Matylda wrote:I have to say that it is not complete practice only the outer and general sketch.. Torei Zenji left much more details, they were transmitted mostly in private and I do not know of any text for it.
The drawings I have seen are very general as mentioned, simply expressing facets of what is described in Yasen Kanna. I would not say they are crucial to understanding the practice of naikan as transmitted in our line, and one could not learn the practice from such drawings without receiving the oral instruction. They are simply illustrative accompaniment to what Hakuin said and so useful in that regard.
There are many ways of deep breathing but the following method is the one I use [before beginning zazen]. I exhale long with my mouth open as if trying to connect the air around me with my lower abdomen. Without using my throat or chest, I keep exhaling a long fine stream of air using the contracting power of my lower abdomen and try to empty the bottom of my chest. It will take about thirty seconds for the bad or stale air from the chest to be exhaled. However, the wonder of it is that in one breath, I attain a mental state which is detached from my former state and circumstance.
After exhaling all of my air, I relax my lower abdomen. Due to atmospheric pressure, air naturally enters my nose; I inhale naturally until the air fills the area from my chest to my abdomen. After I finish inhaling, I pause for a very brief moment. With my lower abdomen extended slightly forward (while contracting the anus), I gently push my breath into my lower abdomen and squeeze it slightly there with a scooping feeling. At this point in the breathing cycle it is very important not to use a lot of force or to strain oneself. The key point is to keep the anus closed. Then before it becomes uncomfortable, I begin to exhale the air in the manner described earlier.
If we repeat this type of breathing four to ten times, besides completely freeing ourselves from our attachment to our surroundings, we will fee warm even in the winter for such a way of breathing improves blood circulation. Not only that, it is a good way to enter the samadhi condition.
When this type of deep breathing has ended, we should close our mouth, breathe through our nose and use our diaphragm and stomach pressure to do lower abdominal breathing [i.e. begin the more refined breathing used in zazen].
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