to fill it with love, money, success, traveling, but in the end we still feel bored, frustrated, empty—basically unfulfilled”. That emptiness, is our original nature calling. Only through breathing and finding true balance can that emptiness be filled. Although not everyone is ready to hear or understand this, but deep within, this is what everyone wishes to find. “All creations of the universe seek balance.”

Also, 80% of toxins we create ourselves within our own bodies usually by thought and stress, only 20% comes from the outside, like polluted air, so this means that it is possible to detox our bodies by 80%, good to know isn’t it, we are looking forward to showing you how to prepare your body and mind for danjeon breathing, by using methods like seondancing, accupoint awakening and we also offer a customized care class.

And by the way, if you’ve been wondering about the word “Seon”, it translates to mean: “unity with man, nature and the universe”. When it comes to finding balance in life I guess it would be pretty hard to beat that.

 For more information on classes and for directions to the Center, see the Seon Meditation Page in the K4E Directory.

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