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Harada Roshi


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How can we do our best in practice while living apart from monasteries and any members of Sangha? I mean how can we practice alone in everyday life? How often should we sit zazen and how long? Which sutras we can recite, when and how often? Is it possible to do any offerings or other rituals? Could you please explaine what can a lay person do to support practice in everyday life while living far apart from any Teachers and even practicioners?


To sit zazen with a time limit is no good practice of zazen. If you practice Zazen it is best until you really feel satisfied. To be satisfied doesn´t mean any intellectual understanding of it. But to forget the body and to sit until the awareness of the surroundings have dropped away. That is real Zazen. But people who have a job can hardly practice like that? If in your daily life your time is limited, then that is how it is. So get up a little earlier in the morning, when you are still fresh in your mind, concentrate completely on your deep breathing, then with that cut every connection completely. If you only sit for a short time but your cutting edge is sharp, then you can do good Zazen. If you have another chance during the day, then sit Zazen. Reading sutras or not, the purpose is the practice of Zazen. The sutra reading helps to deepen the breathing and it helps to cut extraneous thinking. The sutras that can be read are not decided, just read something that comes easily to you. Also an altar is not necessary. But find a place where you feel good for sitting. It is not about the form of sitting, if you do not have extraneous thoughts while walking, then that walking is like the practice of Zazen. When working and there are no extraneous thoughts, then that is Zazen. All day long, practice Zazen during your daily activities.


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