Mirror of Zen Blog

Our Daily Training

Huberman just tweeted this earlier today. (And he has tweeted it before, that I have seen, which means it is important enough to him to repeat.)

If you are doing the 108 bows deep breathing meditation with everyone that we begin with every morning, we are already practicing a high-class version of this regimen. (Due to my recent knee problems, I have been supplementing that cardio with time on a stationary bicycle and/or light Ashtanga yoga.)

If you are practicing “hwadu” (화두 선) Zen, you are already engaging a hypersonic NSDR protocol, every single morning. The rising of the sun during those hours, gently filling the Dharma Room (선방, Zendō) from darkness, and you are adjusted in your circadian rhythms to an uninterrupted rising of the morning light cycle.

So our morning Zen practice so rightly fits the Ames of such a protocol as this, and makes the effects even more extensively instantiated, through structured habit and repetition in community.

One thing I would note that is missing here is his suggestion of some engagement with the rhythmical underwiring of our brain to be activated by some sort of song or dance: res musica. I would appreciate it even if he mentioned Yoga here, if it was united with the rhythm of breath as strongly as in Ashtanga, for example, and a plus if it had some mantra/chanting emphasis.

Chanting is universal to all human cultures, and even to the call-and-response communications of different animal cultures, as well. I call chanting “breath awareness with sound “. Scientific research has proven that areas of the brain activated by music and rhythm light up during singing or chant, giving a calming effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, enhances memory, stimulates a whole sequence of beneficial neuropharmacological cascades, especially when the chanting is done together with other people.

So I would have definitely added that thing to this list. Why is it that the first thing the birds do when they emerge from sleep in the morning, in the disappearing darkness? After flitting a bit their wings for a second or two, they begin singing! Before ANY eating. There is singing. They begin chirping! They begin tweeting! They are sending out harmony and being informed and regulated by other tweeting-chanting happening in its near-neighborhood.

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