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Focus Our Mind on Making Full Prostrations

Fa Lian (Beijing)
Making Full Prostrations And Breakthrough
After attending Dizang-qi Retreat, we know that reciting the name and making
prostrations to the B!ddhas, who ha"e inconcei"a#$e merit, "irt!e and awesome
spirit!a$ power, can p!rif% e"er% se"ere transgression& 'hen wh% things that are not so
idea$ keep occ!rring in o!r $ife( )t is #eca!se we ha"e created immeas!ra#$e and
#o!nd$ess #ad karma since #eginning$ess ka$pas ago, some of s!ch karma come into
fr!ition now& B% "irt!e of making prostration to the B!ddhas, the great spirit!a$
power of the B!ddhas and Bodhisat"as can he$p reso$"e o!r karmic o#str!ctions& *o
repentance prostration is of "ita$ importance&
) ha"e gained confidence in the *i+-*tep ,!$ti"ation -ethod after attending Dizang-
qi Retreat, #!t ) s!ffered so m!ch pain when ) was making f!$$ prostrations& ) once
attended the F!ndamenta$ *ession of Dizang-qi Retreat in -arch .//0& After that, )
st!ck to making f!$$ prostrations 1 times and chanting the *!tra 1 times in dai$%
practice for some time& At the end of .//0, ) went to attend the )ntensi"e *ession of
Dizang-qi Retreat and #efore that ) had a$read% #enefited from making f!$$
prostrations& Before that, ) had recei"ed the training for %oga teachers and f!$$%
$earned the %oga ph%sica$ therap% () s!ffered $atera$ c!r"at!re and s$ight cer"ica$ and
$!m#ar ank%$osis d!e to m% hea"% karmic hindrances)& *o at the "er% #eginning, )
app$ied %oga ski$$s in making f!$$ prostrations, and ) fo!nd it eas% in this wa%& 'hen
#% and #% ) #ecame !nsatisfied with m% stat!s and #egan to practice for higher speed
and q!antit%& -% mind and #od% mo"ements got simp$ified when the q!antit% and the
speed grew !p& ) made f!$$ prostrations with c$asped hands starting straight from
*ahasrara ,hakra& *ometimes ) h!rried to make the ne+t mo"ement #efore ) #are$%
stood straight !p&
)n -a%, ./2/, ) went to Datong to attend )ntensi"e *ession of Dizang-qi Retreat
again& 3hen s!mmoning !p a$$ m% strength for a #reakthro!gh in making f!$$
prostrations, ) got m% period !ne+pected$% which made me fee$ !ncomforta#$e&
4owe"er, the speed of making f!$$ prostrations was proportiona$ to m% menta$
strength, so ) decided to make e"er% effort toward #reakthro!gh as $ong as ph%sica$$%
possi#$e& ) made f!$$ prostrations for 5/ times #efore dinner& After dinner ) did it for
twe$"e times fo$$owing the e$e"en-min!te a!dio tape a$tho!gh ) was fee$ing dizz% as if
in dreams& ) was rea$$% in a state of prostration when making the $ast si+ times& B!t )
fe$t refreshed the fo$$owing da%& 4ow great the power of the B!ddha was6 Later a
$a%man asked me a#o!t how ) fe$t, and ) to$d her that ) wo!$d #e afraid of nothing
from then on after this #reakthro!gh& 'hanks to the power of the B!ddha, ) was a#$e
to make f!$$ prostrations for 7/ times together with fe$$ow practitioners on the si+th
da%, e"en tho!gh ) was in a state of prostration& 'ho!gh ) was sti$$ far from m% goa$, )
was q!ite satisfied& 3hen ) was $ea"ing Datong, ) to$d m%se$f that ) wo!$d definite$%
get #ack88
Lay The Solid Foundation In The Difficulties
) ha"e ne"er forgotten m% word that ) wo!$d go #ack to Datong again afterwards& )
was preparing for another #reakthro!gh& B!t the condition had changed& )t #ecame so
