One-Day Chan Retreat by the DDM Anhe Branch Monastery

150 people participated in the One-Day Chan Retreat organized by the DDM Anhe Branch on October 26, 2014 to promote physical and mental wellbeing. According to Ven. Guo Shiuh, director of the DDM Anhe Branch Monastery, we may not be able to reap any short-term benefits from Chan meditation; however, in the long run and through consistent practice, we could lessen the arising of ill-will and negative thoughts.

Under the guidance of Ven. Guo Shiuh, participants learnt to let go of the past and future through meditation; in doing so, delusion can be minimized. In addition, participants were taught “walking meditation”, in which, they concentrated on lifting and lowering their feet; an action most people do not pay any particular attention to; learning “walking meditation” enabled them to practice and be mindful at all times.

Ven. Guo Shiuh also mentioned that Chan meditation could increase our mindfulness; a clear and relaxed mind is also a more positive and tolerant mind. Therefore, we should strive to withstand the pain in our legs during sitting meditation, changing posture only when the pain is unbearable. In the Chan Hall, we adopt the attitude of taking things as they come and learning to get along with ourselves in order to realize the true meaning of peace.

Participant, Chan Jung Chin, was uncomfortable and ill at ease during the first sitting. However, his discomfort slowly disappeared as his mind settled and became calmer through careful guidance of the venerable. Zhang Pin Ciao indicated that she learnt a lot during this retreat; for example, during lunch, the venerable indicated that every meal in the monastery is hard to come by and advised everyone to appreciate the gift mother nature bestows upon us.

All the participants indicated that they have learnt a lot even though the One-Day Chan Retreat consisted of only three sitting meditation sessions and one walking meditation session. Ven. Guo Shiuh also mentioned that in addition to meditation, participants could use chanting, such as chanting the Buddha’s name, mantras or sutras, to relax the mind and body and ultimately achieve inner peace. This calmness could be radiated outward for a more harmonious society.

(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by Leefah)

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