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The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

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

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

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...




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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