Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991) is a continuation of Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974). Phaedrus, the author's alter ego, spends his days on a boat working on philosophy. He meets Lila in a bar, has a one-night stand with her. A common friend challenges Phaedrus to explain why a woman like Lila has value.
This question and the events that follow serve as the background for Pirsing to describe The Metaphysics of Quality as a theory of reality: incorporating Sophism, East Asian & indigenous American philosophy.
Why is the focus on breath during meditation? Why not a sound or feeling?
All are valid options, but the breath is the default because it's one action that happens unconsciously (we can breathe without thinking of breathing) but that we can also direct if we pay attention to it. Breathing is like a bridge between two worlds.
In Zen this is called effortless effort.
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