“The Rinzai Zen Way”

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Anders
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by Anders » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:58 pm

Finally arrived today.

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boda
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by boda » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:23 am

Came today for me to. Only had time to read a little so after the forward, preface, and acknowledgments I jumped straight to the practice section.

Coincidentally, I recall happening to think when starting to sit this morning that I wasn’t quite sure what is meant by non-abiding in zen, so the first part of the practice section was particularly pertinent. The rope metaphor really worked for me. I’m currently training our new dog and it made me think of a lose leash, the ideal for walking training, where your dog walks beside you and doesn’t pull on the leash. It’s difficult to maintain a lose leash, especially with a puppy, because they’re so curious about everything. I’ve been having success lately with pulling and leash biting by simply stoping and ignoring him until he’s ready to continue. Kinda the same strategy as sitting practice.

Also read the part about ‘soft butter’ practice and, having been experimenting with hypnosis lately with good results, immediately recognized its value. I’ll have to try it.

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fuki
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:22 am

bodhi wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:23 am

Coincidentally, I recall happening to think when starting to sit this morning that I wasn’t quite sure what is meant by non-abiding in zen.
Reading about 'non-dwelling' for the first time has really been helpful, it was this text;

https://www.ymba.org/books/entering-tao ... ightenment

Also the Xin Ming ofcourse and here's an essay from sir bob regarding non-dwelling/abiding
https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.c ... -dwelling/
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Wayfarer
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:53 am

I have my copy now. Arrived very quickly considering.

:namaste:
The most important thing is not at all important.

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michaeljc
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by michaeljc » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:37 am

My copy arrived a few days ago. I found it to be a very practical introduction to Rinzai practice. Written in Meido's typical lucid style I finished it over 2 evenings

Along with it came Guo Gu's Passing Through the Gateless Barrier. It will take, like, Ahhh ..................? - 2 lifetimes to digest (maybe) :lol:

I recommend them both

m

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boda
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by boda » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:32 pm

Finished the practice section last night and utilized some of the instructions this morning. Helpful. :D

There seems to be a subtlety to tanden soku that's difficult to execute, so I think that I'll stick with belly breathing for awhile.

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Meido
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by Meido » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:20 am

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Glad to hear you're enjoying and/or getting anything useful from the book.
bodhi wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:32 pm
There seems to be a subtlety to tanden soku that's difficult to execute, so I think that I'll stick with belly breathing for awhile.
You're right, and you'll lose nothing by that approach...the basic relaxed abdominal breathing (fukushiki kokyu) is so important. From time to time if you want to try the other exercises in the book, you can always do that.

Tanden soku - once it's grasped - is practiced for a long time in both zazen and activity, and does indeed become very subtle/unconscious and constant. But in the beginning, a huge mistake is to try and do it with force or tension. So I always recommend that folks practice relaxed diaphragmatic or belly breathing (whether they are Zen people or not!).

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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KeithA
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by KeithA » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:47 pm

Nice thread..

I have to admit to being surprised about how many folks still read actual books. I must confess to being obsessed with books, but these days I drop them into my kindle. I really enjoy the different options of font, background, etc., plus the portability and convenience of the reader. I do understand the desire to hold an actual book, though. I was recently in a bookstore specializing in old books in Boston. Oh, that old book smell!! :105:

I haven't gotten to the breathing section yet, but I thought I would share a visualization I ran across. This one came from an endurance running book. The author suggested imagining a triangle between your belly button and each hip. Inside that triangle is a ball, and when you breath in, the ball is inflated. Breath out, and the ball goes slack. I noticed when I did this, it felt very much like expanding and contracting the huiyin cavity, which is something described in Chi Kung practice. So, it will be interesting to see if any of the practices Meido describes have a similar effect.

Meido wrote:
So I always recommend that folks practice relaxed diaphragmatic or belly breathing (whether they are Zen people or not!)
Oftentimes, we have college kids come to the Center to fulfill class assignments to visit a religious group outside of there own. When I get to the part about breathing, I like to tell them that if they take nothing away from anything I say, take that! I think if we had more belly breathing in the world, it would be a little less violent. :)

Anyway, sorry for all the blah, blah..enjoying the book so far. :)

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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boda
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by boda » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:08 am

Meido wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:20 am
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Glad to hear you're enjoying and/or getting anything useful from the book.
bodhi wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:32 pm
There seems to be a subtlety to tanden soku that's difficult to execute, so I think that I'll stick with belly breathing for awhile.
You're right, and you'll lose nothing by that approach...the basic relaxed abdominal breathing (fukushiki kokyu) is so important. From time to time if you want to try the other exercises in the book, you can always do that.

Tanden soku - once it's grasped - is practiced for a long time in both zazen and activity, and does indeed become very subtle/unconscious and constant. But in the beginning, a huge mistake is to try and do it with force or tension. So I always recommend that folks practice relaxed diaphragmatic or belly breathing (whether they are Zen people or not!).

~ Meido
I've been trying the abdominal breathing for the last couple of days (not just during meditation but in practically all activities) and it does indeed seem to be important. I recognize the impact could be attributed to the power of suggestion at this point, but I suppose time will tell that story. If it's suggestion then the calming restorative effect should fade away after awhile.

From what I've heard, abdominal breathing may stimulate the vagus nerve and that could be why it is so effective.

