Are you taking your breathing as most important?
When we were born, we would express naturally, smiling, laughing, crying. We were not involved in the outside world yet. At that time we were doing Tanden (abdominal ) breathing at that time. The abdominal pressure working well. This was our start, then our youth, adulthood and old age come along. When we are young, we can lively our daily life and can be active. Our tanden breathing is used when working, moving and using a loud voice. We do not need to learn this tanden breathing, we are able to use it naturally.
Yet we receive many energies from the outside and from our emotions, we get angry, we get greedy, we carry grudges, become jealous, sad, worried, unsettled and become captive of our emotions. Thus we lose our ability to breath with our tanden and become emotional, our breathing being shallow and a balanced breath turns into a confused breath. We lose our wide and expansive breathing. The outcome being unsettled in our mind.
Actually we do not need to learn something this complicated as tanden breathing. When we were young, we already used this kind of breathing, Once we start to protect our position and ideas, clashing with others, we confuse our original breathing and cannot use it anymore.
I am not telling you something special, but only pointing out, that we need to take this original breathing as most important. Yet during many years in our daily life we got stuck to outer ideas and made it more difficult for ourselves.
The idea of an I confuses our breathing. Let go of the idea of a self, work for others, be completely what you are doing and right there the original tanden breathing appears again. A shallow breathing without any strength makes us become heavy and dark in our mind. Living in this world with a huge, warm, loving mind and act from there, this refreshes also our breathing.
Please look at this carefully, and you can see how we should be now, how we should react – this becomes obvious. There is no need to practice a form of breathing. Rather do not get stopped by the emotions and ideas arising, by the idea of our position and self. That is what is important now.
-Shodo Harada Roshi