12 Points of Regulation in Zen Meditation Practice

There are twelve points of regulation that are traditionally listed as important to a successful meditation practice in the Zen tradition. Here they are:

1) Regulate food, water, and sleep.

2) A quiet room and loose clothing.

3) A thick cushion.

4) Adopt an awe-inspiring deportment that makes everything ‘equal’.

5) Assume the full-lotus – right-foot over left thigh, left-foot over right-thigh.

6) Assume the half-lotus – with the left-leg laid over the right-leg.

7) Left-hand should be placed on the right-hand with thumbs touching.

8) Adjust the posture forward and backward and settle whilst regulating the breath.

9) Align the spine with the shoulder and pelvic girdles.

10) An aligned posture allows the breath to be full and deep.

11)  The ears should be aligned with the shoulders; the nose with the navel.  The tongue should touch the palate and the lips and teeth should be closed.

12) Eyes should remain slightly open to avoid drowsiness.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

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