Zen is learning how to stay well with mind, body and breathing, so that Zen serves for life. And the possibility of enlightenment is always in the moments of staying with our mind, body and breathing sincerely.
When you are out of breath, remind yourself to “recover the concentration in middle way on what you are doing”, and take a wholesome breath. When your breath is too short and quick, remind yourself to “release the fear of loosing or missing”, and take a deeper breath. When your breath is becoming rough and heavy, remind yourself to “keep awake from sleeping”, and breathe deeply with opening eyes bigger. Or you should have a nap if it’s necessary. The state of breathing is a signal to help us keep a healthy way to live and work.
When you get a headache, don’t feel upset about it, the headache is not so “bad” as you normally think. Stay with it truly and intimately, don’t try to get rid of it right away! If it emerges with some specific conditions, it will disappear with their declining. You may need a fresh breath, drink some water and give more breathing to your brain. Or you can even just stay with it and let it be. It is an “impermanent guest”, which will leave sooner or later. But sometime we need to have more patience and care : ) When you feel tired because of sitting too long, don’t hesitate to move away from the conditions of being tired, have a walk, wash your face or even just stretch your arms and legs on the seat. The tiredness is an alarm to have a rest. The state of our body can also help us to understand our life and work.
When you feel dejected about a cloudy day, remind yourself that both the cloudiness of your emotion and the cloudiness of the sky will not stay there always. And a sunny day might not bring a happy day either. The dejection does not belong to the cloudiness or your “me”, and neither of these three have inherent nature. The cloudiness will fade away with the wind and sun shine; the dejection will dissolve with the changing conditions of mind and environment. So you may let the sun in mind rise up at first, then shining upon the cloudiness of emotion, and the wind of impermanence will help you drive away the dejection : ) The state of your mind reflects the quality of your world and life.
The actions depend on the constant breathing; the thinking depends on the body’s living. Let’s take care of them sincerely without clinging to any of them.