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Question/s on Zazen mechanics

A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practicing without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.
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A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practising without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.

Re: Question/s on Zazen mechanics

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:28 pm

Michaeljc wrote:I very quickly abandoned counting the breath of my own accord :blush: and found that following the breath to be more natural.


I never counted or "followed" the breath, there is no notion of breath, just breathing. :)
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Re: Question/s on Zazen mechanics

Postby Chrisd on Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:15 pm

no notion of counting breath, just counting breath :PP:
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Re: Question/s on Zazen mechanics

Postby JessicaLeigh on Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:41 pm

Basaltic,

I use the breath-counting & also anticipate the exhalation. I think it's just something that happens. Maybe through practice we can begin to notice the way(s) we anticipate the future of the cushion also.

I've found this video by Meido to be very helpful - https://vimeo.com/33893739.

In particular, his instructions on the placement/use/ functioning of the eye may be of value based on what you've described. I've found that when I follow these instructions precisely: relaxing the eyes & maintaining a 180 degree field of vision, my sense of anticipation drops & I become more settled in the breathing.

I just noticed, in my own practice, just how powerful this adjustment can be in terms of relaxing and opening up the body/mind.

In any case, my experience as been, in continuing to practice, the breathing & the mental activity become smoother/more stable, & this anticipation is diminished. So the main thing, maybe, is to continue with practice.

:peace:
Jessica
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Re: Question/s on Zazen mechanics

Postby Basaltic on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:40 am

JessicaLeigh wrote:Basaltic,

I use the breath-counting & also anticipate the exhalation. I think it's just something that happens. Maybe through practice we can begin to notice the way(s) we anticipate the future of the cushion also.

I've found this video by Meido to be very helpful - https://vimeo.com/33893739.

In particular, his instructions on the placement/use/ functioning of the eye may be of value based on what you've described. I've found that when I follow these instructions precisely: relaxing the eyes & maintaining a 180 degree field of vision, my sense of anticipation drops & I become more settled in the breathing.

I just noticed, in my own practice, just how powerful this adjustment can be in terms of relaxing and opening up the body/mind.

In any case, my experience as been, in continuing to practice, the breathing & the mental activity become smoother/more stable, & this anticipation is diminished. So the main thing, maybe, is to continue with practice.

:peace:
Jessica


Very good, Jessica. Many thanks for your input and for the link. That is exactly the sort of practical advice or suggestion/s that I want and need. You have been most helpful.

:peace:
Bas
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Re: Question/s on Zazen mechanics

Postby Basaltic on Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:46 am

desert_woodworker wrote:B.,

Basaltic wrote:I'll see what I can do and after the dust settles and I'm not as busy as I am right now. Once more, thanks, Joe, for your input.

Sometimes while we're still in the midst of the maelstrom, it's the best time to bring in a change. Anyway, life is short. I know that, for many people, "later" seems to stretch imperceptibly into "never". Ouch! Don't let it happen!, if you're really truly interested. ;)

best,

--Joe

ps a 25 km car-ride could be a good context in which to practice Ujjayi Pranayama, in preparation for the class, ...and afterwards. :)


Well, yes, Joe, if one is sincere in one's practice one will take whatever measures necessary to make progress. However, I have family commitments and we have to eat, so naturally there are demands on my time, which is at present limited.
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Re: Question/s on Zazen mechanics

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:57 am

B.,

Basaltic wrote:Well, yes, Joe, if one is sincere in one's practice one will take whatever measures necessary to make progress. However, I have family commitments and we have to eat, so naturally there are demands on my time, which is at present limited.

Of course, and in that matrix, you are the one who has to be creative, and to "mollify" (etc.) those who may think your motives to practice are not for ...The Greater Good. Eating is not as fulfilling as being fulfilled. Nobody starves, in this biz.

Well, not me and my cats, so far. Nor my ex-es.

Careful! Yessir. Always. Careful,

(that is our Practice),

--Joe
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