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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Breath & Posture

My thanks again to all who entered the zendo today; it was a fine thing to sit among all of you.

I have been pondering how I might approach this blog. I want to use care not to appear as though I am some kind of "teacher" or "expert"; not that a teacher in my lineage is considered an expert, but I do not yet wear the brown robes, and I want to be careful about creating any expectations around my role in the zendo, virtual or otherwise.

In that spirit, I have decided it best to offer this space-- in part, at least-- as a way to collect and convey the inspirations of those who have received Dharma transmission (become teachers). The sites I list to the right are primarily Soto; within the blog however I'll be posting from many other manifestations of Dharma, from many different traditions.

One such inspiration came along late this evening, and here I pass it now along to you.

Olympia Zen Center's resident priest Eido Frances Carney has a lovely blog that I find interesting and inspirational. (It is always an inspiration to read the words of an ordained Buddhist woman!) A post from a few days ago-- click here to read it-- struck a chord with me as I read it today, as she too finds teaching people new-to-the-practice refreshing and inspiring to her own practice. Returning to the most basic Zen teachings of posture and breath are of value to any "level" of student, and in this post you'll find a lovely exercise designed to help you "find your breath".

As always, I would love to hear from anyone who passes through the zendo-- both virtual or otherwise! What is your experience of breath in sitting? How would you compare your experience of breath as a part of the posture of zazen, and with that of other meditation practices? If you sat zazen today for the first time, did anything about your breathing surprise you?

All are welcome. Gassho!

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