I recall that you have practiced martial arts before. If so, try to focus your
Chi on the areas that are numb or in pain. You shall recover sooner from their
In the Chan sense, when you focus on the Chi, you are in essence by-passing
your ego, you shall also "feel" less discomfort.
After you mastered all Ten Dharma Wheels and Three Chi Channels, none of this
Phillip Rogers <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
Thanks for the encouragment Bill. I have a strong tendency to be too hard on
myself and I end up discouraging myself. I will go easier. Thanks alot.
Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
Allen, It sounds like you did very well. Your body and your
mind are not separate. Just as you sit to quiet-down your mind, you also sit
to relax your body; both are one. As you continue sitting these things will
happen naturally and will not need to be forced.
However, this is not medieval Japan with its macho culture. That culture has
nothing to do with zen, or at least is not the only, or even the most effective
way to express zen in your life. My advice is to be easy on yourself. A
little discomfort is okay. New things are usually uncomfortable at first for
both your mind and your body, but pain is unnecessary. Pain is your body
telling you something is wrong. Listen to your body and honor its warnings.
Be especially careful of your legs and back. When you start lifting weights
you can overdo it and pull a muscle or tendon. If you do you cannot continue
lifting weights until your body repairs itself. You should also start sitting
gently. If your leg falls asleep, stretch it out. Next session reverse your
legs instead of right over left try left over right. Sit on a sitting stool
or even a chair if necessary. Above all be careful of your knees, especially
if youre trying to sit in full or even half lotus.
Go slow. Youve got no where to go anyway. All you need to do is to realize
youre already there.
I attended my first Zen sitting this Sunday in Charlotte, NC. I could
not keep concentration, my right leg fell completely asleep, my arms and back
started to give me a fit and my butt ended up killing me. I could not remember
when to gasho or how to effectivly do Kinhin. However, amidst all of that I had
a wonderful time. The people were great and nice. We had a very lovely dharma
talk. And what is more: when I was most uncomfortable in my sitting I found
the strength to continue, even though it was so distracting. I am a real
quitter, but the atmosphere and the dedication of the people kept me going. It
has truly strengthened me in my endeavor to realize true mind. I look forward
to next Sunday's sitting.
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