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

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

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

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

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

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

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

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

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

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...




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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