Zen Meditation has also called Zazen its fundamental and that means meditation so Qiang means meditation. The first thing to pay attention to in Zazen is the position of the body because the body communicates. It not only communicates outwardly, but it also communicates to your body language and you may not realize it right off. Also how you posture, your body creates a state of consciousness and so a lot of attention is given to the posture. In Zazen but for several reasons sitting on the floor is the most stable and the most important aspect of sitting on the floor that it’s stable and when the body creates a kind of tripod effect with the two knees touching and the butt touching it creates a kind of pyramid form .
It is the most stable of all of the sitting postures .We use as our small pillow to raise the bottom slightly two or three inches off. The ground that shifts the weight slightly forward so that the knees can touch and the back needs to be straight and you get the back straight by imagining your head pushing upward on the ceiling. If you stretch your body that way and then let those muscles go soft your body will settle into a very comfortable position with the spine straight. If you were to examine yourself at that point you’d find that in the lumbar region of the back there’s a slight curve, so that the butt the stomach is pushed slightly forward and there’s a curve in the lower part of the back that makes the diaphragm free to begin to function. The breathing takes place in the deep part of the lungs that the diaphragm is rising and falling with each breath.
The second thing is to place your hands in a cosmic Mudra. The cosmic Mudra is formed by your active hand .It’s my right hand holding the inactive hand and the thumbs likely touching and that rests on your thighs . So that the two thumbs touching create kind of an oval Mudra has a tendency to turn you. Zazen is the backward step it’s a way of turning in with studying the self so the back is straight, the chin is tucked in and it’s almost like sitting at attention. You tuck in the chin otherwise the head kind of droops over, your mouth is closed, the tongue is pressed lightly on the upper palate and that will keep you from salivating. So much people that have the problem of gulping every once in a while. We’ll find that that won’t happen if you keep your tongue pressed on the upper palate you breathe through the nose eyes. Make sure that half of your eyelid or more is cover half, your eyeball is covered with eyelid. You’re looking at the ground 2 or 3 feet in front of you, you’ll find after a while that you will stop seeing what you’re looking at. You’ll stop processing that information your eyes will be open and you’ll be seeing but you won’t be processing it unless something unusual happens.
You know you don’t go into a trance and Zazen there’s always the awareness there but it’s not engaged because there’s nothing to engage it. We’re creating an atmosphere with is nothing to stimulate or initiate the thought process except what you bring to it so eyes are lowered, mouth is closed. You’re breathing through the nose and the next thing to do is to put your attention in the Hara. The Hara is a point 2 or 3 fingers below the navel .Let’s the physical center of the body and it’s also the spiritual center of the body you put your mind that you put your attention there which is essentially putting your mind there and as you breathe you imagine the breath coming down to the Hara and returning to the heart .Of course it’s not going to the heart, the hair is the viscera two or three fingers below the navel is that where the breaths going.
It’s filling the lungs but you just imagine that to help you with the breathing and as you breathe pay attention to the breath. Don’t make the breath and abstraction but make contact with it. Be aware of the tactile sensation of breathing feel the coolness of an inhalation on the back of your throat and then follows it all the way down and then feel the warmth of an exhalation and if you stay in touch with that tactile sensation of breathing, you’ll have less of a tendency to get involved in thoughts .But the bulk of whatever you do in Zen, you will do it yourself. It’s about the wisdom that has no teacher, the wisdom that you were born with that’s inherent. It’s a process of discovery and Zazen is the medium through which that discovery is going to happen. It could be the most important thing you’ll ever do in your life. The direct experience of yourself beyond the conditioning it’s the beginning of a process. The process of becoming truly human of discovering your human nature your Buddha nature and that’s no small thing to be able to do may your life go well.