Wednesday, 17 April 2019


313. When we sit perfectly still in the lotus posture and attend to our breathing, the whole process of breathing in and breathing out seems so slight a thing. The in-breath is almost nothing at all. Likewise with the out-breath. More noticeable is the beating of our heart and the tension (or discomfort or pain) in our legs. But breathe into the beating heart and the complaining legs and we find that our body begins to feel less solid. Following the breath into and out of the hara the kōan with its image of the man hanging by his teeth from a branch high in a tree might float into consciousness and we begin to feel the contrast between the man's frantic clinging, his hanging on for dear life, and the ease and almost nothingness of our breathing. Entering into the experience of this contrast we face the question, 'What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West?' In almost no time our period of zazen is ended.   

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