Specific questions about zazen
February 18, 2014 3:27 PM Subscribe
So I've been doing some zazen following the instructions of Master Shodo Harada from this
Youtube video. There he explains proper posture, focusing on breathing, counting your exhalations, keeping your eyes open while looking 1 m ahead on the ground, etc. I have (quite) a few questions that for experienced zazen meditators!
posted by iliketothinknu to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
1) In the video, from 6:35 - 7:45, he explains that there are 2 places where we can place our (center of) awareness. "Our awareness may be put in our left palm." "We can also our awareness about five centimeters below the navel."
But what he means by putting our awareness there... exactly? I guess in general my awareness is whatever attracts my attention. Like what is happening on the screen if I'm watching a movie, or a thought if I'm following one, etc. So is he saying to focus on how it FEELS there? Or, similar to how my brain seems to be at the center of my awareness because my eyes, nose, ears and mouth are there, so to fake as if that center is down there? In short, what does it entail exactly to place our awareness there?
2) My 2nd question is linked to the first. It is about breathing. He asks us to count our exhalations. But are we supposed to focus on it? To concentrate on the breaths? If so there we would be aware of BOTH our breath and our center of awareness (palm or navel). A bit confused there. So are we supposed to stay at our center of awareness WHILE focusing on our breaths? And more specifically, if we are to focus on our breath, on what exactly? On the sensation at our abdomen and nose and perhaps even the smell that we breathe if there is any?
3) What about all the sensations that we have. Things we hear, see, feel, thoughts, basically anything that comes in contact with our awareness. What do we do with those? Do we just observe them for a sec perhaps then come back to our center of awareness?
4) Sitting in full lotus position puts strain on the outside of my feet. Does it get better with time? lol ;)
5) I tried doing 10 min. zazen then 5 min. walking to relax my feet then 15 more minutes of zazen for a total of 30 minutes. Is that a good plan? Any good video for walking meditation which I think they call kinhin in Zen.
6) Is it ok to do zazen at night? E.g. 30 min. morning then 30 min. at night?
7) Should one limit the amount of zazen one does per day? Or the more the better?