We are joined at a farewell party by our friend Mitsuko, a former ballet dancer but first time Zazen sitter, who tells us that the best way to leap in ballet is 'just to relax and do it'. My wife says that much the same is true in martial arts, and our son Leon - an avid hopscotcher - agrees about fine hopscotching.
So, in your choice of Zazen position .... 'just relax and do it'
Should see you tomorrow from Japan (or an airport along the way).
Usually on the place where we sit we spread a thick mat, on top of which we use a round cushion. Either sit in the full lotus posture or sit in the half lotus posture. To sit in the full lotus posture, first put the right foot on the left thigh, then put the left foot on the right thigh. To sit in the half lotus posture, just press the left foot onto the right thigh. Let clothing hang loosely and make it neat. Then place the right hand over the left foot, and place the left hand on the right palm. The thumbs meet and support each other. Just sit upright, not leaning to the left, inclining to the right, slouching forward, or arching backward. It is vital that the ears vis-a-vis the shoulders, and the nose vis-a-vis the navel, are directed away from each other. Let the tongue spread against the roof of the mouth. Let the lips and teeth come together. The eyes should be kept open. Let the breath pass imperceptibly through the nose. [NISHIJIMA]
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