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Zen training is done with bravery, it is not a decoration for our life...
Harada Roshi

Guidance at the time of Corona #10

Dear All,


Are you taking your daily zazen as most important? I have talked about the important points of the breath and energy flow, yet it does not work only by hearing it.
In Sogenji there are now over 20 people who sit deeply while there is so much turmoil going on worldwide about the corona virus. Morning and night they all put everything into their zazen. Of course, I join and sit together with them. Not leaving out daily sanzens as well. This is now a time when deep practice is possible, when it is needed.
The Sixth Patriarch taught how to practice zazen:


Let go of all concern about good and bad in the outside
And inside to stay immovable no matter what arises.
 
You all heard the teaching of the Sixth Patriarch many times, yet you need to experience this during your zazen for yourself. In theory we know this well, yet at this point in time we cannot escape the information which is reaching us. We do need to absorb it but we cannot let our mind get pulled off center. That would be sad. We are alive and because of us being alive, this world exists. If we lose our life essence because of this world, that would be truly sad.


Of course, if we do get the virus and are in a fragile state, we may die with the virus. But if we are filled with energy, we can face even such a terrible virus and have the inner strength and energy to deal with it. Rather than facing the actual situation, we get unsettled within because of the information we hear. If we get confused by the phenomena, we lose track of our original mind.


We do zazen, and it is not the body that is sitting but our mind. No matter what problems may occur in the world, be exhale with each breath into our tanden and let the essence accumulate. If our tanden is filled then then we can see this world as being a reflection in our mind. This is our actual experience in zazen. As soon as outer information moves us around, we lose our inner center.


Each and every breath, each and ever step that is taken brings us to rising our essence. Let go of the tension in the upper part of our body, in the diaphragm, and exhale to the last point of the breath. Not letting go of the efforts needed, but exhale completely, maybe 30 – 40 seconds long. It is not easy to have such a long breath from the beginning, but if we stay with our Kufu – creative work – and do not get stopped by any obstacles. The inhalation can be ignored. The inhalation is what we receive from the heavens. We do not need to think about it in a complicated way. Simply be open to receive the huge energy of the heavens.


Exhale completely and then absorb the heaven´s energy with you inhalation, do not stop your efforts, use every single day to develop this essence further. Then we feel our belly being like a blown up balloon. This is what we need to actually experience with our body, we can use this body, and not stay with our idea about it.


The more we feel this essence, it fills our whole being, our mind as well. The surroundings, the world´s situation, all has been drunk down. We can actually experience this, then facing within we can stay immovable no matter what happens. That place free from any dust, worry, uncertainty, all that has been blown away. We do not need to carry these heave feelings around but rather entrust and see this huge open state of mind. With each and every breath you can purify your own essence. This is my deep inner wish, that you may experience it for yourself.
 



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