Entries Tagged as 'zen'

The Power of Relaxation

Floating makes you more and more and more relaxed… first physically, then mentally. Take a trip with me as we see that so many paths see this as their final goal:

From the Zen Mountain Monastery we read:

Scattered mental activity and energy keeps us separated from each other, from our environment, and from ourselves. In the process of sitting, the surface activity of our minds begins to slow down. The mind is like the surface of a pond – when the wind is blowing, the surface is disturbed and there are ripples. Nothing can be seen clearly because of the ripples; the reflected image of the sun or the moon is broken up into many fragments.

Out of that stillness, our whole life arises.

Normally, at rest, a person will breathe about fifteen breaths a minute – even when we’re relaxing, we don’t quite relax. The more completely your mind is at rest, the more deeply your body is at rest. Respiration, heart rate, circulation, and metabolism slow down in deep zazen. The whole body comes to a point of stillness that it doesn’t reach even in deep sleep. This is a very important and very natural aspect of being human. It is not something particularly unusual. All creatures of the earth have learned this and practice this. It’s a very important part of being alive and staying alive: the ability to be completely awake.

The human mind is basically free, not clinging. In zazen we learn to uncover that mind, to see who we really are.

Raw mechanics of zazen

  1. sit down
  2. tongue up
  3. center attention at hara
  4. count the breaths. inhale, 1, exhale, 2, etc.
  5. if a thought comes up:
    1. look at it
    2. acknowledge it
    3. deliberately and consciously return to the breath

Should you manage step #4 without effort or interfering thought:

#2 becomes count cycle of inhale and exhale instead of separately

Should you manage this step #4 without effort or interfering thought:

just follow the breath

Should you manage this step #4 without effort or interfering thought:

Go on to koan study or shikantaza

How is that for a chart of abilities and awareness, Scientology?