It is possible to act without intent, and to do so in the course of daily life; this is wu wei to me. As soon as there’s intent, there’s discrimination of good and bad, and there’s nothing natural about that.
I continue to work with the description in “The Mudra of Zen”, and in “Translations of Motion in the Lotus”. This morning I was able to correlate a feeling for the ilio-lumbars with relaxation in the extensors, and a certain uprightness in the area of the low back. Interesting, for me, as I have never followed the advice to “keep your back straight”, in part because I don’t seem to have the feeling to make that possible (yet). My take is that activity in the sartorius and gluts (caused by stretch in the ilio-tibial tract and sacro-spinous/sacro-tuberous ligaments) and similar involuntary activity in the psoas and extensors acts up the spine as the ilio-lumbars engage in inhalation and exhalation. Sitting today I recalled the Gautamid’s description of the feeling of the first meditative state, like a bowl with a dusting of soap powder that is gathered, rolled and kneaded until it no longer oozes- !- my consciousness occurring in the area of the pelvis, letting the painful and pleasant feelings in and mindful of the sleepy wakefulness.
I, too, feel a deep sense of gratitude to the Zen teachers who came to this country, and to some of the teachers who became authorized to teach here and have kept the practice going for anyone who is interested. The real question is how do we inspire ourselves to sit the cross-legged pose for thirty minutes or forty, once or twice or several times a day? I guess one way that it’s been done in the past, intentionally or not, is with the promise of the respect and authority of the title of lineage holder, and unless you can communicate very clearly why anybody would want to practice, this will be your problem.