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Thread: A tip for posture

  1. #1

    A tip for posture

    It was pointed out to me last night that my posture was not so great. A good tip is to line yourself up with a flat surface (door/Wall), and then take that into Kinhin, Zazen etc..

    Gassho

    W

  2. #2
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    From my experience, I forget what the labels for each of the players but, the guy walking around with a stick, stops behind your zafu, taps you on the shoulder, places the stick against your spine and pulls you into position; it's all good and helps to aid the memory

  4. #4
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    Will thank you for your relentless effort to study the self.
    I think a not so great posture is not such a big deal.
    You see many people sit straight and with apparent majestic ease, but most of them sit with tensions and huge physical issues. I was one of them.
    In my younger sitting years I was very eager so get a very good sitting posture, a real big deal in Deshimaru sangha, and also i use to collect tips about how to sit better and control the process better.
    When I met my Cross he demonstrated that all my tips were sh.. Nothing worked because there is no tip, the body changes all the time and the false sensory appreciation makes it impossible to get a reliable feed back. Our senses are crooked. What is straight is felt not straight and vice versa.

    The not knowing of Daruma is not just a view of the mind , it is also the space out of which we sit and practice. We grow zazen like a tree and for this we need a very loose and empty space. Space in between joints, thoughts, habits, will to understand this, master that, control...

    So I would say to a beginner: this is the direction and let it be. Allow it. Don't force it, don't make it. Let it make you. Most people sit so they can become Buddha. In our tradition, we are Buddha first and let it sit. It is the opposiite of everything we have been taught by religion, school and education. It is the opposite of any market economy. It is like a true musician, he plays the piece from the very end. Not to struggle to get to the end.

    As to sticks and Japanese military boot camps and guys correcting my sitting, off with it. Gone!
    The practice of joy and ease that I have caught a glimpse of under the amazing guidance of that crazy Mike Cross has no need for all these ersatz and gimmicks.

    The people willing to understand deeper my take on this can always communicate with me or join the December retreat in Belgium.

    gassho


    Taigu

  5. #5

    Re: A tip for posture

    Taigu,
    Thank you for this post.
    I wish I could join you in Belgium!

  6. #6

    Re: A tip for posture

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Will thank you for your relentless effort to study the self.
    I think a not so great posture is not such a big deal.
    You see many people sit straight and with apparent majestic ease, but most of them sit with tensions and huge physical issues. I was one of them.
    In my younger sitting years I was very eager so get a very good sitting posture, a real big deal in Deshimaru sangha, and also i use to collect tips about how to sit better and control the process better.
    When I met my Cross he demonstrated that all my tips were sh.. Nothing worked because there is no tip, the body changes all the time and the false sensory appreciation makes it impossible to get a reliable feed back. Our senses are crooked. What is straight is felt not straight and vice versa.

    The not knowing of Daruma is not just a view of the mind , it is also the space out of which we sit and practice. We grow zazen like a tree and for this we need a very loose and empty space. Space in between joints, thoughts, habits, will to understand this, master that, control...

    So I would say to a beginner: this is the direction and let it be. Allow it. Don't force it, don't make it. Let it make you. Most people sit so they can become Buddha. In our tradition, we are Buddha first and let it sit. It is the opposiite of everything we have been taught by religion, school and education. It is the opposite of any market economy. It is like a true musician, he plays the piece from the very end. Not to struggle to get to the end.

    As to sticks and Japanese military boot camps and guys correcting my sitting, off with it. Gone!
    The practice of joy and ease that I have caught a glimpse of under the amazing guidance of that crazy Mike Cross has no need for all these ersatz and gimmicks.

    The people willing to understand deeper my take on this can always communicate with me or join the December retreat in Belgium.

    gassho


    Taigu

    Gassho Thank you Taigu

    Will

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    Hi all,

    In my youth I learned to breathe from the stomach and not the chest when singing. In my young adulthood, when I was acting, I learned that if you try too hard to stand up straight you'll probably sprain something. In my last three years of sitting at Treeleaf, I have learned to sit in Burmese and to leave enough room to breathe deeply, which tends to take care of the sitting up straight by itself without any clenched muscles. So, other than being a little less flexible than I once was, I just sit. I might find in good company that I'm hunched over, but I doubt it...and I haven't sprained anything lately, so I'm probably not too straight either.

    Even with these lessons I forget them after awhile, but not long ago Fugen mentioned to me that too many people try to suck in their stomachs and I noticed that my kids don't do that at all. So, I don't either and it makes a world of difference. And watching a child often helps remind us what we're doing to drive ourselves crazy!

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    P.S. I'd love to join folks in Belgium, but for now watching the kinder takes priority. Next time, when they're a bit older, I'll be there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    Thank you Taigu Sensei!
    This post reflects your teachings in the Zazen for Beginners video series. It was a pleasure to encounter them again

    Gassho,
    John

  9. #9
    disastermouse
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    Re: A tip for posture

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Most people sit so they can become Buddha. In our tradition, we are Buddha first and let it sit. It is the opposiite of everything we have been taught by religion, school and education.
    *Gassho*

  10. #10
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    I learned, back in the days when I had hands-on experience with the Alexander technique, that straight and flat is exactly what you want to avoid. While lying on a flat surface is good - and there's a specific Alexander technique exercise that involves this - standing in the same way is Not Good at All. Your back is not meant to be straight when in movement, or even when sitting, but there should be a gentle S curve, concave in the lower back, and convex in the upper back. The Alexander technique teaches you to "let the back lengthen and widen," not to force it into a pre-conceived geometrical concept such as Straightness.

    My two senses.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    It's interesting to see how many people I find here who have benefited by using Alexander techniques to help them with their sitting practice. I've never tried them but they seem most useful!

    Gassho,
    John

  12. #12
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: A tip for posture

    I didn't explore the Alexander technique because of sitting, but I have been able to apply it to sitting, as you can apply it to anything that involves posture. (When I took Alexander lessons, I hadn't started sitting; interestingl, that same year, spent in a foreign country, I discovered Buddhism.)

  13. #13

    Re: A tip for posture

    Thank you(s)! Great thread

    Gassho
    Shohei

  14. #14

    Re: A tip for posture

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Most people sit so they can become Buddha. In our tradition, we are Buddha first and let it sit.
    One for the quote book

    Gassho,
    Matt

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