hot, and m% ph%sica$ condition seemed to #e #eaten #ad$% and m% practice was a$most
disr!pted in 9!$% and A!g!st& )t e"en took me ha$f an ho!r to make f!$$ prostrations
for once& Like a h!ge #$ack stone, the hea"% karmic hindrances were dragging me
down into the a#%ss of !tter despair&
) was s!ffering ph%sica$$% and scared at that time& ) $istened to the $ect!res of the
-aster e"er% da%& 'asting m% tears and e"en #$ood, ) kept on with m% practice and did
not gi"e !p& At that time, ) $ooked at the comments that the -aster ga"e re$ating to the
ref$ections made #% the fe$$ow practitioner -! :in& 'hat comments $ike a good
medicine for me& ) rea$ized that o!r -aster is a$wa%s waiting for !s at the crossroads
where we fee$ at a $oss&
'he master to$d !s, ;3hat we sho!$d #reak thro!gh is not the q!antit% #!t o!r menta$
strength and karmic hindrances& 3e need not p!rs!e the q!antit%, #e it making f!$$
prostrations for 2//, .// or e"en 1// times& 3e sho!$d prepare o!rse$"es to practice
in a sta#$e wa%& 3e don<t ha"e to p!sh o!rse$"es on the q!antit% if we ha"e done o!r
#est a$read%&=
) a$wa%s made f!$$ prostrations fast in order to increase the speed and q!antit%, #!t it
res!$ted in fai$!re and ) e"en fo!nd it diffic!$t to perse"ere& *o ) #egan to $a% the so$id
fo!ndation again& First$%, ) o#ser"ed the standard mo"ements of making f!$$
prostrations caref!$$%, remem#ered them and incorporated the s!ita#$e %oga ideas in
them& 'hro!gh adj!sting m% #reathing, ) came to enjo% making f!$$ prostrations&
Beginning with making f!$$ prostrations 1 times, ) fe$t the difference& ) wo!$d hate to
stop practicing it as ) enjo%ed it so m!ch& ) wanted to keep doing it nonstop&
'herefore, ) no $onger fe$t worried a#o!t it& For this time, ) m!st $a% the fo!ndation
we$$ eno!gh&
My Reflections Of Making Full Prostration

4ere ) wo!$d $ike to share m% ref$ections of making f!$$ prostrations with %o!, hope it
wi$$ he$p %o!& >"er%one has his or her own sit!ations and ha#its, m% ref$ection j!st for
%o!r reference& ?o! can adj!st according to %o!r sit!ation&
1 Ad!antages Of Making Full Prostrations
) want to share the ad"antages of making f!$$ prostrations which ) $earnt from the
Before that, )<d $ike to introd!ce a #it of the theories& 'he spine of h!man #eings
contains .7 parts, which inc$!de @ parts of cer"ica$ "erte#ra, 2. parts of thoracic
"erte#ra and A parts of $!m#ar& A$$ of the channe$s come from the spina$ cord& Bn each
side of the conception "esse$ and the go"ernor "esse$, there are dozens of ke%
ac!p!nct!re points $ocated within a ha$f decimeter on each side& From the point of
"iew of traditiona$ ,hinese medicine, making f!$$ prostrations can he$p to impro"e
o!r hea$th #% dredging the conception "esse$, go"ernor "esse$ and other channe$s&
From the perspecti"e of %oga, there is an a#stract #od% $i"ing in the ph%sica$ #od% of
h!man #eings& 'his a#stract #od% consists of se"en chakras and three channe$s which
inc$!de centra$ channe$, $eft channe$ and right channe$& ,entra$ channe$ is the most
important among the three and it is $ocated right in the midd$e of the #od%, from
-oodadhara ,hakra in the perinea$ part to *ahasrara ,hakra in the head& Left channe$
is a$so ca$$ed moon channe$& )t roots from the $eft side of -oodadhara ,hakra& Left
