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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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

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

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

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




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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