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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:24


Of the five hindrances, three seem more related to the mind and two - restlessness and torpor - seem more related to the body.

Restlessness and torpor often arise because we misconceive the relationship between breath and body.

What is the body? Often, we conceive it as something fixed and rigid, like a stone house. And we then imagine that there is a technique of breathing - long slow out breaths say, or a focus on the lower abdomen - that we need to apply.

But we are mistaken.

We place such emphasis on the posture because it enables the breath to breathe itself. This breathing is like a column of enlivened space, from the base chakra in the pelvic floor upwards to the crown chakra at the top of the head. And the body is like fabric around this column. When we breathe in, the column expands and the fabric moves. When we breathe out, the column contracts and the fabric moves. The whole body breathes. The whole body moves.

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:27
 
191. PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 13:43

 

The category of koans is never closed.

The Case: There is a person, A, in complete darkness, in complete silence. This person has no memory, and no sense of the body. However, A is telepathic, but only with two other persons. The first person, B, has a shared language with A. The second person, C, is a mute, with no language. In the silence, when A is aware of B, A is aware of all the mental phenomena of B, expressed through a torrent of language. When A is aware of C, A experiences C's whole being - how it is to be C - but without language.

The Inquiry:

Is A alive or dead? If alive, where is A?

If A experiences B and C at the same time, does one obstruct the other?

If one does not obstruct the other, how is each experienced? Is B within C, or vice versa, both, or neither?

In zazen, are we telepathic with ourselves?

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 13:50
 
190. PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 27 May 2017 15:58

 

Nyojo said to Dogen "Zazen is dropping off body and mind"

Dogen asked, "What is dropping off body and mind?"

Nyojo said, "When you just sit, you are free from the five sense desires and the five hindrances"

The five desires are the content of our experience: what, either in our mind or in our body, we see, feel, hear, taste or smell.

The five hindrances are our attitudes to that experience: the minds of attachment, aversion, torpor, agitation or doubt.

We are "free", not because our experience is voided, but because, from moment to moment, there is the possibility of being completely intimate with our experience, with our whole body mind. "Desire" is a partial response. "Mind" is a partial response.

Once you discover that something is just a covering, whether it is there or not, are you not free of it?

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 May 2017 16:02
 
189. PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 27 May 2017 15:52

 

When we say 'body', there is often an unconscious dualism. The standard dualism is body/mind, but this is supported by ingrained habits within our language.

So, we often talk about 'head and body' ; the idea that our body is our torso and limbs. If someone touches our face, we think of it differently to someone touching our back. We think of our 'head' resting on our 'body', and so on.

This does several things, none of them good. By identifying part of the body as 'the body', we create a distance and we objectify. We reinforce a sense that 'I' am an indeterminate confection of head, brain and mind, and that the 'I' is separate from 'the body'.

To counter this, it is very helpful to give particular attention to the aliveness of our head and neck: our tongue, the roof of our mouth, the pulsing of our eyes and forehead, the musculature of our jaw and neck, and so on. Attention to this flows into attention to the whole body.

The Whole Body of vast expression. Within which is 'the mind'.

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 May 2017 16:02
 
188. PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017 14:55


When one side is illuminated, the other is dark.

There is a common idea that delusion is multifaceted, and nonduality is one. What if we are precisely mistaken?

Dogen said that being and time are one. He didn't say that when you see being, you see time too. That is the habitual perspective, imagining that our life takes place in time: the smear between here and elsewhere, here and nowhere.

He meant that when you see being, you just see being. Time disappears. One side is illuminated, the other is dark. When you see time, 'being' is just the noise in the huge mirror of this moment.

And likewise with, for example, self and world, expression and exertion, all tangled together to fit within a person.

When one side is illuminated, the others are dark.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 May 2017 14:56
 
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