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Zen prostrations are now a less mysterious world even to Eastern spirituality newcomers through Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong’s CD “Touching the Earth.” This album also includes a guided deep relaxation and songs from Sister Chan Khong, who works closely with Thich Nhat Hanh in southern France’s Buddhist monastery Plum Village. Hahn has published a number of paperback and audiobooks, including "Living Without Stress or Fear" and the DVD exercise and meditation program "Mindful Movements."
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What Are Zen Prostrations?
This practice involves bowing and is often used for reverence to spiritual teachings and leaders, as a purification ritual, or in preparation for further meditative practices.
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Some devout practitioners of other faiths may not wish to learn Zen prostrations, but can still benefit from Sister Chan Khong’s guided deep relaxation as well as her songs. Zen Buddhist practices such as zazen and prostrations are not necessarily in disagreement with other religions, but the choice of whether or not to pick up any Eastern spiritual practice depends upon the individual.
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“Touching the Earth” is most widely available in recent years as an Mp3 album, but compact disc versions (such as the one used to write this article) can still be found. The album, whether on CD or Mp3, has eight tracks with an approximate length of 80 minutes. A brief introduction on Zen prostrations as well as instruction takes a little less than 20 minutes. The actual Zen prostrations practice lasts about 20 minutes. The guided deep relaxation, which requires no advance instruction, takes about 11 minutes. The album concludes with about 20 minutes of spiritual Eastern music by Sister Chan Khong.
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The instruction process for Zen prostrations is simple and should be accessible to almost anyone with an interest in Buddhism, even a complete beginner. Thich Nhat Hahn as always is patient, gentle, humorous, and poetic.
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Guided Relaxation and Sister Chan Khong's Songs
The guided deep relaxation is beautifully led by Sister Chan Khong. Absolutely no advance preparation or experience is required to practice with this track. Sister Chan is gentle and wise and her principles of self-love and self-care are likely to follow practitioners into their lives outside any formal relaxation and/or meditation practice.
The songs are sung beautifully and are ideal to listen to any time one desires an immediate sense of wellbeing and calm.
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Complete Title: “Touching the Earth: The Five Prostrations and Deep Relaxation”
Authors: Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong
Publisher: Sounds True
List price: $8.95
Release Year: 2005