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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Demystifying Zen 19mar23

Let us wrest zazen from the grasp of the elitist and the superstitious. Our warm up is the Heart Sutra and our cool down is the recitation of the Four Immeasurables. They could be either chanted or merely read aloud. And if you do not possess a translation you enjoy, reach out to me (in chat) and I’ll be delighted to gift you a PDF.

The seventh and eighth folds of the Buddha’s path of liberation are mindfulness and meditation. Which, as it turns out, is in harmony with evolutionary biology; for EVERY inhalation accesses our sympathetic nervous system (which is optimized for observation: vulnerable, passive, visceral, and spontaneous). Additionally EACH exhalation plugs into our parasympathetic nervous system which is wired for the physical relaxation and mental release comprising letting go.

In the tradition of the Buddha’s discourse coordinating breathing with mindfulness we too can mentally recite the slogans “Notice this…” and “relaxing!” in harmony with our respiration. Do all this while comfortably sitting in a sustainable posture. My first meditation teacher invited us to suck in our gut with every IN-breath, and relax it with each exhalation which has a surprisingly tonifying effect on one’s posture and energy.

Please be gentle with yourself. Start off by practicing zazen for only five minuets every twelve hours or so. Increase the duration by an additional five minutes every week and by the thirteenth week you could meditate like a Jedi. _/\_

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