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Mudras - Sokuchi-in - Earth witness



Type of Spiritual Experience


This mudra is found in Buddhist iconography including Zen Buddhism and the description of its efficacy comes from a book on Zen meditation techniques


A description of the experience

The Book of Life – Roshi Jiyu-Kennett and Rev Daizui MacPhillamy

This mudra is one of the most useful of the traditional Buddhist mudras.  It is said to have originated at the time of the Buddha's Enlightenment when, alone and beset by all the forces of Darkness, he touched the earth which gave witness to His right to sit steadfastly in meditation until his complete Enlightenment.

Thus this mudra assists one to be steadfast when confusion, doubt, distractions, and dangers of all kinds abound.

It is somewhat like putting down a ground wire to an electric circuit when there is a short circuit and sparks are flying in all directions.  The ground wire safely conductsthe unchannelled electric power back into the all accepting earth.

This mudra can assist you to do the same with doubts, fears, anger, anxiety or other sensations that may tend to overwhelm you, whether they arise from within you or externally.

With the left hand closed in a fist for protection, the earth witness mudra may help you maintain resolve and equanimity amidst trying or chaotic external conditions.

If karmic memories arise so strongly during meditation that it is difficult to accept them and learn from them, use of this mudra may release some of their excessive intensity.

There may be times in advanced meditation when the Fountain of the Cosmic Buddha floods you with such intense ecstasy that it is difficult to maintain consciousness.  In this circumstance, momentary use of the earth witness mudra will offer a little of this gift to the earth and all its creatures and so enable you to continue in meditation.

This mudra is most effective if you can actually touch the rock or the soil of the earth itself.  It is least effective when touching the floor of a building, especially several stories up.  In the latter case I find it seems to help to touch a water pipe or other object whic directly connects to the ground.



The source of the experience

Zen Buddhism

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps