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Harada Roshi

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Often during 7day sesshin I am so tired that I do not do sussokan or any other technique just sit there and fight for staying upright. There is no thoughts and at times great peace. When I land into this state I stay there but is it a good way? Should I fight and try to do sussokan every round?

The breathing technique of sussokan is helpful to align our breathing, for our awareness to stop moving around outside and to gather energy inside. The Buddha himself worked on his breathing creatively, thus developing this breathing method which he taught to his disciples. When you become good at using the sussokan, you can actually refresh your mind and body. And when it ripens even more, you can awaken the the source of consciousness from where everything is being brought forth. Continuing with the practice and as it ripens, even in your daily life you can stay in Shonen Sozoku - continued pure mind instances. As Hakuin Zenji says in his song of Zazen: "The Six Paramitas, such as giving, maintaining the precepts, and various other good deeds like invoking the Buddha’s name, repentance, and spiritual training, all finally return to the practice of zazen." Keep working on the sussokan and you will notice how you need less and less strength to continue the practice.

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