channe$ is s!pposed to #e passi"e and intro"ert& 3hen $eft channe$ is dominant, the
$eft nasa$ meat!s wi$$ draw more air and the spirit!a$ energ% wi$$ dominate, which wi$$
make peop$e more inte$$igent and recepti"e of new things& Right channe$ is a$so ca$$ed
so$ar channe$& )t roots from the right side of -oodadhara ,hakra& 3hen right channe$
is dominant, the right nasa$ meat!s wi$$ draw more air and the ph%sica$ energ% wi$$
dominate, which wi$$ make peop$e prod!ce more heat and digest food more easi$%&
From #ottom to top, se"en chakras inc$!de -oo$adhara ,hakra, *wadisthan ,hakra,
-anip!ra ,hakra, Anahata ,hakra, Cish!ddhi ,hakra, Ajna ,hakra and *ahasrara
,hakra& )n )ndian medicine, ph%siops%chic pro#$ems and s!#hea$th% states wi$$ arise
when some chakras are #$ocked& -odern medicine finds that these chakras are
correspondent to the main ner"e p$e+!s on the spine and the% are the parts which
contro$ o!r #odies& Ancient %ogis ga"e specific descriptions of the peta$ n!m#ers of
e"er% chakra which are a$so correspondent to the accessor% ner"e p$e+!s of the main
ner"e p$e+!s&
-oo$adhara ,hakra represented #% fo!r $ot!s peta$s is corresponding to De$"ic D$e+!s
(gonad) and it takes care of the e+cretor% s%stem, generati"e organ and the $egs&
*wadisthan ,hakra represented #% si+ $ot!s peta$s is corresponding to Aortic D$e+!s
(adrena$ g$and) and it is in charge of sp$een, pancreas, and the $ower part of $i"er and
a#domen& -anip!ra ,hakra represented #% ten $ot!s peta$s is corresponding to so$ar
(a#domina$ ca"it%) p$e+!s (pancreas), part of $i"er, sp$een, pancreas, kidne% and
stomach, and the midd$e part of !ter!s and a#domen& Anahata ,hakra represented #%
twe$"e $ot!s peta$s is corresponding to ,ardiac D$e+!s (th%m!s)& And Anahata ,hakra
$ooks after the heart, #reathing s%stem, and the chest& *i+teen $ot!s peta$s are !sed to
stand for Cish!ddhi ,hakra& Cish!ddhi ,hakra is corresponding to cer"ica$ p$e+!s,
the preoc!$ar and other parts of the #od%, inc$!ding the th%roid g$and, parath%roids,
neck, ears, noses, throat, face, teeth, tong!e, mo!th, the !pper jaw and the $ower jaw
and the preoc!$ar& Ajna ,hakra represented #% two $ot!s peta$s is a$so ca$$ed the third
e%e& )t is corresponding to pinea$ g$and, h%potha$am!s, retina, optic p$e+!s and optic
$o#e& *ahasrara ,hakra is represented #% one tho!sand $ot!s peta$s and is
corresponding to pit!itar% g$and& )t is where a$$ the energ% centers and three channe$s
4!man diseases are ca!sed #% the weakening of the chakras or the !n#a$anced
f!nction of more than one chakra& F!$$ prostrations can strengthen the chakras and
#a$ance the incretion of the endocrines #% contracting and stretching, which wi$$ he$p
peop$e keep fit& 'he co#ra pose and #ida$asana in %oga poses p$a% an important ro$e in
the reco"er% of the spine& 'hese two poses are em#raced in the f!$$ prostrations& 'here
are so man% ad"antages in making f!$$ prostrations& ) j!st need to practice the spine
twisting pose on$% for a few times in addition to f!$$ prostrations& At this moment, m%
e%es moisten again& ) am deep$% gratef!$ for the he$p of the B!ddha& )t is regretta#$e
that ) !sed to j!st p!rs!e the q!antit% and speed in the past& From now on, ) wi$$ keep
practicing f!$$ prostrations and wi$$ not $et it go&
Raising the fo$ded pa$ms !p o"er the head is to e$iminate the karmic hindrances since
