This was my third trip to Antaiji. We had a meeting with Muho Sensei the day before sesshin, which is 10 hours of zazen, divided into 45 minute seated meditation and 15 minute walking meditation periods, with 2 blocks of 5 hours. In the meeting with Muho Sensei, a participant asked the question, “What do you think happiness is?” Muho sensei said, “Happiness is like the 65% of water in the cup. Do you think you already have 65% water or you want the other 35% water to full of your cup?” It depends on the way you think. When you feel happy there is happiness.
I remember last year in the July retreat, in the same meeting before sesshin, Muho Sensei said, “Zazen is your Mysore practice”. Yes, I think Ashtanga practice and zen practice are really similar, and both practices are difficult for everybody, even if you are not a beginner.
At last year’s retreat, I woke up at 1:40 am every morning, and did full primary practice before 4:00 am zazen. But on this trip, I slept a little more, and woke up at 2:00 am to do half primary every morning. I did not practice yoga on the day of sesshin off because it was moon day, and I did intermediate series practice on the last day because there was no zazen and yoga class in the morning.
On this trip we had 3 yoga classes: two Ashtanga beginner led classes in the morning at 4:00 am before zazen, and one stretch class at 7:00 pm after zazen. I am really happy to share yoga with more people, and happy to see that more and more people are interested in ashtanga practice.