Chan Meditation Roadmap

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 bodies die, it will still be impossible to entirely control our bodily functions.

If nothing else, human beings are incapable of preventing the gradual diminishing of the sun's thermal energy, so the weakening and eventual destruction of the Earth is inevitable. Again, as human beings cannot stop the aging of the physical organs, the death of the physical body is inevitable, too.

However, as long as the Earth remains inhabitable, we should do what we can to improve our natural environment, so that it can become more favorable to human life and existence. Likewise, while we are still alive, we should do our best to improve our physical and mental health, so that we can live more comfortable and happy lives.
 

Mental and Physical Power of Mankind - Chan

Modern science may help us with these tasks, but we should not leave the responsibility entirely to science. This is because the promotion of science depends on the mental and physical power of mankind, and the only method to bring out man's greatest intellectual and physical ability, hidden deeply within our bodies and minds, is through the practice of Chan (Japanese: Zen) meditation.

Although the methods of Chan meditation trace their origins to the wisdom of the East, in reality, East or West, all great religious figures, philosophers, outstanding statesmen, scientists, and artists benefit to some extent from the power of Chan meditative concentration.

Even if they do not assume the specific Chan meditative postures or use the name Chan, nevertheless their ability to exercise extraordinary wisdom and perseverance corresponds essentially with the effects of Chan meditation! They are just unaware that such ability is the outcome of meditative concentration. Because of their exceptional endowments, they are able to obtain the power of meditative absorption without intentional effort, which then leads to their prominence in their respective fields.
 

Chan Is the Best Means

Since Chan meditation, as we already know, is the best means of uncovering one's hidden intellectual and physical power, it is not difficult for training in Chan to transform an ordinary person into a great one, and make the ungifted brilliant, the frail robust, the brilliant and robust even more so, thus making it possible for all to become perfect.

Therefore, Chan meditation is the best means to perfect human life, advance society, and improve the entire environment. For an ordinary person, Chan meditation can strengthen one's resolve and change one's temperament.

Physically, it helps one regain vitality; psychologically, it gives one new hope as well as a new understanding of the surrounding environment. Therefore, Chan meditation can give you a completely new life, and make you realize how fortunate, free, and vivacious you really are.

The effects of meditation come primarily from concentrating the mind on one point, whether abstract or concrete. Therefore, meditative concentration can be reached in any position: walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. Whether one is engaged in deep thought, silent prayer, prostration, recitation, or even close observation or attentive listening, whenever one's mind is focused single-pointedly, there is the possibility of attaining meditative concentration.

However, instances of achieving meditative concentration under such circumstances are few and far between, and for the vast majority of people, it can never happen easily. It may have occurred once or twice to a very few people, but it cannot be frequently repeated at will.

It is because of this that the methods of Chan practice developed in the East are necessary. If you wish to obtain such experience, and therefore go to study under a Chan teacher, you will find that these methods can make the experience of Chan, otherwise obtainable only by accident, a treasure that everyone has the opportunity to obtain.