#eginning-$ess time& Raising them to the mo!th is to e$iminate a$$ of the speech
karma& Raising them to the heart is to e$iminate the thinking karma which is the
hea"iest and hardest to e$iminate& 'he separating hands mean de"e$oping o!r #odies
in #oth ph%sica$ and spirit!a$ forms to perfect the B!ddhist ca!se of ser"ing sentient
#eings& 'he knees< to!ching the gro!nd means the wi$$ to get rid of c%c$ic e+istences
and e"i$ destin%& D!tting the ten fingers on the gro!nd is to achie"e 'en Rea$ms and
Fi"e Daths grad!a$$%& 'he forehead<s to!ching the gro!nd stands for the wish to get
the *amanta#hadra $ight& 3e #end and stretch the fo!r $im#s to get the fo!r
achie"ements& And we !n$ock the knotted aff$ictions #% contracting and stretching the
m!sc$es and "esse$s& 'he contracting and stretching of the spine can $ead the gas and
$ight to the centra$ channe$ direct$%& B% standing !p, we wi$$ get o!t of the c%c$ic
e+istences& 3e make f!$$ prostrations not on$% for c!$ti"ating o!rse$"es #!t a$so for
sa"ing the masses of mankind& 'he merit of making f!$$ prostrations $ies in the hea$th
and happiness of this $ife, the re#irth in the D!re Land of E$timate B$iss, and the
comp$ete B!ddhahood !$timate$%&
" My Reflections Of The Body Mo!e#ents Of Making Full Prostrations
Let me e+p$ain first that there is no sing$e standard for the #od% mo"ements in making
f!$$ prostrations #eca!se of the inherited differences& ) o#ser"ed how '!deng Lama
and L!ogongsang Rinpoche did it and read the Magnum Opus Guidance to Dzogchen
Preliminary Practice on the internet& ) fo!nd that the joint pa$ms can #e p!t in three
wa%sF foreheadGGthroatGGheart

or, headGGforeheadGG$ipsGGheart& 'he

meanings are a$so different& *ometimes ho$ding the pa$ms to the forehead means to
e$iminate the e"i$ karma of the #od%H and sometimes it takes the pa$ms to the top of
the head for this meaning& 'hese differences don<t matter and we can make a choice
according to o!r ha#its and inherited preferences& ) think the ke% is to master the core&
) am !sed to adhering to the order that is from the head to the throat then to the heart&
Breathe in deep$%, #reathe o!t s$ow$% and fee$ the peace of o!r heart#eat and o!r #od%
#etween o!r #reaths& Breathe s$ow$% and tr% to find the nat!ra$ f$ow of #reathing& *ta%
awa% from an% fick$eness or distracting tho!ghts and j!st fee$ what we fee$ in o!r
#od%& Foc!s o!rse$"es on the present and on each of o!r #od% mo"ements&
*tep 2F *tand with the feet together and c$asp %o!r hands to the chest (Anahata
-% ref$ectionsF
Don<t c$ench the teeth too m!ch which might ca!se tension& ,$asp the hands& Lea"e
ha$f a fist<s space in the armpits so as to keep the arms and sho!$ders re$a+ed& 'r% to
spread a$$ the toes apart as m!ch as possi#$e and we wi$$ fee$ that the heart is #eing
opened& D!t the weight #etween the hee$s and forefeet& 'he $ower $egs and !pper #od%
fee$ $inked with the hee$s (the so$es are s!pposed to increase the area to!ching the
gro!nd)& As a nat!ra$ res!$t, o!r weight is on the hee$s& 'he #od%Is centre of gra"it% is
sta#i$ized in this wa% so that the #od% post!re is he$d !p straight witho!t an%
additiona$ efforts& -eanwhi$e the toes wi$$ #e re$a+ed, the m!sc$es in the feet needn<t
!se the energ% to keep #a$ance and the m!sc$es in the waist needn<t contract& )n this
