Zazen Notes

The Mudra of Zen

Fuxi's Poem

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Mark Foote
Post title: Walking on the Ground of Reality
(Jan 9 2013 at 07:35 PM)

I'm writing lately about proprioception and sitting the lotus; I write for myself, first and foremost, but I'm hoping this approach will also serve for Westerners who want to learn to sit the lotus. I don't sit many sesshins, and I don't care if my sitting is ten minutes or 50; maybe I average about 30. It's about stretch, but it's also about subtle activity that takes place because of the stretch in the ligaments and fascia. These tissues can generate nerve impulses to contract muscles to re

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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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