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Our body feelings and our emotions are just tools to reach the essence...
Harada Roshi

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Are there any dangers of making longer meditation alone without the safe environment and support of the sangha and the zendo monastery?

When you sit, you are always alone. However many people are sitting together, it is the same situation. Because if you are aware of the other people around you in the zendo, then you are not doing true zazen. Even in such an environment, if one sits involved in their own thoughts, this can be intoxicating. Zazen is not about idle thinking or playing in one's mind. If you sit in a correct manner, then there are no thoughts arising. And someone who does not think, cannot be in danger or become weird. When your mind is wide as the earth and heaven, then you lose awareness of body and mind - all the aspects that could make your mind strange, have disappeared.

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