View Full Version : Mudra Techniques
I was curious about a form of hand gestures known as Mudra. I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about them? I tried to look things up on the internet, but all's I could find was that it was originally a Hindu practice (I think). I'm assuming that since it was originally Hindu, it probably got passed on into Buddhism, and that's why I always seem to see references to it in Japanese culture. Can anyone tell me the full nature of these gestures? It seems like they play a key role in Zen Buddhist and/or Shintoist ritual. Also, would anyone know where I could find some sort of dictionary for the various symbols and what they mean? Thank you for your help.
there are many books that deal with your question. You will find them in just about any book on yoga.
I've never heard of Mudra.
What are the "hand gestures" for?
I'm not entirely sure what the mudra are for, but I believe they are used to invoke different spirits or dieties. From what I looked up, these spirits are often depicted with their hands in a certain way to depict their intentions or something. Priests also seem to use the hand motions during rituals when they're trying to invoke one spirit or another. Sort of like some sort of magic-invoking sign language or something. I could be wrong, however, as my research is still incomplete. Everything seems to point to Hindu origins, but it looks like this has made it's way into Zen Buddhism and/or Shintoism (which is why I ask here).
Does anyone know any online resources, possibly with a reference list? I'll try a book later, but it will be a while before I have the ability to go into a decent bookstore to find it.
Mudras are not for invoking demons or spirits or dieties... think more in terms of focus tools... a physical reference point to reinforce a mind set... it is a form of classical conditioning... you practice the mudra as a means of getting into a certain mind set... mudras are tools of self hypnosis... the idea is that a mudra allows you to overtly command yourself... it is a way of routing around the ego and getting to more centered state... for example... say you are paniced and affraid... not because of what is happening but because of what you imagine might happen... this is when a mudra could be used to help center and calm yourself... the body is always in the moment so focusing on the hands as the most visible part of the body is a quick link to awareness of the moment... a mudra is a tool to shut off the limiting aspects of the mind... a way of accepting and getting around fear, stress, anger, lust.. the emotions that can get you killed or tricked... of course it requires awareness to work... and it does work.
mudras are common to most all religions... idols, mantras, chant, ritual, prayer, etc... all are related...
there is no magic but that which you believe in...
take care, steve
So Mudra are simply a routine used to clear the mind? Thanks for the info. This is really interesting for me, I'm going to look more into it.
See http://www.furyu.com/onlinearticles/mudra.html For a background.
mudra are used to trigger a certain mindset... which may mean clearing the mind but could also be used to stimulate aggression or calm depending on what is needed... it is self hypnosis...
take care, steve
Wow...that article had a lot of good information. Thanks guys, this was really educational. I think perhaps I was originally thinking of mikkyo. I actually just ran across the name mudra, and thought they sounded similar, but I can see that they're different. They're both really interesting, however, and I'll probably spend quite a bit of time reading up on them both. :D I'm a happy camper. Thanks again for all of this info. :bow:
if you read up on ninjutsu you should find some references to mudra its referred to as kuji-in or kuji-kiri.there is an anime series called naruto that is all about ninjas and it employs all kinds of finger-weaving but the results are grossly exaggerated.whereas there hand seals may allow them to breathe fire,the practical use was more of a tool for self hypnosis.the book iron body ninja by ashida kim touches on the subject and reflects on the internal arts associated with ninjutsu.also the mystic arts of the ninja by stephen k. hayes briefly touches on the subject.
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