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Harada Roshi

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My question is about proper breathing. I meditate for many years and never really thought about it. Since I practice Zazen in your lineage I have the feeling that my breathing is completely wrong. I can not breathe in the abdomen. It only goes to the diaphragm. Then seems to be closing. Can you give me advice?

We cannot practice just by habit since it does not have any meaning. We live with a constantly fresh mind. Let go of the tension in your shoulders. Become like an empty chimney. Because you try to create some kind of breathing, your body rejects it. We are alive and do not need to learn how to breathe. We sit zazen in order to let go of our obstructions. That is the only reason we sit. We sit in order to forget the heaviness of our body. We sit in order to even forget the breathing. We sit in order to also let go all ideas about ourself. As soon as we try to create anything, it becomes an obstructions. When you can forget your body, you are physically healthy as well.  When you can forget your breathing as well, your breathing is healthy and centered. When you can let go of the ideas of yourself, then your mind is healthy as well. We do not practice in order to become sick.

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