Zazen involves the simple, but not so simple, focus of your attention to your breathing. Inhaling and exhaling, inhaling and exhaling, inhaling and exhaling. This goes on typically for a 40 minute period. What also goes on is a lot of monkey mind chatter and the mind losing focus of the breath.
One method I use to help my focus and keep my zazen practice as pure as I can is to remember that each breath is a new breath. Each one is unique. I tell myself there is life and death in each inhale and exhale, respectively.
Inhaling I breath in new life, exhaling I let go and die. I imagine that I am reincarnated with each breath...and in many ways I am. I know I am alive when I inhale, because if after an exhale, if there is no inhale, well this body has decided to relinquish my life-giving force. So, I am also thankful for each inhale...and exhale. Life and death are contained in it...they make up one breath. They make up life.
So, when you find yourself struggling upon your zafu, hopefully this tip might help you stay with your practice.
Thanks for visiting. My Dharma name is Shinzen. I began studying Goshindo Karate under the watchful eye of Shihan Paul Dean in 1969. Yes, I now have gray hair. I am also Lay-ordained in Soto Zen under the tutelage of Rev. Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center.