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Ninja Meditation

Ninja meditation is fundamentally about reconnecting with the earth. Through physically connecting with the soil that sustains life on the planet, the ninja visualized roots growing from his feet which traveled deep down through the millions of years and the kilometers of various layers of soil and rock and drawing strength from the earth's core.  One tenet of this believe was that contemplation on this subject brought out the realization that there were in fact two suns, the one that spins overhead and the one at the center of the planet.  This duality and the understanding of it form the core beliefs inherent in the ninja meditation that reconnects him with the earth.  The earth is not only a mother, it is also a father, and cradled between the two poles, anyone, an assassin, a priest, or a laborer can draw a great and abiding strength.
By combining simple methods of meditation with forceful maneuvers, you can learn how to become the master of any situation. Ninja meditation involves cultivation and circulation of Ki, mental powers, kuji kiri, breathing exercises and concentration to become able to control the mind.

In feudal Japan, from the turbulent Kamakura era through the Edo era, a period spanning over seven hundred years, the ninja were the assassins that covertly carried out the will of their wealthy lords, the daimyo and the shogun.  They were a sect that was only unified in secrecy and many of their techniques are lost to this day. Ninja Meditation has come down to us through history.  This ritual of contemplation and rumination acted as a focus for the ninjas' deadly skills, an aid in their clandestine dealings.

The role of meditation in Japan is one that has roots that stretch to places as distant as India and as far back in time as the founding of the Japanese nation.  Meditation in Japan during the eras where the ninjas were active was a mix of stretching, healing and deep thought that was designed for a seamless integration of mind and body, enhanced concentration and calm above all else.  This meditation was essentially the ability to drown out everything except the most important measure at hand, an invaluable skill for the ninja.

Chi, alternately referred to as ki or qi, is the life essence that exists in all things, a vibrant throbbing energy that pulses at our fingertips and cries out to be used.  Legend has it that the great martial artists of old were able to channel this energy through deep meditation and reflection and create a physical force.  By sheer will alone, they could hit harder, run faster, and throw fire.  This is, of course, the stuff of legend, but even today, people in many parts of the world realize that chi is a very real force, one that can be tapped and used to better the lives of those aware of it.

Meditation often involves the visualization of this energy and reflection on the forms it takes.  Is your chi a moving river or does it resemble a circle of fire?  For the ninjas, one place that they drew chi from was the earth itself.  The earth represented an unbending foundation, a place that is crossed and troubled with confusion and strife, but remains itself unchanged.  With their focus on earth meditation, the ninjas contemplated a deeper connection with this inexhaustible source of strength.

By Phil Stilchford

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