Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – The Tanden”

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BOUNDLESS INTIMACY: The Eye And Treasury Of Core-Self

by Andrew Shugyo Daijo Bonnici, Ph.D.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – The Tanden”:

When earth dwellers sink into the bio-energetic core of their hara, they naturally live and move from their body’s center-point of gravity. To consciously live and move from the body’s center-point of gravity is to be intimate with the visceral gut-core intelligence of all true earth dwellers. In our traditional Way of Zen, we call the body’s center-point of gravity the “tanden,” pronounced “tahn-den.” Your tanden is located three inches below your navel. It is in the middle of your hara, an inch and a half under your skin. The tanden is where your visceral gut-core intelligence is experientially felt within the body. This is why we refer to the tanden as the true visceral center-point of our gut-core intelligence.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – Caring For Core-Self Ki”

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BOUNDLESS INTIMACY: The Eye And Treasury Of Core-Self

by Andrew Shugyo Daijo Bonnici, Ph.D.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – Caring For Core-Self Ki”:

When I speak about nourishing the visceral Ki of your core-Self inside of shikantaza and zazen-only, I am speaking of a Way that promotes the balanced functioning of your autonomic nervous system, increases your immunity to illness, contributes to your overall well-being, and enhances your spiritual development and compassion as a human being who lives in community with others. This means that shikantaza and zazen-only are ancient Ways of tenderly caring for your physical health, emotional vitality, mental stamina, and spiritual well-being. When we take good care of ourselves by nourishing the visceral Ki of core-Self in shikantaza and zazen-only, we benefit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, our fellow workers, and all the beings and things that we meet in the passage of our everyday life.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – Earth Dwellers”

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BOUNDLESS INTIMACY: The Eye And Treasury Of Core-Self

by Andrew Shugyo Daijo Bonnici, Ph.D.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – Earth Dwellers”:

To embody the integrity of Zen life is to passionately live from the vitality of our hara and the vibrancy of our bio-energetic core. In our Way, we practice felt intimacy with our hara and our bio-energetic core by daily sitting in zazen-only. When we just sit in zazen-only, we simply linger with ease and joy in the sensuality of our hara and the vibrant wakefulness of our visceral core. To linger in the hara and the bio-energetic core of our lower abdomen is to embody a brilliant stillness, a silent illumination, a deep composure, and a grounded integrity that is far beyond the seated form of zazen-only.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – Our True Home”

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BOUNDLESS INTIMACY: The Eye And Treasury Of Core-Self

by Andrew Shugyo Daijo Bonnici, Ph.D.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – Our True Home”:

We take refuge in the bright wisdoming of our hara that nourishes our daily well-being and our felt completion as a radical human being. We take refuge by letting go of our heady mental experience of being alive while allowing our total somatic awareness to naturally sink into the sensual vitality of our hara and the vibrancy of its bio-energetic core. As we take refuge and ground our total somatic awareness in the sensual vitality of our hara, we become intimately aware of meaningful sensations that arise within the deep bio-energetic core of our lower abdomen.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – The Hara”

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BOUNDLESS INTIMACY: The Eye And Treasury Of Core-Self

by Andrew Shugyo Daijo Bonnici, Ph.D.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – “Abiding In Core-Self – The Hara”:

When we embody Zen in our everyday life, we practice deep intimacy with three somatic experiences. These three somatic experiences include the natural flow of our breath, the expansion and contraction of our belly breathing, and the sensation of being in the visceral core of our lower abdomen. These three somatic experiences establish the traditional Zen foundation for viscerally realizing core-Self inside of just sitting while embodying the visceral seal of core-Self inside of just living.

In our traditional Way of Zen, we call the lower abdominal area of the human body the “hara” (pronounced hah-rah). Your “hara” is an oval shaped area just below your belly button. The hara is six inches across your lower abdomen. It is about two and a half inches wide at the very center. Although the Japanese word “hara” is translated as “lower belly,” this does not give us any indication of its profound spiritual meaning, its inherent capacity to manifest an honorable human being, or its deep interconnectedness with the dynamic functioning of total reality. Nor does it reveal the hara’s awesome power to stabilize, regulate, and enhance our daily experience of health, vitality, wellness, and aliveness. The hara contains the bioenergetic reservoir for our whole body, the somatic integrity of our radical humanness, and the visceral center-point that promotes physical health, mental clarity, emotional balance, and confidence in our intuitive gut-core Way of knowing. When you dwell in the deep bio-energetic core of your hara rather than your heady ego-self, people intimately sense your authentic visceral presence as a trustworthy and honorable human being. To faithfully embody the visceral bio-energetic core of your hara in everyday life is to openly and effortlessly communicate the integrity, soundness, and dependability of your humanity and your character.