Be Kind to Your Breath
…on the breath in Zen
– Edward Espe Brown
“Zen,” my teachers used to say, “is to settle the self on the self.” Katagiri Roshi, when he said this, would point first to his head and then to his abdomen. What he was illustrating, simply speaking, was how we must bring the awareness—which tends to reside in the head—to the sensations of breath in the abdomen. Nothing to it: in Zen you come down to earth—down from the citadel of thinking into the body of breath.
You sit upright, taking, as it were, your “best” posture. With your hands palm-up on your knees, taking a few moments to carefully lean from side to side, then slightly forward, then slightly back, you find the place where you can sit right in the center, not slouching or slumping, not leaning…
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