The Normal Unfolding of Things

Big River, MendocinoA funny thing happened after I wrote my last post. I found myself observing my breath, not in terms of the movement of the diaphragm and chest, but in terms of activity around the fluid ball of the abdomen and support for the spine.

Here’s the funny part: I began to comprehend the long or short of a given movement of breath.

Comprehension of the long or short of breath is significant to me in that it was a part of Gautama the Buddha’s “setting up of mindfulness” practice. The long or short of breath has always entered into my practice sooner or later, out of necessity, yet the practice never really seemed a part of the normal unfolding of things such as Gautama had described.

“The place and things”, as Kobun Chino Otogawa described his practice of shikantaza.

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