Jyakunen Seiza Zen

Master Hua said, "Sit like a great iron bell, mouth contemplating eyes." Keep your eyes half open but seeing space instead of isolated objects. Keep your lips almost touching, just open enough to breathe a stream of air OUT through the mouth (after breathing IN through the nostrils, with the breath sinking down to the hara). Keep your tongue lightly touching the roof of your mouth except while breathing OUT. Keep your chin tucked in slightly. Keep your back straight with the crown of your head pointed straight to the center of the sky. When you sit like this you might as well be made of space, although sometimes it feels more like you are made of rock or of iron. As breathing happens the energy of your body fits into your sitting posture the way molten iron fits into a mold. However, at the same time, it reaches a clear unity with the space that is all around you and extends in all directions into infinity. When experiences, ideas, thoughts, emotions or hallucinations arise while you are sitting in Zen "you" simple observe them. Look at that! The "you" that is looking is not affected one way or the other. You might as well be watching mice darting in and out of a hole. There is no meaning to any of it and nothing you have to think about or make any type of decision regarding. This is the Great Attitude of the Buddha. Energy is seated in the Hara just like the meat of a nut resting comfortably inside an acorn. It's there. You can use it or not. Sometimes it feels like Fudo -- the Buddhist deity who holds a sword in one hand, a rope in the other, and has a halo of flames. Sometimes it's like Shakyamuni touching the earth, entirely radiant and peaceful like a flower floating in water. If you just go on breathing in that Zen posture eventually you'll feel a cool breeze on your forehead and you'll realize you haven't had any "thoughts" at all for a long time and everything's just This. Amazing!

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