Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Before keiko, bring your mind into harmony with the breath 稽古前、心を整えましょう

By Harada Roshi, Head Abbot of Sougen-ji, Rinzai Temple in Bizen


Translated and adapted for tea by Adam Wojcinski from the video:
Zen - Introduction to zen practice / full version - Taigen Shodo Harada Roshi

1. Sit in seiza, hankafuza, kekkafuza or in a chair


2. Your lower back (koshi) should be slightly concave, and your spine straight with your torso is at full height

腰が後ろに逃げて、背中が曲がってはいけません 腰をしっかりと中に入れて、背筋を伸ばす姿勢が大切です

3. Once seated place your left hand on the palm of your right hand and rest the back of your right hand on your lap. The tips of your thumbs touch lightly together so that you form an ‘ensou’ (zen infinity circle).

坐ったら、右の掌を上にして、膝の上に置きます 左の掌を右の掌をさらに重ねて置きます 両手の親指を軽く組み合わせます

4.After settling your legs and hands into position, check your posture again to be sure the top of your coccyx bone is leaning slightly forward (your bottom sticks out a little when you do this). By this your spine becomes erect in the very centre of your body’s posture.  

足が組み、手の形が定まると、腰が後ろへ逃げないように腰の尾骶骨(びていこつ)の上から少し前へ押し込む事を確認します そうすると背骨が身体の真ん中に入るようになります 少しお尻が後ろに張りぎみということになります

5. Stretch your spine straight with your torso at full height again. Tuck in your chin a little and raise the back of your skull as though you’re pointing the highest tip of your skull to the heavens. Your shoulders are perfectly level, your ears parallel with your shoulders, and your nose parallel with your navel.

改めて背筋を伸ばします 顎を軽く引き、後頭部で天を軽く持ち上げる気持ちです 右肩と左肩を平行になるようにします 耳と肩と対し、鼻と臍と対します

6. Your eyes follow the ridge of your nose looking down to a spot around one metre in front of your seat. You have no tension in your eyes, but do not let them close - just relaxed and half open. You do not close your eyes during zazen meditation as zazen is a way to develop quietude for the mind, and this must be applicable for your daily life. Your eyes are open during daily life, so in meditation keep your eyes open so you can better transfer the mindstate you achieve in meditation to daily life.

目は鼻の線を通して訳1m前に自然に置くような気持ちです 目に力を入れるわけではないが、閉じないようにします なぜなら坐禅は心が静かになる為に坐りますが、日常生活には役に立たない坐禅ではいけません 日常生活に目を開けているので、坐禅の時にも目を開けておきます 

7. Your consciousness centres on the top of your left palm (inside the mudra), or, at the pit of your stomach. Notice the centre of consciousness is not where your eyes are. Your eyes are resting naturally. Your consciousness is at the centre of your being.

意識は左の掌か、臍の下の下腹部に置きます つまり、目の置くところと意識の置くところが違います 目が自然体である、意識が中心であることになります

8. Allow your being to bask in the ki (chi) energy flowing down from the heavens, and draw up the ki energy from the earth, and for that ki energy to meet in the pit of your stomach.


The above is the sitting posture for zazen


No matter how perfect your posture, that means nothing if your mind does not become still.


Zazen aims to bring a mind without form into harmony. But how can you bring a formless mind into a harmonious form? By bringing your breath into harmony, your mind falls into harmony with the breath.


To bring your breath into harmony, release the tension from your upper torso - make your shoulders, neck, chest all free of tension.
Then make a special point to release all the tension from your stomach. If your stomach is tense you cannot breathe deeply. If you cannot draw breath down deeply to the pit of your stomach, your ki energy stays chocked up in your chest and neck. So release the tension in your stomach, and use your stomach to draw breath down deeply into your being.

呼吸を整えることは上半身、つまり肩、首筋、胸の力を解放し、上半身を柔らかくします  特にお腹の緊張を開放することが大事です お腹が緊張していれば、深く呼吸ができません 深く呼吸ができないことは気が上がったままです 息を下腹部まで下ろすということは、お腹を使って十分に呼吸ができるということが大切です

When exhaling breath, loosen your whole being as you exhale - free up all the tension in your body. Then when you breathe in, breathe in vital energy into your being.

吐く息は身体を柔らかくします 吸う息は身体に活性、活力を呼び戻してくれます

If you breathe out long and slow, this will make the tension fall away from your body. Your mind will become stable. Aim for around 8 seconds on the out-breath. When your reach the finish of the out-breath, your stomach will be flat.

吐く息は伸び伸びと吐くと次第に身体が柔らかくなっていきます 意識も安定してきます 8秒で吐くのが目途ですが、お腹がぺちゃんこになるまで吐きます 

Then when you breathe in, let your body return naturally. Don’t consciously breathe in, after you exhale completely and your stomach is flat, just let your body expand naturally and fill with breath.

そして、吸う息は身体が自然体で吸うということが大切です お腹がぺちゃんこになったら、自然に身体が戻ろうとします 身体が戻ろうとする力に任せて、息を入れていきます 決して上に吸い上げません

When sitting in zazen, continue this breathing for 5, 10, even 30 minutes. However before tea practice, in order to settle your breathing, your mind, and to refresh your spirit before practice, 5 minutes should be a good amount of time.


By counting your breaths as you breathe out slowing, your breathing will become even, harmonious, and your mind will follow. Count 1~, 2~, 3~, 4~, 5~, 6~, 7~, 8~, 9~, 10~ and then return to 1 again. By returning and starting at 1 again, you keep the sense of the ‘now’, of always being fresh and at the height of your focus. Before tea practice by doing this exercise your mind becomes steady, you release unnecessary thoughts, and your attention goes from jumping from one thing to another to being focused. In this presence of mind is the state in which we practice.

伸び伸びとした吐く息を数えることでよく呼吸を整えることができます 1~, 2~, 3~, 4~, 5~, 6~, 7~, 8~, 9~, 10~うまで数えると、また1に戻ります 要は、また新鮮な気持ちで坐る心境があれば良いのです 稽古の前にこうすれば、心が安定し、要らざる考えも解放し、心がうろうろとしなくなり、こういう心境で稽古に励んでいけます

When your breath and mind are in harmony and settled, you develop a heightend awareness for your surrounds. You practice zazen and tea not for your own happiness. With the awareness that comes from a calm mind you sense others’ situation with composure. Then you strive for others’ peace and harmony. This is the spirit of humanity we cultivate in both zazen, and in the practice of tea.

呼吸、心が整えれば、周りの見通しがつきます 自分だけの幸せだけではなく、周りの状況を冷静に見て、そして回りの環境も安定して平和な状態を守っていける人間性を育てるのが坐禅であり、茶の湯でもあります

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