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The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi

Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somewhat
similar in its method and end to those of Zen. We quote here[FN#247]
Yogi Ramacharaka to show how modern Yogis practise it: (1) Stand or
sit erect. Breathing through the nostrils, inhale steadily, first
filling the lower part of the lungs, which is accomplished by
bringing into play the diaphragm, which, descending, exerts a gentle
pressure on the abdominal organs, pushing forward the front walls of
the abdomen. Then fill the middle part of the lungs, pushing out the
lower ribs, breastbone, and chest. Then fill the higher portion of
the lungs, protruding the upper chest, thus lifting the chest,
including the upper six or seven pairs of ribs. In the final
movement the lower part of the abdomen will be slightly drawn in,
which movement gives the lungs a support, and also helps to fill the
highest part of the lungs. At the first reading it may appear that
this breath consists of three distinct movements. This, however, is
not the correct idea. The inhalation is continuous, the entire chest
cavity from the lower diaphragm to the highest point of the chest in
the region of the collar-bone being expanded with a uniform movement.
Avoid a jerking series of inhalations, and strive to attain a
steady, continuous action. Practice will soon overcome the tendency
to divide the inhalation into three movements, and will result in a
uniform continuous breath. You will be able to complete the
inhalation in a couple of seconds after a little practice. (2)
Retain the breath a few seconds. (3) Exhale quite slowly, holding
the chest in a firm position, and drawing the abdomen in a little and
lifting it upward slowly as the air leaves the lungs. When the air
is entirely exhaled, relax the chest and abdomen. A little practice
will render this part of exercise easy, and the movement once
acquired will be afterwards performed almost automatically.

[FN#247] Hatha Yoga, pp. 112, 113.

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