Q: - When we push breathing into the hara,  is there intention ? If we force breathing, we are no longer just in ‘what is’, and there is willpower, what do you think?

R: In the Anapanasati (the basic sutra for breathing) and in the teachings of the  Buddha, what is mostly taught is simply observing breathing. That way, breathing naturally tends to become deeper and go down into the hara. But we often have bad habits and this change might take a long time. In the Zen way, teaching to concentrate on the hara enables overcoming obstacles more  quickly and experiencing the right breathing. However, if there is too much tension, if there are too many obstacles, you mustn’t force yourself to push on your intestines. Come back to the posture, relax and let go of any ideas you might have about deep breathing. Let the posture just be, and sooner or later, the breathing will become deeper.

Tags: Roland Yuno Rech