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Harada Roshi


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I read that you recommend counting the breath from 1 to 10 at the beginning of each round of zazen. Do you also advise that for people who meditate with a koan or is it better to concentrate always only on the koan?


Hakuin Zenji teaches in the Rohatsu records in 4 of 7 teishos how important the Sussokan is for people of training. Sussokan is among many path the best one to enter samadhi. Using sussokan, we bring the KI energy into our Tanden, and with the Koan we cut through the roots of our life.
Entering samadhi with counting the breaths is called SU ssokan. When our practice has ripened and we simply stay in awareness of the flow of the breath, this is called ZUI ssokan. To follow a Koan without entering samadhi is not using the koan in the right way. When you follow a Koan without samadhi, then it becomes a quiz.



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