Ninja Meditation-Kuji Kiri (aka. Ninja Hand Signs)
The ninja are often associated with a type of energy meditation known as "kuji kiri" or the nine hand seals, which are derived from the esoteric Buddhist traditions of Shingon and Mikkyo.
The kuji kiri or "nine hand seals" are symbolic gestures made by crossing the fingers over each other in certain patterns. The hand seals look mysterious, but they are fundamentally methods of meditation.
The kuji kiri hand symbols are meaningless on their own. Simply clasping your hands in a certain way will not produce any powerful effect. What the hand symbols really do is to serve as keys to the practitioner's own memory and mental focus. The goal was to enter a certain mindset, which was thought of as a process of opening "energy centers" in the mind and body. This was supposed to give the ninja the spiritual and psychological tools to accomplish the task at hand.
Each symbol has a specific meaning. So, to invoke a specific ability, you have to perform the correct symbol.
For example, if a ninja gets injured, he’d perform the kuji symbol for healing (while in a meditative state).
The Kuji Kiri: 9 seals
RIN – Power (Strength of mind, body, spirit)
This first kuji is typically preformed before any of the others can be effective. It is meant to channel power throughout the body and is associated with mental focus and energy generation. Historically, this would be in preparation for battle or training. The visualization for this kuji is fire or raw energy. RIN is associated with the first or “root chakra,” and once purified becomes a catalyst for activating higher chakras.
Mantra: “I am empowered with vital energy,” or “I am strong.”
PYO – Energy (energy direction)
The energy channeled by RIN is directed or controlled by the complex kuji of PYO. One’s inner energy becomes connected with the energy outside of the body. It is also associated with the starting point of the soul’s activity toward higher levels of spiritual consciousness through the second chakra, which is located in the lower dantian. This area is located two inches below the naval and is regarded as a reservoir for vital energy. The visualization is an intense bright light that flows with one’s breath.
Mantra: “I know my deep Spiritual self and I am not tempted by distractions” or “I am fearless.”
TOH – Harmony (one-ness with the universe or self)
Mediation and connection to the universe are an important part of the Shinobi spirit. The TOH kuji is calming and intrinsic resulting deeper connection with one’s environment and improved harmony and balance. The third chakra focus point is solar plexus and adrenal glands, which activate one’s fight or flight response. The visualization is of a bright light building in the solar plexus and observation of its color changes.
Mantra: “I forgive all injuries, offenses and slights-past and present,” or “I am one with the Infinite Divine Energy and in Harmony with the Universe.”
SHA – Healing (of self and others)
The TOH connects oneself to the universe and its vibration. The SHA allows that harnessed energy to be summoned for healing of self and others. This technique is common in a number of healing arts and is based on the concept of increasing one’s own vibration. This hand seal is closely associated with ki, which is said to be the energy force or center of the body as well as the heart chakra. This fourth chakra is considered the dividing point between lower and higher spiritual realms. The visualization is a bright light radiating from the chest.
Mantra: “I am healed,” or “The flow of infinite divine energy flows through me healing myself and others.”
KAI – Intuition (premonition of danger, feeling others intent)
The KAI kuji enhances sensory awareness of their surroundings including the emotional state of others and premonitions of danger. These “outer bonds” are the energy currents that precede an event. The fifth chakra is associated with the throat and thyroid gland, which regulates one’s metabolism. The visualization point is the throat.
Mantra: “I see, feel and know the energy connections between myself, the Infinite and all things,” or “I am psychic.”
JIN – Awareness (feeling thoughts of others, perhaps hiding your own)
Awareness may appear similar to the concept of intuition, but delves much deeper to a level which can even seem intrusive, allowing the practitioner to hear the thoughts of others while shielding their thoughts from others. This high-level kuji requires delicate care. It is recommended that if you do not judge what you perceive from others, you will be capable of perceiving with more clarity. The sixth chakra is associated with the pineal gland and it is said the route by which the soul meets the Holy Spirit. The visualization point is the center of the head directly behind the eyes.
Mantra: “Through the Infinite, I know the mind of each and all,” or “I am humble and knowing.”
RETSU – Dimension (control of time and space)
The implications of this kuji are profound in theory, allowing the practitioner control over time and space by opening the mind to the perception of different flows of energy. The concept is that all matter consists of energy waves that are being constantly re-created. Visualizing this re-creation changes perception of time. This is a technique, which amongst other areas, could prove crucial in a mission or battle. The corresponding gland is the pituitary gland, which is said to act as a third eye. The visualization point is the crown of the head.
Mantra: “I am one with the energy of manifested reality,” or “I am charismatic.”
ZAI – Creation (understanding nature)
Though the TOH kuji connects the practitioner to nature in a meditative and harmonious way, the ZAI allows a level of elemental control. This can mean control of natural elements such as the sky, river, trees and even animals to assist the practitioner in their intention. There is no corresponding gland or chakra for the ZAI kuji. The visualization is a large stream of light radiating from the lower chakras and extending upward.
Mantra: “I manifest reality,” or “I see the consciousness of the laws of nature, and I am that consciousness.”
ZEN – Absolute (enlightenment)
The ZEN kuji offers a skill often credited to the art of Ninjutsu by mainstream stereotypes. This is invisibility or “illumination.” The idea is that at this level one’s vibration is so high that others operating in the common mind cannot register his or her presence. The ZEN focal point is the expansion of the heavens and the visualization is that of an infinite vast light filing a void with oneself as a part of it.
Mantra: “I am the void and the light.”
-The Nine Hands Seals’’ of Japanese Ninja