wa%, no energ% wi$$ #e wasted and there wi$$ #e no !nnecessar% pains or fatig!e& 3e<d
#etter wear $oose socks or fi"e-toe socks& ) ha"e e+perimented man% times and fo!nd
that it is m!ch more tiring to wear skintight socks #eca!se the% cannot make !s
*tep .F Raise %o!r c$asped hands o"er head (Anahata ,hakra), then to the throat
(Cish!ddhi ,hakra), and $ast$% to the heart (*ahasrara ,hakra)&
-% ref$ectionsF
,$asp the hands $ike a $ot!s in #!d& Don<t c$ose the pa$ms too tight and don<t j!st
make the fingertips to!ch each other aro!nd the empt% pa$ms& *tretch !p the arms as
m!ch as we can to strengthen the #$ood circ!$ation when we raise the arms& 'he arms
can get more energ% this wa% and it is good for the $%mphatic tiss!e in the o+ter& )n
addition, raising arms can get thro!gh and open man% meridians and #ring the good
effect& 3e wi$$ fee$ re$a+ed after p!tting them down& ) reca$$ that the doctor 3!
J!ozhong once e+p$ained the meaning of the gest!re of s!#mission& *!#mission
means that we p!t down e"er%thing& B% making the #od% mo"ements with the arms, it
is meant to work on o!r to!gh heart& -an% peop$e don<t raise the arms high eno!gh,
then the% cannot p!t down comp$ete$%, which makes them diffic!$t to achie"e the
good effect&
3h% sho!$d we stand straight and c$asp hands in making f!$$ prostrations( )t is
#eca!se c$asping hands is to e$iminate o!r karmic hindrances and ha!ghtiness and to
e+press o!r worship for the 'hree 9ewe$s, *!perior 'eachers and the B!ddhas& 3hat
does c$asping hands mean( )t stands for the $ot!s and respectf!$$% c$asping hands
means worshiping the 'hree 9ewe$s with $ot!ses&
*tep 1F Lean %o!r #od% forward with the s!pporting of hands and get down to the
gro!nd or e+tend %o!r arms to the gro!nd in front of %o! and make the who$e #od%
to!ch the gro!nd, and then, %o! need to raise the c$asped hands o"er the head and then
stretch them forward&
-% ref$ectionsF
*pread %o!r toes s$ight$% and stretch %o!r hands forward on the gro!nd& )n this wa%,
the fingers, wrists, ank$es and so$es can #e massaged mi$d$%, and it makes the joints
more f$e+i#$e, he$ps to s!pp$% #$ood and strengthens the #$ood circ!$ation in a$$
arteries and capi$$ar% "esse$s& >specia$$% those practitioners with arthritis can get great
#enefits from this mo"ement& And those practitioners with co$d $im#s and weak
circ!$ation of the periphera$ ner"e s%stem can get hea$thier after keep practicing f!$$
prostrations for some time& )t can he$p %o! re$a+ when %o! keep insteps downwards
when the who$e #od% to!ches the gro!nd& *ome practitioners want to know which one
is #etter, throwing o!rse$"es to the gro!nd direct$% or doing it after kowtow& -%
e+perience shows that we can !se these two methods a$ternate$% when making f!$$
prostrations contin!o!s$% for man% times& 3e can !se the former one when the knees
ache and the $atter one when the waist has no strength or when we are tired& As for
speed, the former one is faster&
*tretch o!r arms in front of !s on the gro!nd as m!ch as we can and re$a+ o!r arms
and sho!$ders (e"en one second is precio!s for re$a+ation when making f!$$
prostrations intensi"e$% and contin!o!s$%& 3e can adj!st the #reathing to he$p re$a+
o!rse$"es)& 'his mo"ement can make the sho!$ders $ess stiff& And second$%, the
