"Turn your head to the wall my darlings, while the gentlemen trot by. " [vague memory of "beyond the fringe" with Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, et. al.]
So I was on a biz trip last week. Brought my zafu and got some good sitting done. Not as much as at home, but much more than the last trip I took. There was a handy configuration of mirrors in the sink area, so I decided to give my zazen posture a look-see. And, blush, blush, I did this au-natural. Thankfully the mirror did not break, and I was able to identify a big mistake in my sitting.
What I had thought was a straight spine, was really over-doing it. The above picture sort of demonstrates the same issue in a standing position. The left image is "natural" the right is forced. I have been pushing my chest out, and pooching my butt too far back. My posture looked sway-back. When I relaxed just a bit, to what felt on the inside like the beginning of a slouch, my back looked normal. It also turns out that the sway-back posture I had was exposing my left leg artery/nerve (?) to more constriction. With a more natural posture, my leg stays way more awake (I'm a half-lotus'er)
So I recommend at least one session of nude sitting with mirrors to everyone who has a habitual leg sleeping, or back strain after a while. Try different things like puffing out your chest, tilting your hips forward and back. See what actually straightens your spine and how it may differ from what feels like a straighter spine. Calibrate your sense to a the position of a natural relaxed, but still straight and upright spine. The "middle way" of sitting.
With this blog I strive to share what I've learned and think about Buddhism. I'm striving to do zazen and follow the 10 precepts. Buddhism seems to be helpful, but shrouded in too much weight and mystery.
I am also hoping to contact people of a like mind - that is - open to the exploration of 'self' and the joys and frustrations of its discovery through Zen. If you react to something written here, I'd enjoy hearing from you. Leave a comment. Comments to posts older than 14 days are moderated.
I hope you find something useful, interesting, whimsical or amusing (as in provoking your muses).
Most people end up here because they are surfing for a picture of a fish bowl. Go figure.....