Chan Meditation Roadmap

Meditation Has Become A Worldwide Trend

Although nowadays, many people enjoy a materially abundant life, it often comes at the expense of increased pressure from work, relationships, society, and family, leaving most people overwhelmed. Some degree of stress could, in some circumstances, be a driving force for progress. Nevertheless, both physical and mental health can be seriously affected when one is exposed to great pressure for a long stretch of time. To release pressure, massage, aromatic therapy, soothing bubbles,  the...

Why Do Busy People Need Chan Group Practice Even More?

Many people regard Chan practice as being only for those who have time to spare. In fact, the busier you are, the more you need Chan practice. Master Sheng Yen once said that the busiest period in life is the most precious period, and also the period of time in which stability of the mind is most needed. Those who are busy have the most need for the concepts and methods of Chan.   When we sit down to meditate, our observation of the mind is sharpened. In stillness, we can practice in...

What is Chan?

  Chan exists universally and eternally. There is no need for any teacher to transmit it; what is transmitted is just the method by which one can personally experience Chan. In China, the Chan school developed from Indian Dhyana Buddhism, which taught methods of meditative concentration aimed at the attainment of an absorbed, concentrated state of mind. This school later spread to other countries from China, and is called Zen in Japan, Son in Korea, and Thien in Vietnam.  &n...

The Tresure in Chan Meditation

Advancement of Material Civilization? In modern times, the great strides of science have solved many problems deriving from the natural and social environments, as well as from human physiology and psychology. And yet, with the advancement of material civilization, the problems waiting to be solved have actually increased. In fact, until the day the Earth perishes, it will remain impossible to completely overcome the problems posed by nature. Similarly, until the day our physical b...

The Principles of Chan

  The principle of Chan is taking body and mind from a state of confusion and disparity through a condition of one-mind to the experience of no-mind (or no-thought). This is the result of letting go of one's clinging attachment to the sense of "I," and to the illusion of the permanence of the self and phenomena. The sixth Chinese Chan patriarch, Huineng (638-713), once said, "From ancient times up to the present, all teaching have established no-thought (or n...

The Necessary Equipment for Practicing Sitting Meditation

Cushion Cushions come in many different textures and shapes, both round and square, and one could make one's own choice according to his or her own needs.  A cushion is used to lift up one's buttocks, keeping the spine upright to avoid drowsiness during sitting. If one cushion is not enough, it is recommended to stack another one on top or use a towel. If no cushion is available at home, a pillow or sofa cushion could also be a temporary option.   Sitting Ma...

Three Stages of Chan Meditation

  Stage 1 To balance :the development of body and mind in order to attain mental and physical health. Various methods of physical exercise for walking, standing, sitting, and reclining are used. They are unique exercise methods combining Indian Hatha Yoga and Chinese daoyin (exercises for channeling internal energy), and can bring physical health as well as results in meditation. Thus, one who practices Chan well will definitely have a strong body capable of enduring ha...

In the Spirit of Chan

  Perhaps some of you have heard the saying Chan (Zen) is not established on words and language and Chan is a transmission outside conventional teachings. But if Chan does not rely on words, why would anyone want to read a Chan book? Is not that a contradiction? Although Chan is not established on words, it has, among the many sects of Buddhism in China, left behind the most writing. The primary goal of these writings, however, is to show you or teach you that Chan is not establis...

The Attitude Toward Chan Practice

Some people say that mountain climbers are really wasting their time. They have nothing better to do so they climb mountains, tire themselves out, and come back with nothing to show for it. Yet a person who climbs a tall mountain sees the world and experiences nature in a very different way from someone who never leaves his own front door. Genuine mountain climbers do not struggle up great precipices for the glory of it. They know that glory is only a label given by others. A true climber c...