October 15, 2016
EXPERIENCE

Morning ZAZEN
which purifying mind and health

心と体を浄化する朝坐禅

People come to Hiroo in the morning one after another.

It is around 6:30am on the morning of a weekday. There is a temple where people through the gate continuously. It is a temple named ‘Korin-in’ of Hiroo. The morning Zazen, which is a meditation in Zen Buddhism, is held from every weekday morning at 7:00am in the temple, which belongs to the Rinzai sect Norihiro temple group located near the Hiroo shopping street.
When you take off shoes and go into the main hall, you can see a Japanese style drawing room at the end of the passage. Before going into the room, people join their hands in prayer and bow. These sacred minds can fill out the room with good moods. About 40 floor cushions are placed as U-shaped in the room and people can sit any one of these from whose coming earliest. There is a wide range of people from young couples with a casual wear and businesspersons before going to their office to older people.

ぞくぞくと人が集まる朝の広尾。

平日の朝6時半頃。人々が次々に門をくぐっていく寺がある。広尾の香林院だ。広尾商店街の先にそびえたつ臨済宗大徳寺派の寺で、ここでは平日毎朝7時から朝坐禅がおこなわれている。

靴を脱いで本堂にあがると廊下の突きあたった先に広い座敷が見える。部屋に入る前に皆、合掌をし、低頭する。神聖な気持ちを示すことで、部屋によい気を満たすのだ。部屋の中にはコの字型に40枚ほど座布団が並べられていて、来た人から自由に座っていく。訪れるのは年配の人から、出社前のビジネスマン、ラフなウェアに身を包んだ若いカップルなど老若男女さまざまだ。

Sitting massively like Mt. Fuji

For those who have no experience of Zazen, we will tell you how to do it. Fold only the upper cushion from two layers for raising the height. Sit down on it slightly with cross-legged. Put the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh at the same crossing angle. Push down the upper half of the body to the front and stuck the buttocks out as much as possible, then raise the upper half body. It can let the back straight up and help you to make a stable attitude without efforts. Try to compose your mind for a while. Kanetake Soushin who is the chief priest of a Buddhist temple will come into the room before 7:00am. In a moment, there are only the sound of a bell ringing and silence. This is a Signal for the starting of Zazen. First, join palms in front of your chest and direct fingers upward. Then face the right palm upwards and place the left palm on top to face upwards as well. Lightly touch the tips of the thumbs together and move hands to the lower abdomen. Don’t close your eyes but slightly open and stretch the neck with drawing the chin. The eyesight should be looking down one meter ahead of the floor. Make the back straight like Mt. Fuji and strain the abdomen. You should breathe through the nose, not the mouth. Attend to the abdomen and exhale completely and slowly. The abdomen become flat when you exhale and swell when you inhale. Count the number of breath in your head from 1 to 10 like “hito—tsu, futa—tsu…” which is called “Susokukan”. You will exhale in ” hito—” and inhale in ” tsu”. When you counted up to 10, start again from1. The time of Zazen is 25 minutes. Let’s concentrate on repeating this “Susokukan”. You will feel the noise of an electric fan and the songs of insects spread into the room and time goes. It will finish when the chief priest ring the bell just like the beginning. Join hands in prayer and bow while sitting down. It is time for break for five minutes. Some people who are not getting use to Zazen feel numb in their legs, some can keep the pose. After five minutes, the chief priest come into the room and ring the bell again. This is a Signal for the second half started.

富士山のようにどっしりと座る

坐禅をしたことがない人のために、ここで正しい方法を説明しよう。座布団は2枚重ねになっているので、上の一枚を二つ折りにして高さをつける。その高くした方の座布団の上に浅く腰掛け、あぐらをかいて座る。右足を左ももの上にのせ、左足をその上から右ももに乗せ、両足を同じ角度で交差させる。上体は前方へ倒して、お尻を思い切り突き出し、そのまま上体を起こす。そうすると腰がたって、ゆったりと安定した姿勢になる。この状態で心を落ち着ける。7時少し前になると住職の金嶽宗信さんが入室する。しばらくすると静寂の中に鐘の音だけが響く。これが坐禅開始の合図だ。胸の前で手を合わせ、指を天に向け合掌。次に、右手のひらを上に向け、その上に左手のひらを上に向けて重ねる。親指の先を合わせて、手を下腹のあたりに引き寄せる。坐禅は目をつぶらず、半眼の状態で首をのばしてあごを引き、視線は1mくらい前方の床に落とす。姿勢は富士山がそびえたつようなイメージで背筋を伸ばし、下腹部の丹田に力を入れる。呼吸は口ではなく鼻呼吸。丹田を意識して、息をゆっくりと吐き切る。自然と吐くときにおなかがへこみ、吸うときにおなかが膨らむ。「ひとーーーつ、ふたーーーつ・・・」と1から10まで頭の中で数えながら呼吸する「数息観」をおこなう。「ひとーーー」で息を吐き、「つ」で吸う。これで10まで数えたら、また1に戻る。坐禅の時間は25分間。この数息観を繰り返すことに集中する。扇風機の羽の音、虫の鳴き声が部屋の中に響き、時間が流れていく。
始まりと同じように、住職が鐘を鳴らしたら終了。合掌し、座ったまま軽く低頭する。ここで5分間の休憩。慣れない坐禅に足がしびれて動けなくなる人もいれば、そのまま坐禅の姿勢をくずさない人もいる。そうして5分が経つと、住職が再度入室し、鐘の音が響く。後半の坐禅の始まりだ。

The heart will also be ready when breathing and the body is prepared.

