Hara: The Vital Center of Man by Karlfried Graf Dürckheim

Hara: The Vital Center of Man
by Karlfried Graf Dürckheim

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Paperback • 202 pages

When we speak of an individual’s state, we are actually referring to something that transcends the duality of body and soul, something that reflects the entirety of a person’s being. Because each of us is a unity of body and soul, there is no psychic structure or inner tension that is not reflected outwardly in the form and order of the body. When we find the physical centre of the body we also find the psychological centre of the soul. According to Zen masters, by correcting posture and breathing to balance this centre, one can cultivate inner tranquillity and balance: the state called Hara.

In Hara, Karlfried Graf Dürckheim shows the Western world how to overcome the physical and spiritual decay of modern life by adopting the age-old techniques of Japanese Zen masters. By leaving behind the “chest out-belly in” posture and attitude of the West and adopting the belly-centered posture and attitude of Hara, individuals can live a calm, grounded, and more balanced life. Included in this classic text are vital life force practices and translations of the wisdom teachings of three Japanese Zen masters. This book also explores how the practice of Hara emphasizes empirical learning and the cultivation of self-knowledge through the perfection of arts such as painting and archery.

Karlfried Graf Dürckheim (1896-1988) spent eight years in Japan before World War II and was a professor at the University of Kiel until Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. In Japan he discovered Zen Buddhism in its various expressions and subsequently became a Western authority on the subject.

Karlfried Graf Dürckheim=Author

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