What is ninja meditation?
In medieval Japan, ninjas or Shinobi were professional assassins and spies. These were dexterous warriors who mastered ninjutsu, one of the martial arts. In fact, physical prowess was not the only distinguishing feature of ninjas. The latter paid much attention to the mental aspect of their job, doing their best to reach a balance between their body and mind. Read about ninja meditation below.
Ninjas were rather mysterious people; sometimes others did not consider them human at all. They were associated with spirits, and some believed that one could see a ninja only after a three-day fast. Another condition on which people could meet a ninja was meditation. Indeed, through achieving peace, people cleared their minds and entered the dimension in which spirits, or ninjas, could be seen (6).
Ninjas also went in for meditation, which was a vital part of their religion and lifestyle (4). This was a special type of mindfulness, which went under the name ninja meditation. Nowadays, despite the gradual decline of the ninja culture, ninja meditation remains relevant and still being practiced in different parts of the world.
The original name of ninja meditation is kuji kiri, which can be translated as “the nine hands seal.” Kuji kiri is a descendant of Shingon and Mikkyo Buddhism, which are practiced in Japan (1). The paramount goal of kuji kiri is to stay grounded and connected to the earth. However, there are more behind ninja meditation than forming signs, or seals, with your fingers. This wellness practice also involves breath meditation and focuses on the circulation of Ki energy, which gives your body life (2).
So, let’s look into each aspect of ninja meditation and explore its benefits.
The Constituents and Goals of Ninja Meditation
- Gathering and controlling the Ki energy. Ki is deemed a living force that is vital for life. This energy is also responsible for the body and mind unity. Those who can balance the Ki energy may be confident and optimistic.
- Boosting your mental ability. Ninja meditation has an auspicious impact on your mind, making you more attentive and improving your memory.
- Breathing. Breathing techniques are the relaxing aspect of ninja meditation. With these, you let go of unwanted and repetitive thoughts, the tension in your muscles, and worries in your mind.
- Maintaining your emotional health. Ninja meditation has a soothing effect on your mind, making you calmer. Emotions often determine people’s behavior, and if these are negative, one is prone to wrongdoing. Therefore, those who have a propensity to suffer from stress and emotional instability might find ninja meditation an effective way out.
- Delving into your deepest thoughts. Nowadays, people tend to be so busy that they forget about who they really are. Their concerns and thoughts are often too shallow, while there are much more significant things hidden deep inside. With the help of ninja meditation, a person can reach the bottom of their soul and heart, which will contribute to their self-awareness.
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Kuji Kiri as the Main Ninja Meditation Technique
As mentioned before, kuji kiri is “the nine hand seal,” which is a set of finger gestures used in ninja meditation. Each of these gestures is linked to a certain energy type responsible for a particular task.
Here is the list of the 9 ninja meditation hand positions (3):
1. Rin – Power
- Goal: To fill your body with power; to prepare yourself for a battle or training session
- Visualization: Fire
- Mantra: “I am strong”
2. Pyo – Energy
- Goal: To release energy that controls your power; to give you courage
- Visualization: Bright light
- Mantra: “I am fearless”
3. Toh – Harmony
- Goal: To help you find your inner balance; to establish a connection with the universe
- Visualization: Bright light in your solar plexus that is constantly but slowly changing color
- Mantra: “I am in harmony with the universe”
4. Sha – Healing
- Goal: To heal yourself and others; this seal is widely used in healing arts
- Visualization: Bright light glowing in the chest area
- Mantra: “I am healed”
5. Kai – Intuition
- Goal: To sharpen your senses
- Visualization: Throat
- Mantra: “I am psychic”
6. Jin – Awareness
- Goal: To make you shrewd and astute; to enable you to read the thoughts of others
- Visualization: Center of your head right behind the eyes
- Mantra: “I am humble and knowing”
7. Retsu – Dimension
- Goal: To open your mind to different flows of energy
- Visualization: Crown of your head
- Mantra: “I am charismatic”
8. Zai – Creation
- Goal: To allow you to take control of natural elements and animals
- Visualization: Light streak extending from the lower abdomen to the crown of the head
- Mantra: “I manifest reality”
9. Zen – Absolute
- Goal: To help you reach enlightenment
- Visualization: Infinite bright light filling the void inside you
- Mantra: “I am the void and the light”
Do the seals really work?
At first, you might think that these hand gestures known as seals in ninja meditation are meaningless. Indeed, it seems to be nothing more than an exercise for your fingers. Yet, it is your mind and effort that sends you to the meditative state during kuji kiri. What the seals do is trigger certain memories in your mind, which will make new sources of energy available for you (1). As a result, you will be open to mindfulness.
The Bottom Line
Ninja meditation is an old wellness practice that used to be associated with the supernatural. Nowadays, it is no longer that mysterious but is still popular worldwide. The cornerstone of this meditation is the kuji kiri and it’s 9 ninja meditation hand positions. In which, performing them will help you reach the meditative state. Kuji kiri can benefit you in various ways, helping you find stillness within your body and mind. Furthermore, practicing this type of meditation is said to make you see what you failed to see before.
Overall, the meditation is a relatively simple mindful activity, which, however, might not be easy for people without the corresponding background. Nevertheless, meditation is a learned skill, which you can master with regular training.
This video will help you reset your mind and refocus on what’s truly important.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility.
- Ninja Energy Meditation Techniques (2017, sportsrec.com)
- Ninja Meditation (n.d., project-meditation.org)
- Ninja Meditation-Kuji Kiri (aka. Ninja Hand Signs) (2018, steemit.com)
- Ninja Warriors and Vulcan Logic: Using the Cultural Literacy Portfolio as a Curriculum (1994, researchgate.net)
- Ninjitsu Meditation (n.d., stress.lovetoknow.com)
- The semiotics of violence: Ninja, sorcerers, and state terror in post-Soeharto Indonesia (2008, brill.com)