The Unpictured Body

In this video John explains how a more holistic and body focused approach to the body in zazen can enliven practice and enable us to experience the world in a more non-dual way. 
Awareness of sensations in our head: of air in our nostrils, tensions in our jaw etc tend to be more readily accessible, and can also help to break the familiar identification of the head with the mind. This awareness can seep downwards and outwards, helping to animate the whole body. 
Often the breath is treated as separate from the body but focusing on the physical and energetic movement of breathing, and its non separation from the alive body can profoundly heal the wounds of duality.
Good posture also helps joyful sitting by uncompressing the torso and stretching the spine. This creates a dynamic relationship with the ground: the body’s weight drops while the ground pushes up, part of a dynamic relationship which the body can have with both heaven and earth.
These dynamic  relationships break down the boundaries between our body and the world.

Zazen is not a practice of the self. It is the effort of all beings expressed through this person. The body, properly experienced, is our Dharma Gate to equanimity and joy.

Adapted from Kusen given on 5th September 2020