The second half of Zazen is also 25 minutes. When the sound of a bell comes again the morning Zazen is at an end. Join palms together and bow at last. If your legs are numb, you should take your time to be relaxed and massage your legs to stand up. You have chance to be spoken ”Would you like to brink some tea?” after Zazen. There are some tables and chairs in the room and the participants and the chief priest are charring. Some people are the usual who come here every morning, some are beginners. Anyone can talk freely. The chief priest gave a knack for Zazen. What should we do when we cannot become a peaceable spirit?
“You do not have to become a peaceable spirit while Zazen as a meditation. On the one hand, the aim of a meditation is that taking leave from the visible worlds with closed eyes. On the other hand, the aim of Zazen is that looking at the truth to take things as they are.”
People nodded with admiration. Kanetake Soushin is a fifteenth generation chief priest of a Buddhist temple of Korin-in. He told about the history of the temple as well.
“Morning Zazen started 14 or 15 years ago to respond to the requests from many people. At the beginning, it was twice a week and became every morning as the number of participants increased. Now they have the evening Zazen as well from 17:00pm on Sunday. It is held in the main hall, which is capable of holding 50 people instead of the drawing room.”
Korin-rin holds not only Moring Zazen but also various activities like a sutra copyist, Buddhist dialogue sessions and so on. In addition, this temple lends the room to instructors for a yoga class, a calligraphy class and others. The temple has a big heart.
A man who comes here every morning told that he feels good changes in his mind and body since he started to come here.
“There is no rule which bothers me and very freedom. It is really comfortable here.” he said.
It is said that Zazen that makes ones mind and body calm with abdominal breathing and a good posture while morning sunbathing, stimulates to secrete serotonin in body and makes people more active. Serotonin is a brain chemistry, which suppresses the actives of dopamine and adrenaline and makes ones mind calm. This is the reason why Zazen is believed good for health.
“The most important things are breathing and giving a rest to your brain to bring out the potential of your body. The heart will also be ready when breathing and the body is prepared.”
The morning Zazen in Korin-in holds every morning of a weekday with no reservation and free of charge, this is a rare temple in Tokyo.
We recommend you to calm your mind and body in Hiroo when you get up early. You will feel refreshed and be filled with full of energy.

呼吸と体を調えれば、心も調う。

後半の坐禅も25分間。鐘の音がきこえたら合掌、低頭をして朝の坐禅は終了だ。足がしびれたら焦らず足をとき、ほぐしてから立ち上がる。坐禅を終えると「隣室でお茶でもいかがですか?」と声をかけてくれた。部屋にはテーブルと椅子が並べられていて、席につくと、住職をまじえた参加者とおしゃべりタイムが始まる。毎朝来るという常連もいるし、初参加の人もいる。みな自由に話をする。
ここで住職に坐禅のコツを聞いた。“無”の状態になろうとしてもうまくいかないときはどうすればいいのだろうか?  
「坐禅と瞑想とは違うので、無にならなくていいんです。瞑想は目を閉じ、見えている世界を閉ざして無心になることを目的としていますが、坐禅はあらゆる物事をありのままに受け取り、真理をみつめていくことです」
なるほど、と深くうなずく。住職の金嶽宗信さんは香林院の十五代目。寺の歴史についても教えてくれた。
「朝坐禅は14、5年ほど前から始まりました。多くの方から坐禅をしてほしいとリクエストがあって。最初は週に2、3回。だんだん人が増えてそれから毎朝するように。日曜には夕方坐禅といって5時からやっています。こちらは50人くらいの方が訪れるので、座敷では入りきらず本堂で行っています」
聞くと、香林院は朝坐禅だけに限らず、写経や法話会も行うほか、インストラクターへ部屋を貸し出し、ヨガや書道などの教室も行っているという。なんとも間口の広い寺なのだ。
「ここは難しい決まりごとがなくて、とても自由なんです。だから居心地がいい」と話すのは毎朝坐禅に通う男性。ここへ来るようになって、心と体に嬉しい変化があったという。

朝日を浴びて、体と心を落ち着け、腹式呼吸で姿勢を整える坐禅は、体内にセロトニンの分泌を促し、活性を高める効果があると言われている。セロトニンはドーパミンやアドレナリンの暴走をおさえ、心を安定させる働きがある脳内物質だ。坐禅が心身に良いと言われる所以がわかる。
「大切なのは呼吸。脳の働きを休め、身体本来が持っている力を引き出すこと。身を調え、呼吸をととのえることによって、心も調えられます」

香林院の坐禅は予約不要で無料、平日毎朝行っている、都内でも珍しい寺だ。早起きをした朝は、広尾でそっと静かに心と体を落ち着けてみてほしい。すっきりと穏やかになり、全身に活力がみなぎるのを感じるはずだ。

INFO

Korin-in

Address: 5-1-21 Hiroo Shibuya Tokyo

Morning Zazen
Open: Mon-Fri, 7:00am-8:00am

香林院

住所:東京都渋谷区広尾5-1-21

朝坐禅:平日 月曜〜金曜
7:00〜8:00

writer / MARIKO URAMOTO
photographer / TOMOHIKO TAGAWA

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