Zazen Notes

The Mudra of Zen

Fuxi's Poem

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Mark Foote
Post title: The Link Between the Waking and the Sleeping States
(Dec 26 2012 at 10:45 PM)

Trance as I am sure you understand is anathema to Zen teachers. The notion of someone on a cushion entering into a state where they might be suggestible, vulnerable to someone like Bela Lugosi in a kimono and fright wig is bound to be repudiated in any zendo.

The really odd thing is that in the earliest records we have of the teachings of Gautama the Buddha, nine trance states are mentioned and described, and the records are consistent in the sermons found in Tibet, China, and Southeast Asia.

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Mark Foote
Post title: Crossing the Line
(Dec 10 2012 at 11:57 PM)

When I first started to sit, I couldn't sit cross-legged in any posture for more than about 5 minutes.

After awhile I was able to get in the posture and experience some kind of ease and even absorption, and that kept me at it. The fact is, it's a stretch, and the appropriate stretch is an involuntary function of the location of awareness and the ability to feel in the necessity of breath. Zen teachers insist that sitting zazen will cause this to become evident, and they are right, but they do

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Mark Foote
Post title: Does Practice Deepen In Retreat? (Comment on Brad Warner's Blog)
(Nov 27 2012 at 05:32 PM)

Zen is about hypnogogic states, and these states are a part of everyday life that nobody recognizes. A stream of thought, a concentrated effort, falling asleep: hypnogogia reigns. The question is how these states are entered as a matter of course, and my answer is that they are entered out of necessity in the movement of breath, as the sense of place and the ability to feel respond.

In the cross-legged posture we put ourselves in a position where the sense of location and the ability to feel

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