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arkasis in zazen_practice

Hara or not

I was not told much about the hara in my studies of Zen, but it appears that focused concentration on this area, while grounding the mind in the present, is also a requisite for enlightenment. Hakuin, in his Orategama work and others, lets it be known that in order to work on Zen, one must be working on one's hara, or vital center. And of course, the man is right. I have felt somewhat depressed and anxious for awhile, and today when I focused on the hara, all of this went away. The more one focuses the more one wants to focus. The feeling feels good, strong and grounded deeply in the here and now.  What have others found?


I find it helps some. I also found that it damages some. I mean, the idea is to "drop off body and mind", not disappear into the hara. Some people, training, seem to fixate on the hara, and never get past it.

I made myself ill, working through pressures on the hara.

If you want to know what to do with your mind, letting it settle "in the palm of your left hand" takes the breath down to the hara enough. Abdominal breathing, letting things fall into place, takes the breath down to the hara enough. For me, anyways. For now. I mean, like I said, I did do some work with it, and that was then, this is now.:)

Beyond that, if not including that, it's just all about my particular practice right now. I guess I'm just saying, don't attach: same ol advice we always find in Zen.
"The feeling feels good, strong and grounded deeply in the here and now. What have others found?"

This is an astute description. That said, don't be attached to the hara or enlightenment. Just sit.

Our Zazen TV Show Up and Running


I hope that I may post this here, as it is an announcement to the Zen community. Yesterday, we got our video system up and running for our daily, live Zazen broadcast. I am wondering if you might let people know, if you think it appropriate.

We call it the "DAILY ZAZEN SHOW' : the "SHOW WHERE NOTHING HAPPENS (Really!). Might I ask you to have a look and tell me what you think? The sound quality will be a lot better once I figure out how to work the microphone properly (I am working off a little laptop until I get back to Japan). It is the screen as you scroll down on the LEFT side of the Blog.


Here is how I describe it.

Please ' SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO JIM ' - our (pretty much) DAILY (very often) 'LIVE' Zazen broadcast --- 1/2 hour (more or less) of non-stop ACTION, ADVENTURE & EXCITEMENT guaranteed.

Our website, blog and broadcast sittings are meant for people who cannot travel to sit and be with others, perhaps due to health concerns, or not driving at night, having to take care of kids, or their living in a place without a Sangha close by. Our Zazen sittings and Sangha will always be close by.

We also have online and Ipod-ready Zazen timers . Although our daily broadcasts are meant mainly for people who cannot travel far from home, we hope anyone and everyone will feel free to use and download our timers and join in the broadcast sittings. They are our gift to everyone who finds them helpful (for example, who might wish to use the Ipod/Mp3 version for some Zazen during breaks at work).


We are a Soto Zen Sangha in the lineage of Gudo Wafu Nishijima. I like to describe myself as "Brad Warner's nice-but-duller older brother."


If you know anyone who, due to health concerns or the like, cannot commute to sit with others, please introduce them to our site. Like life and the universe, it is all Free!

Gassho, Jundo


May 2008

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