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Thread: Newbie Question

  1. #1

    Newbie Question

    I have noticed the following recurring in my sittings... wondering if I should do something to correct or just accept it as part of my practice?

    - "Micro-rocking": When sitting, sometimes my body rocks or moves, sideways mostly, for what feels like a few millimeters... seems to be correlated to my heartbeat, possibly... is this usual, should I do something to adjust or compensate?

    - Breathing, or not...: I notice at times that I have stopped breathing for a few seconds, and it seems to occur not when I am "caught" in thought, as I would expect, but when I'm not thinking of anything other than sitting/being in that moment, if that makes sense. Feels a little like I am too focused? Is this normal or am I trying too hard without realizing?

    Any insight would be appreciated... and sorry for running long...


    st/rj

  2. #2
    To accept is part of the time we spent without having to lose ourselves.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah


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    When you touch the seed of understanding, mindfulness, and loving-kindness in you, you make these qualtities grow stronger for both your happiness of other people and all beings around you. Thich Nhat Hanh.

  3. #3
    Zazen is funny because although there are some basics - we really have to figure it out because it really highlights that although we are the same we are individuals!

    I would just say - 1. it's ok and 2. just continue. You can't stop thoughts or necessarily control your body; when you notice this - that is your awareness. When you notice, just gently come back to sitting; don't get frustrated. There are no expectations. If you notice rocking, just come back and adjust your posture and sit. If you notice you are lost in a train of thought, which happens to all of us - that is zazen - just gently come back adjust your posture if it has slacked and continue sitting.

    Zazen is a repetition of being "here" and getting lost in thought, being "here" and dozing off.. again and again.

    So this "coming" and "going" is completely natural. We cannot hold any single state forever - it's all a cycle. To paraphrase Jundo - just make sure that when you sit (and you don't think about this) sit with the attitude that there is nowhere else to be - sit completely; this is the only place and thing to be doing that's necessary right now; it's simple but not easy We often have expectations and aren't satisfied - we are always grasping - that's dukkha. Zazen is the medicine for that but it's an active medicine - it's a bodily experience that we have to do - again to paraphrase Jundo, if we feel that lack and believe it, the whole universe if just lacking. If we live that wholeness and feel it - everything is whole!

    So I would just say keep on keeping on, and not worry so much. Just keep sitting - and keep coming back. Gettin lost in thought and coming back, rocking and then becoming aware and coming back are full and complete and all the activity of zazen. And when you can do this on the cushion - you can extend this attitude to life. No one can tell you how - you will figure it out with practice. And hopefully you can share that back with the community/sangha

    Also I would recommend not only Jundo's book: The Zen Master's Dance but also a book by Uchiyama Roshi - Opening the Hand of Thought; this cycle of coming and going is natural and all good zazen

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Last edited by Risho; 09-16-2021 at 01:08 PM.

  4. #4
    Both things are normal. I sometimes experience the micro rocking and I am fairly certain it has to do with the posture and tenseness (not tension) of the body. Breathing is another one that especially for someone new at sitting zazen, can be tricky as we tend to hyper-focus on it or on what happens in between. I experienced all kinds of breathing weirdness back when I first started sitting zazen, from choking, to feeling like I don’t get enough air to really shallow breathing. It is part of it and has waaay more to do with where we place our attention than with anything physical happening.
    Rock away and don’t stay focused on it… It’s gonna pass, just keep sitting! Sitting “fixes” itself ( as if there was anything to fix )

    Sorry for the length!

    SatToday
    Bion
    美音

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  5. #5
    Oh gosh, the "I don't think I'm getting enough air" thing. I'd forgotten about that. When sitting in a group, I used to always get self-conscious about how loud my breathing was, I was hyper-aware that my noisy nostrils might be disturbing other people's zazen.

    You have probably already come across it, but Jundo's post on "What's often missing in shikantaza explanations" is worth a read. It's one I have bookmarked and come back to from time to time.


    Gassho,
    Sōka
    sat

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nefertiti120 View Post
    I have noticed the following recurring in my sittings... wondering if I should do something to correct or just accept it as part of my practice?

    - "Micro-rocking": When sitting, sometimes my body rocks or moves, sideways mostly, for what feels like a few millimeters... seems to be correlated to my heartbeat, possibly... is this usual, should I do something to adjust or compensate?
    Hi Nef,

    The mind, in the quiet of Zazen, when sensory stimuli are lessoned, will focus and latch on to all kinds of crazy things. Pay it "no nevermind" (don't pay attention to it), and it is not important. Focus on it, and it becomes important. Just return to the breath, and ignore it ... and the matter vanishes.

    - Breathing, or not...: I notice at times that I have stopped breathing for a few seconds, and it seems to occur not when I am "caught" in thought, as I would expect, but when I'm not thinking of anything other than sitting/being in that moment, if that makes sense. Feels a little like I am too focused? Is this normal or am I trying too hard without realizing?
    Same as above. It is not a problem if you don't notice is or care about it. You are not "stopping breathing," because your body would sure alert you if you were (by your gasping and turning blue, for example! ) Your lungs are just pausing their cycle for a few seconds. Don't focus and think about it, let it be. Return to just sitting without latching on.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH

    Sorry to have run long.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Thank you all for the guidance and insight.


    st/rj

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