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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by Meido » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:25 am

Some interesting stuff out there on the topic e.g.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455070/
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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fuki
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:23 pm

Meido wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:25 am
Some interesting stuff out there on the topic e.g.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455070/
A growing number of empirical studies have revealed that diaphragmatic breathing may trigger body relaxation responses and benefit both physical and mental health. However, the specific benefits of diaphragmatic breathing on mental health remain largely unknown.
I'm a bit confused probably due not being familiar with English medical terms, diaphragmatic breathing is the same as abdominal breathing?
On the Dutch wikipedia site there is talk of the wrong use/practise of diaphragmatic breathing can result in back pain, and it is adviced to start training lying on the back first in order to keep the back straight. But I don't see how abdominal breathing can result in movement of the back, I've been breathing abdominally since about the age of ten, I asked my mom why the newsreaders chest never moved, she told me they're breathing through their belly because they're on tv, so I tried it and never breathed different ever since (unless when there's a high heartrate like in physical excersize)
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Meido
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by Meido » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:38 pm

Yes, "diaphragmatic breathing" seems to be a common way to express what in slang is called "belly breathing," or abdominal breathing.

In other words, full and free movement of the diaphragm (which results in movement of the belly at the initiation of inhalation) rather than the chest-centered movement one often finds when folks have a lot of tension in the body.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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fuki
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:48 pm

Thanks Meido, I had to look at a picture of the diaphragma to understand it, guess my anatomy knowledge is at 1 on the scale of 10.

So there's a wrong way of diaphragmatic breathing which might result in back pain, I guess when the ribs or back move with the breath?
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by Meido » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:09 pm

fuki wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:48 pm
So there's a wrong way of diaphragmatic breathing which might result in back pain, I guess when the ribs or back move with the breath?
Not that I know of, or have ever heard.

The entire lower trunk down to the sacrum and pubic bone, and the ribs too, will move naturally when breathing. But back pain would be caused by misalignment (especially excessive lordosis, which not uncommonly leads to disc herniation) rather than a specific way of breathing.

If anything, deep natural breathing should help the low back to loosen and release tension.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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boda
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by boda » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:39 pm

Meido wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:09 pm
If anything, deep natural breathing should help the low back to loosen and release tension.
Indeed.

Is there any significant negative effect caused by improper tanden soku?

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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:45 pm

Thanks, will just ignore that wiki reference then.
As I haven't been pain free from the lower spine/back in months I thought there might be something there overlooked or not attentive of.
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by Meido » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:07 pm

fuki wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:45 pm
As I haven't been pain free from the lower spine/back in months I thought there might be something there overlooked or not attentive of.
Sorry to hear it. I think the relaxed belly breathing can only help, though. If you do it while lying on the back, with knees up to start if more comfortable, it should be easy to get some chronically tight stuff to relax.
bodhi wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:39 pm
Is there any significant negative effect caused by improper tanden soku?
Tanden soku, which is more a trained way of breathing than the simple belly breathing, can cause problems if done improperly. "Improperly" here means with too much force and tension, rather than gradually and with relaxation.

As I mentioned (ad nauseam) in the book, it's of course best to get hands-on instruction from the teacher who can observe what's going on and prescribe tweaks to fit the situation. But at least, if we practice the basic tanden soku methods on our own, we should stop if symptoms occur that I described: increased tension, feeling of heat/pressure in the head, headache, etc. In that case, just going back to the normal belly breathing is best.

Hakuin's nanso no ho exercise is used at the end of breathing practices to prevent issues also, and I think it's wonderful for anyone to do that one. It has no real dangers, being essentially a kind of progressive relaxation exercise and calming visualization.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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boda
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by boda » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:41 pm

Meido wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:07 pm
As I mentioned (ad nauseam) in the book, it's of course best to get hands-on instruction from the teacher who can observe what's going on and prescribe tweaks to fit the situation. But at least, if we practice the basic tanden soku methods on our own, we should stop if symptoms occur that I described: increased tension, feeling of heat/pressure in the head, headache, etc. In that case, just going back to the normal belly breathing is best.
Yes, I could see that happening. Last year I started trying the 'Wim Hof' breathing method and it had these kinds of effects (slight headache, odd metallic taste in the mouth, aggravated tinnitus) after doing it for a couple of days in a row. Makes the blood too alkaline or something, I don't know. The only time I use it anymore is once in a while before going into the ocean in winter.

Thanks for the book supplement. :)

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fuki
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:31 pm

Meido wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:07 pm

Sorry to hear it. I think the relaxed belly breathing can only help, though. If you do it while lying on the back, with knees up to start if more comfortable, it should be easy to get some chronically tight stuff to relax.
Thanks for the advice, I don't grant it anymore attention then is needed but I have to say "no" a lot lately helping people with gardening or various volunteer work in the community, so it would be nice to assist others physically more again.

Anyways I'll start reading the rinzai way tomorrow morning. ☕
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fuki
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Re: “The Rinzai Zen Way”

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:22 pm

Just finished chapter 1.
Can't remember the words but what's left is the energy/chemistry of the 'right attitude' of gratitude, earnestness, and perserverance (not slacking)

Wonderful work of 'energy' straightforward and to the point. Will continue tomorrow.

Thanks for the kindness in making this book available for a wide audience.

edit: ps just Sat(sanged) and occured that there wasn't a nano second of pain sensation in the back today, so extended gratitude.
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