Enkyo O’Hara

‘When we hold still [in meditation], we create a field of clarity for ourselves. We learn restraint. Yes, there are parts of the self that resist that clarity, and then the body jumps into movement to cloud the field: we scratch our nose, rearrange our limbs, and shift our attention. And we miss the moment of holding still, of clarity and readiness. Doing this practice for many years, I find that learning restraint is especially valuable for people like me who jump around from one thing to the next. The restraint of holding still allows me to enter a state of presence and intimacy that I wouldn’t get to otherwise.’ (Most Intimate)

6 thoughts on “Enkyo O’Hara

  1. What are the steps to holding still? What are the steps to learning restraint? I’m posting these simple questions to help me with the shifts in movements while sitting. It seems easier to just get these movements over with; shifting the body to sit correctly, scratching those places where I’ve not itch before, sneezing and such-ness➖ vs thinking or hoping these symptoms will ease-up. Thanks for this post, Shundo. Deep bows


    1. Of course I am going to say ‘not always so.’ Shifting for better posture is usually a good idea, especially if you are having discomfort, but with itches or other desires to move, wait, and see what might be behind them. Does the itch go away by itself soon enough? Does the mind settle on something else after a few moments?


  2. The itch and many times flutters usually happens around the nose-area; especially on the left, between the top lip and nostril. These sensations happen each time I sit. I’ve tried several things; rubbing helps and the sensation does not return if I rub during the sit, but the most helpful is extending my exhales out then out further➖this type of breathing helps. I don’t think I’m sucking-up air/oxygen in a fast manner. I’ve tried clearing the nasal passageway, washing my face before sitting and just bearing this strange sensation. Most times the itch/flurries does not go away and I always massage the area afterward. I wonder about the strong message being sent to me. The before mentioned sensations usually happens mid-way through the sit; signaling me how much time I have left.
    The discomfort happening at the low back area➖I do have a curve in my spine and I find shifting my low back up and forward on the inhale to be very helpful and help to keep my back muscles from fatiguing.
    Then there’s that buzzing between my ears, always there.
    Thanks for your words, Shundo
    deep bows


  3. ⬆️in quietness & ⬆️O^2 offered this to me this beautiful cold winter morning at Wilbur Hot Springs “Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again.”
    Eihei Dogen, Genjokoan
    I’m today ‘Stepping like a cow’ – I’ll wait for the itch/flurries to reveal


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