a#domen can a$so #enefit& 'he #$ood circ!$ation in the a#domen wi$$ #e impro"ed& )t
stim!$ates interna$ organs positi"e$% to #ecome hea$thier, inc$!ding the stomach and
sma$$ and $arge intestines& 'hen constipation, f$at!$ence and gastritis wi$$ #e hea$ed
and the digestion can #e impro"ed& 'he pne!ma and energ% wi$$ work in #a$ance
when the energ% center is acti"ated& -anip!ra ,hakra has profo!nd effect and the
pe$"ic ca"it% is partic!$ar$% "ita$ for women& )n this pose, the #!mp #etween the
a#domen and the mat can strengthen the #$ood circ!$ation in the pe$"ic ca"it%& 3ith
m!ch #$ood no!rishing the pe$"ic ca"it% thro!gh making f!$$ prostrations, the
practitioners< g%necopath% inc$!ding d%smenorrhea$ wi$$ reco"er witho!t one<s
noticing it&
3hen we are on a$$ fo!rs, it means o!r forehead, hands and knees to!ch the gro!nd&
-aking f!$$ prostrations in this wa%, it can he$p !s get rid of o!r aff$ictions from the
Fi"e Doisons, and recei"e the B!ddha<s #$essings for o!r #od%, speech, mind, merit
and career& Before making another ro!nd of f!$$ prostrations, we sho!$d stand !p with
the #ack straight #efore starting the ne+t mo"ements& Disrespect in making f!$$
prostrations wi$$ $ead to #ad retri#!tion, for e+amp$e, c$asping hands in the wrong
wa%, j!st #ending the #od% witho!t the knees and forehead to!ching the gro!nd and
standing with the waist #ent& )t is said in the *!tra that the person making f!$$
prostrations with a wrong$% #ent #od% wi$$ #e re#orn as a p%gm% or a h!nch#ack
person& )t is fine if we don<t make f!$$ prostrations for too man% times, #!t whene"er
we do it, we sho!$d practice it in accordance with the standard mo"ements, in a
comp$iant and peacef!$ state& )t is meaning$ess to sa"e $a#or #% making f!$$
prostrations standing on a stiff hi$$ or s!pported #% something !nnecessari$%&
*tep 7F *!pport o!r #od% with hands and stand !p& 'hen raise the c$asped hands to the
Anahata ,hakra and start the second mo"ement of prostrations&

-% ref$ectionsF
)n this pose, we<d #etter keep o!r knees together (some practitioners don<t do it in this
wa%& 'herefore their strength wi$$ #e dispersed, making it hard for them to stand !p
and the% wi$$ tend to fee$ tired instead)& Raise o!r waist, thighs and knees at the same
time when we are on o!r hands& At this moment, o!r energ% wi$$ #e gathered at one
point and we can get !p easi$%& 3e sho!$d $e"erage o!r waist when standing !p& )n

addition to the #enefits for the pe$"ic ca"it%, o!r a#domina$ m!sc$e wi$$ #e tightened
(the practitioners who want to $ose weight wi$$ fee$ happ% for this reason)&
F!rthermore, the kidne% can a$so get co!nt$ess #enefits from this when the waist is
) think that we a$$ fee$ q!ite painf!$ and stiff when making the first prostrations each
time& Looking from the %oga perspecti"e, that is #eca!se o!r pne!ma and energ% ha"e
$ost #a$ance and there are too man% o#str!ctions against "ita$ energ%& 3hen we
contin!e to practice it for the second time, we wi$$ fee$ a $ot #etter& Beca!se o!r "ita$
energ% works at a smooth tempo in o!r #odies when o!r joints are f$e+i#$e& )n this
wa%, we grad!a$$% acti"ate o!r "ita$ energ% and open !p o!r heart to the B!ddha<s
*ome practitioners wi$$ fee$ dizz% after making man% prostrations #eca!se their heads
cannot get eno!gh #$ood& 4ere ) ha"e an ad"ice& *tand with the toes spread o!t after
