Fashion for a Clouded Mind

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  • Jika
    • Jun 2014
    • 1337

    Fashion for a Clouded Mind

    Sorry, another outbreak of Stupid Question Disorder.

    "What can I wear for my morning zazen that will keep me from freezing, but also from falling asleep again?"
    (trousers with lots of spikes and nettles, yes, but apart from that...)

    Everything was fine during the short summer when sun and birds were up with me.
    Window wide open, universe chirp chirp.

    Now it is dark and silent before sunrise, and really cold at the open window.
    I don't get a shower or get dressed for work before zazen, I wear pyjamas and a sweater.
    In spring, I used to put all the blankets around me, up to the nose, looked as if I was still in bed, only upright.

    No wonder I had trouble staying awake some days.

    What do you wear that's comfy? (I don't have appropriate sports dress that I could use.)
    What about not falling asleep again? Doing push-ups first????
    I've tried prostrations, might work, but dangerous - hit my nose on the floor .

    Zazen is a difficult sports.

    治 Ji
    花 Ka
  • KellyRok
    • Jul 2008
    • 1374

    Hello Danny,

    No stupid questions here, so don't worry. When I sit first thing in the morning or sometimes in the evenings, I stretch before I sit. It seems to help breathe some life into my muscles so I'm less likely to fall asleep. If you find you cannot keep your eyes open, try doing a little kinhin.

    I usually sit in stretchy-type clothing, like yoga pants and a t-shirt. In the winter/colder months sometimes I'll even put a blanket around my shoulders if I get chilly.

    Hope this helps...these are just a few things that have helped me.



    • Marjorie
      • Jul 2014
      • 18

      back when I practiced wicca I wore But I like loose clothes. I dont think of the idea of what Im wearing but what is wearing in my mind instead. if its comfy then I go for it.


      • Ishin
        • Jul 2013
        • 1359

        Hey Danny

        You will find there are much more stupid questions around here, especially from me. This might be a good question for Taigu, but you will have to learn what works for you. I just have too much going in the morning so I sit at night. Just adjust your clothes for the weather. I wear a bathrobe, in winter and shorts and t-shirt in summer. Maybe you will find the morning isn't the best time for you to sit. Sit sometime though

        Grateful for your practice


        • Kyonin
          Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
          • Oct 2010
          • 6739

          Hi Danny!

          I get up always early in the morning but I have a nice big cup of coffee prior to zazen. This takes me about 30 minutes, enough to get my brain in gear and ready.

          And I'm with Kelly here. Most of the times I also do a little yoga warm up before sitting. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes. That heats up my body and allows me to wear light comfortable clothes for sitting.

          In winter, when we have some cold months, I simply sit with as much clothes or blankets as I need. Just like you can see me in this video.

          I was super cold because I'm not used to air conditioners.


          Hondō Kyōnin
          奔道 協忍


          • Nindo

            Hi Danny, I have a poncho from a south American shop that works like a nice fitted blanket, or I wear my house coat over my pyjamas.
            We have good heating here and I don't open the window when it is -20


            • Daiyo
              • Jul 2014
              • 819

              Hi, we do not have serious cold here, but if I need I turn the gas heater on or wear some more clothes.

              I have two ponchos, they're common here but almost nobody except gauchos uses them.
              They're like a blanket with a hole for the head right in the middle.



              • Seimyo
                • Jan 2012
                • 861

                I hadn't thought about a poncho, but that's a great solution. My sitting space gets pretty cold in the Winter months and there's no heat up there, so I tend to fling a fleece blanket over me, but I love the idea of the poncho and it won't slide off your shoulders like a blanket.

                明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)


                • Jishin
                  • Oct 2012
                  • 4819

                  Hi Danny,

                  I have my usual dose of caffeine and may exercise for a few minutes before sitting. If I get sleepy I try to keep my eyes as open as possible but sometimes this does not work and I doze off. It is what it is.

                  Gassho, Jishin


                  • Byokan
                    Treeleaf Unsui
                    • Apr 2014
                    • 4279

                    Hi Danny,

                    I like to feel free when meditating; I usually wear a tank top or t-shirt and a long skirt or yoga pants. I keep a big soft knitted shawl next to my zafu for when it gets cold. Very important not to wear anything tickly or itchy! I do a little yoga before I sit. One thing that really helps me in the morning is drinking a glass of water when I first wake up. I find that I wake up slower if I forget to do this. Also I make sure I get a minute or two of bright light, to let my brain know it's morning.


                    p.s. maybe we should make a Treeleaf meditation poncho, how cool would that be??
                    Last edited by Byokan; 08-20-2014, 06:58 AM.
                    展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
                    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.


                    • Kokuu
                      Treeleaf Priest
                      • Nov 2012
                      • 6750

                      maybe we should make a Treeleaf meditation poncho, how cool would that be??
                      All of life is our poncho!

                      Danny, I have a couple of different weight blankets but also tend to start with the blanket around my shoulders and then drop it to just around my legs if I get too hot.

                      As others have said, a wee bowl of tea or coffee helps with staying awake.



                      • Nindo

                        Originally posted by kokuu
                        all of life is our poncho!


                        • Troy
                          • Sep 2013
                          • 1318

                          I have tried sitting in the morning and before bed, but I had the same problem of falling asleep so now sit in my car on my lunch break. It is one the only times and places I can guarantee not being interrupted and usually don't have the falling asleep problem.


                          • Jika
                            • Jun 2014
                            • 1337

                            Thank you all for your answers!
                            I think I'll try the caffeine-approach (maybe a pine-sound-boiled-tea would be nice?) and look for something ponchoesque...
                            I'd like to cover my arms too, so this "poncho" will probably just be a blanket with an opening for the head in the middle. Maybe a collar, a zipper on the front, and a sling-pocket on the inside, to rest my arms in...
                            I want to stick with sitting in the morning, as I have been doing so for almost five months now, and forming habits takes time. I find sitting in the evening more work (to let thoughts pass), but also easier to do (not to fall asleep), a whole different affair.
                            I also often fall asleep when trying zazen on the train after work (not bad).

                            Thanks for taking the time.
                            治 Ji
                            花 Ka


                            • Taigu
                              Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
                              • Aug 2008
                              • 2710

                              Now Danny, this is exactly why the kesa, the robe of sitting is designed for, primarily to cover the body-mind and protect it from heat and cold. A light kesa for summer, a thick one for winter. Wrapped in the Buddhist robe, all is well. You may also wrap yourself in a blanket wearing it on the left shoulder.
                              this is all I have to say on this although it is a profound topic which I will address in further teachings.