Breema & Zen

 

The principles of Breema and Zen are very much aligned. When I do Breema, I experience it as Zen in motion.

Still, there are some differences.

The main one may be that in Breema, we deal with difficult situations (any situation actually) by coming back to the weight of the body and the breath. This allows us to be here, now, and relate to the situation from a space of centeredness.

In Zen, we are encouraged to take difficult situations as a koan. To stay with it, contain it, go fully into it, become it, live it, to throw everything – energy, emotions, thoughts – into it. Through this, we live it fully and allow it to work on us. There is no separation as our life becomes the situation or issue. We contain in from spaciousness – no matter how large it seems, it is still experienced as only a small part of the spacious mind. And we can relate to it from Big Mind – the view that embraces everything and is beyond dualities.

Process Work is a third approach, where we pick up any symptom and follow the process behind it. The symptom can be any characteristic of our experience (inner/outer world), and the process is followed in any channel (taste, smell, hearing, visual, movement, relationships, larger world). It allows us to process it in another way than Zen, although the outcome may be similar.

Zen allows us to go fully into and live the situation and our experience. Process Work helps us unfold the process behind it. And Breema allows us to relate to it from centeredness and grounding. Each is an invaluable tool.

My experience so far tells me that the Breema approach – if used alone – could set up a shadow situation. Some aspects of our experience may be put aside and not processed sufficiently. Although going deeper into Breema may resolve that. It is after all a profound practice where the non-separateness of existence is deeply experienced, and where we relax and melt into our experiences – no matter what they are.

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