reading the B!ddhist "erses or making f!$$ prostrations for once& *o the weight wi$$
$and #etween the hee$s and the forefeet& Raise the knees, and the $eg m!sc$es wi$$ #e
tightened& As a res!$t, the #$ood wi$$ f$ow to the head q!ick$%& )n serio!s cases, the
dizziness can #e #etter reco"ered if the practitioners sit !p with their $egs crossed&
'he B!ddha<s #$essings wi$$ #e q!ite strong if we sit in peace for a whi$e after making
f!$$ prostrations e"er% time& Adj!st the #reath and then recite Amita B!ddha<s name&
B% doing so, we wi$$ recei"e the B!ddha<s #$essings and o!r who$e #od% wi$$ #e
re$a+ed grad!a$$% to e+perience the refreshment and freedom& ?oga has the ten-min!te
dead #od% pose to re$a+ the #od% after each pose& 'he p!rpose is to protect the #od%
and spirit!a$ energ% after s!ch practice& *imi$ar$%, sitting in peace after f!$$
prostrations can re$a+ the #od% and protect the energ%& 3e wi$$ fee$ tired and the
ph%sica$ energ% wi$$ #e dispersed if we start to work or wa$k as soon as we finish
making prostrations& 3e wi$$ fee$ re$a+ed and energetic if we sit q!iet$% for 1 to A
min!tes& ) fee$ it great when ) recite Amita B!ddha<s name immediate$% after making
f!$$ prostrations& Derhaps, the karmic creditors are wi$$ing to $ea"e after we make f!$$
prostrations sincere$%& -a%#e the% are more wi$$ing to $ea"e when we recite Amita
B!ddha<s name& Ke"erthe$ess, o!r -aster has a$so said that we sho!$dn<t stop reciting
Amita B!ddha<s name, an%where or an%time&
1& Breathing in making f!$$ prostrations
'he air we #reathe in sta% in o!r #odies which makes $ife& 3e can $i"e witho!t water
or food, #!t we cannot witho!t air& 'here are two points on #reathing& 'hat is, how
can we #reathe in more o+%gen and how can we contro$ o!r #reathing and mind(
3hen we grow o$der and o!r aff$ictions grow hea"ier, we wi$$ forget the wa% of
a#domina$ #reathing that we did in o!r #a#%hood& -ost of !s !se thoracic #reathing&
'his kind of #reathing is "er% sha$$ow, especia$$% when we are in anger& )n that case,
o!r #reathing wi$$ q!icken !p& 3e are #oi$ing with rage and seem to e+p$ode& B!t if
we can take a deep #reath, we can ca$m down s$ow$%& )f we re!se the a#domina$
#reathing $ike we did in o!r #a#%hood, and keep practicing it for a whi$e e"er% da%,
we wi$$ get !sed to it grad!a$$%&
4ow can we get more #enefits with the a#domina$ #reathing in making f!$$
prostrations( ) finish each of the f!$$ prostrations with #reathing for three times&
'he first #reathingF ) raise the arms o"er the head and c$asp the hands and ) #reathe in
the air at the same time& 'his method has two #enefitsF 2, 'he thora+ wi$$ #e open
when the arms are raised so that the $!ngs wi$$ #e easier to get f!$$ with o+%genH .,
Breath o!t the air and re$a+ the arms when the arms fa$$ from Anahata Dhakra to
Cish!ddhi ,hakra and then to *ahasrara ,hakra&
'he second #reathingF ) #reathe in the air when kowtowing and fa$$ing forward and
#reathe o!t the air when s!pporting m% #od% with hands& And ) #reathe o!t the air
comp$ete$% as the #od% gets down& 'his method has two #enefitsF 2, Bn$% when we
#reathe o!t a$$ of the car#on dio+ide

can we #reathe in more o+%genH ., 3hi$e the

#od% gets down and we #reathe o!t the air, we throw o!r #od% onto the mat& )t is "er%
