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The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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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