Josho Pat Phelan

‘Many of the instructions for Zen meditation are directed to the physical details of our posture. The culture that Zen grew out of made much less distinction between the body and mind than our culture does. So, the idea is that by sitting with a straight back, and aligning our spine, and being still physically, this will support our mind in settling and becoming focused. To a great extent in Zen, we practice with our mind indirectly through our body. This meditation posture developed in India as a yogic position. Zen meditation isn’t something we do only with the mind. What we practice with is much wider and more subtle than our conceptual thinking. In Zen it is said that realization must penetrate every cell of our bodies, out to each tip of our hair and down to the marrow of our bones. So, in Zen, we engage our body as an ally to enable us to practice with the totality of our being.’ (from the Chapel Hill Zen Center website)

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