Zen Dojo Zürich


When you hand yourself over to the breathing and let yourself be fulfilled by the inhalation, in a harmonious coming and going, nothing remains but a Zafu beneath the empty sky, the weight of a flame.

Koun Ejo

Breathing plays an essential role during Zazen. The exhalation is calm, imperceptible and sets a slow, powerful and natural rhythm. The inhalation follows naturally by itself. It is shorter than the exhalation. During Zazen the breathing rhythm as well as the heart rhythm both slow down; blood and internal organs are better provided with oxygen. The exhalation, which produces some pressure downwards on the whole lower abdomen, creates and concentrates a lot of energy at the height of the waist, the kidney area and the hips. The practitioner can keep up this breathing in everyday life, as the body gets used to it by the time. The masters often compare the breathing of Zazen with a crying baby’s, when it is born, or with a cow’s mooing. The brief inhalation and the slow and powerful exhalation are a sign of and the cause of strength and vitality. Contrarily, a superficial and short exhalation indicates weakness and depressive states. When the breathing is right, all things of everyday life become easy. When body and mind are connected, a deep, slow, calm and powerful breathing blows away all mental complicatedness. The mind becomes clear like a cloudless sky.

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