important in the who$e process of the f!$$ prostrations& 3e sho!$d $earn to re$a+
o!rse$"es e"en when we are making f!$$ prostrations& A$tho!gh s!ch re$a+ation might
#e "er% short, it is high$% #eneficia$&
'he third #reathingF 3hen ) s!pport m% #od% with m% hands to get !p, ) #reathe in
the air comp$ete$% and raise m% #od%& *tanding !p and #reathing are good for each
other& 'here are two #enefitsF 2, )t is more hea$thf!$ to #reathe when standing !p
#eca!se the d!st and sme$$ of the mat wi$$ not #e #reathed inH ., -ore o+%gen wi$$ #e
#reathed in when we tr% hard to stand !p& 3hen we stand !p with the s!pporting of
the hands and #reathe in the air, the strength wi$$ #e passed to the $egs, forefeet and
hee$s& 'hen it wi$$ #e easier to stand !p with the hee$s& (3e can think it o"er to find
the #est tips and most s!ita#$e wa% for o!rse$"es&) 'hen c$asp the hands (to Anahata
>"er%one has his or her own sit!ations and ha#its& 3e can adj!st o!r #reathing
according to o!r sit!ations& 4owe"er, we sho!$d pa% attention to some pointsF make
s!re to #reathe in the air when the arms are raised and #reathe o!t when the #od% fa$$s
down to the gro!nd& Bn$% in this wa% wi$$ we #e more re$a+ed and hea$thier&
*econd$%, #reathe o!t the air when we stand !p and it can make !s stronger and more
re$a+ed when we stand !p& )t wi$$ he$p !s a $ot if we pa% attention to o!r #reathing
especia$$% when we fee$ tired and ha"e man% aff$ictions d!ring the first prostrations&
B% and #% we wi$$ get !sed to it and #reathe free$% afterwards&)
Focus The Mind On The Present
Last$%, )<d $ike to share a stor%& Bnce when ) was st!d%ing meditation with the %oga
teacher, ) was e+cited when the teacher in"ited !s to dinner& 3e swarmed into the
resta!rant and created a $ot of noise when we kept ta$king and to!ching the
dinnerware& 'he teacher made a gest!re to $et !s q!iet down and chant the
thanksgi"ing "erse together& Afterwards, we started eating and ta$king again j!st as
#efore& And o!r teacher had to signa$ to !s again to keep !s q!iet& 4e to$d !s with the
he$p of the interpreter that ha"ing mea$s is a$so a sort of meditation and meditation
can #e a#o!t an%thing& 'he %oga poses and a$$ %oga ski$$s are !sed to make !s foc!s
on the present& 3hen we stretch o!rse$"es, j!st fee$ the stretching, the #$ood
circ!$ation and the r!nning of the energ%& 3hen we ha"e mea$s, j!st fee$ the rice we
p!t into o!r mo!th and enjo% the good taste of the soft rice #etween o!r teeth and
tong!e, and j!st fee$ the co$or of each dish and appreciate the wonderf!$ foods gi"en
#% nat!re& 9!st foc!s o!r mind on the present, fee$ the present moment, in this wa%,
o!r mind wi$$ ca$m down, and we wi$$ not seek from the o!tside an%more& 'hen we
can keep so#er, fee$ o!r heart and fee$ the energ% gi"en #% the nat!re&
-% stomach seems to #ecome softer after that mea$, not as hard as #efore when ) !sed
to wo$f down the foods& )t ena#$es me to think that making f!$$ prostrations and
reciting the name of Amita B!ddha is a$so meditation& 'he #od% masters itse$f in the
d%namic and static states& 9!st foc!s o!r mind on making f!$$ prostrations and on
reciting the name of Amita B!ddha& 9!st fee$ the stretching, the #$ood circ!$ation and
the energ% f$ow& 9!st fee$ the #$essings of the B!ddha and the end$ess $o"e gi"en to !s
#% the B!ddha&
*eptem#er, ./2/