It is so easy for one to become tense in situations, both mentally and physically, while facing different pressures in life. It’s unavoidable that our efficiency for learning and working falters under these conditions.
However, with Chan meditation one can easily place one’s own mind and body in a state of relaxation, thoroughly easing the muscles and nerves within.
How does one make a start with learning relaxation?
Director of the Chan Hall of Dharma Drum Mountain, Venerable Guo Yuan, pointed out that simply smiling would make a great start.
He explained that as you smile, all of your facial muscles would naturally relax, and your body would simultaneously be at ease. Smiling naturally allows you to feel a sense of relaxation, even if you are not in Chan meditation.
“Relaxation is the foundation of Chan meditation. If you are fully relaxed, you will naturally smile from the bottom of your heart. So, simply smiling is a good approach for beginners who are learning Chan meditation,” Venerable Guo Yuan said.
Venerable Guo Yuan stressed however, that if you are really not in a good mood, please don’t force yourself to smile. He went on to add, that in an unhappy moment, you need to be able to detect the conditions of your own mind and body, and continue to be aware of how you respond to these conditions.
The year 2012 is the 20th anniversary of the ‘Protecting Spiritual Environment Campaign’. Venerable Guo Yuan encouraged one to often smile as a blessing towards others and as a basic approach of learning Chan meditation.
Have you smiled lately?
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)