Q130. I’ve got some pain in my spine after more than ten years of meditation practice. Should I continue to practise in the same way?

A. Zen meditation is not about training our physical body; sitting upright for a long time is one of the most harmful postures to your backbone. Sitting upright can be a good posture for making strong concentration, but it is not a must. What is most essential is how to focus on your question. You can take a walk, sit leaning against something, or even lie on your back or side as long as you can make good concentration on your question. Despite having practised diligently, with good posture over a long period, you can’t be said to have practiced Zen meditation if you don’t have any change or new experience through strong concentration.

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Don’t overwork yourself (your body) in the name of meditation practice.
Would you hit the horse or the cart when you want to move the cart?
You should hit the horse. Of course, sometimes you can hit the cart to make a sound that can give a spur to the horse. However, hitting the cart to the extent that it is broken, or out of order has nothing to do with your main purpose of moving the cart. That is not moving it but destroying it.
©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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