What Is Naikan Meditation?

Naikan is a structured method of self-reflection developed by Japanese businessman Yoshimoto Ishin (1916–1988). Naikan is a structured method of self-reflection that helps us understand ourselves, our relationships, and the fundamental nature of human existence. Intensive Naikan [weekly] promotes greater self-awareness of how our minds work. Practicing Naikan will improve the quality of your attention so that you can be fully present and create.

The goal of Naikan therapy is to develop a better understanding of your life by reflecting on the nature of relationships. There is little dialogue as Naikan is self-reflection and what is to be learned is learned through exploration and examination of one’s own direct experience.


According to Greg Krech, founder of the ToDo Institute, the traditional Naikan method is used to explore our lives by reflecting on our relationships with others as a parent, spouse, child, partner, teacher, or colleague. This method is practiced when we reflect on our relationship with a particular person. The traditional Naikan method allows us to consciously shift our attention to the many ways the world supports us.

Naikan therapy is used to uncover the true nature of our lives through spiritual awakening, which usually includes awareness of how we live because of caring for others and how we suffer because of our self-centeredness. Of course, Naikan was designed by Yoshimoto Ishin, he was a Buddhist follower of the Jodo Shinshu sect in Japan, but Naikan has nothing to do with any religion. Naikan was developed in Japan in the 1940s by Ishin Yoshimoto, a devout Buddhist of the Pure Land (Jodo Shinshu) sect. Ishin Yoshimoto, a retired businessman, dedicated his life to building this autonomous vehicle at his retreat center in Yamato-Koriyama in Nara.

Ishin Yoshimoto’s strong religious spirit led him to practice mishirabe, a difficult method of meditation and self-reflection. A member of the Devotional denomination, Mr. Gibbon developed Vipassana, a painstaking method of introspection, meditation and self-reflection, in a gentler but equally effective approach to making mishirabe accessible to all.


The therapy was developed by Buddhist Shishin Yoshimoto, who wanted to provide a more accessible way to practice the difficult self-reflection required by many Buddhist sects. Japanese Buddhist Ishin Yoshimoto developed Naikan therapy in the 1940s to share a milder form of extreme ascetic remorse called mishirabe, a harsh meditation and self-reflection practice involving feelings and self-restraint (Krech, 2002 year). When Greg Krech (2002) was introduced to the idea of ​​Naikan therapy during one of his retreats, he had to take him through the process of reflecting on his relationships with important people in his life. To enable others to do this kind of introspection, Ishin Yoshimoto developed Vipassana as a method that can be applied more widely.

David C. Reynolds, Ph.D., introduced Naikan to North America in the 1970s and then incorporated its structure into constructive living, an approach that also incorporates elements of Morita Therapy. Naikan’s profound influence has led to its use in other areas of Japanese society. The profound impact that the Naikan has had on many people has led to the use of the Naikan in other areas of Japanese society.

Today, there are about 30 Naikan centers in Japan, and Naikan is used in mental health counseling, drug treatment, prisoner rehabilitation, schools, and businesses. This self-guided session typically lasts seven days at a specialized Naikan retreat center located around the world. In this way, you can choose, for example, siblings, grandparents, partners, children, colleagues, friends, topics… for your reflections on Naikan. The Naikan Retreat usually lasts a week.


Approximately every two hours, a Naikan guide (Mensetsusha or Shidosha) arrives and gives the participants the opportunity to tell what they remember about this period of their lives. At the end of each reflection period, usually 90-120 minutes, someone (Mensetsusha) meets with the participant to hear their Naikan reflect. This is the easiest Naikan meditation method and takes 20-30 minutes before bed. The Japanese practice of Naikan takes the practice of awareness from the Buddhist tradition – remembering the kindness of others – and asks clients to practice this practice for 1 week, 15 hours a day.

Naikan Guides support you with all of their Naikan Guides, first and foremost they provide and maintain the silence that allows Naikan participants to introspect without interference. Naikan guides provide Naikan room, daily amenities, meals, etc.

This post was proofread with Grammarly.

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