Rite of Meditation

  1. Buddha Praise
  2. Proclaim of Meditation
  3. Sitting Meditation
  4. Symptoms

Proclaim of Meditation


At sunset:

First watch, solemnly practice sitting meditation
The mind in stillness shines like the sun
For thousands of lifetimes, it had never been borned or terminated
No need for birth or termination, so what's there to terminate?
Contemplate that all phenomenons are unreal
The true nature is empty, therefore, no need for utilizing or discarding
If one knows the true mind is formless
In stillness, he constantly awares

Nam Mo Sakyamuni Buddha
(3 times. Each time, pound the gong. Everyone recites after)


At midnight:

At fifth watch, the Prajna wisdom shines infinitely
In mindlessness, it emits through the Three Realms
To discern the true mind, should attain the nature of no differentiation
Carefully not to arise the false mind, immediately appears the true mind
The marvelous dharma is unimaginable
It's useless to chase the true mind
Being mindless is the true finding
If one keeps looking for it, he/she is still absent minded


Sitting Meditation


There are 3 stages: Entering, dwelling, and Ending.

  1. Entering
    (Cushion ready)

    Prior to meditation session, lay out the mat and place the cushion on it. Sit on the cushion with your spine locate at the center of it. Move you body back and forth to ensure the steadiness before crossing your legs. Loosen your belt and necked collar. Then, erect your body.

    Full Lotus posture: Place your left leg on your right thigh, and right leg on you left thigh. Then, place your right hand on your left hand and the tips of two thumbs should touch each other. Depend on your condition, your eyes are half closed or completely closed. But usually, they're opened by 1/3. The eyesight is leveled not farther than 9 inches from the point of intersection of two legs. The ear flaps are leveled above the shoulders. The tip of your nose should point at the navel and the tips of two thumbs. Do not level your body too straight or too bent. Note that the bending head and body could cause sleepiness.

    Move your body three times strongly, then lightly. Control your breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Inhale in perceiving that the fresh air spreads through the entire body. Exhale in perceiving that all afflictions and illnesses are terminated. Breathe strongly, then softly for three times. Next, breathe normally and steadily by the nose. Your face should be joyful and composed, while the lips and teeth are touching each others. The tongue is placed uncurled at the upper part of the mouth.

    Half Lotus Posture: The only difference is placing one leg on the top of the other one. It depends on your preference.

  2. Dwelling

    There are 3 ways for beginners:

    1. Breath counting: Observe the breathing process while counting from 1 to 10. There are 2 forms: short and long.

      Short form: Take a deep breath, then count 1. Exhale all, then count 2. Continue the breathing and counting process until it's 10. Then recount the breaths.

      Long form: After a cycle of inhaling and exhaling, count 1. Continue counting each cycle until 10 is reached. Recount the breaths until the end of meditation session.

      If your count is messed up, reset it to 1. After a while of practicing and the practitioners could thoroughly control the counting, they can move on the second stage of meditation, which is the "Breath observation."

    2. Breath Observation: Observe your breath by knowing where it's at while you inhaling and exhaling. During the observation, you should aware that your life depends on the breaths. Exhaling without inhaling will terminate the life. Since the breath is impermanent, your life is also impermanent. When the breathing is well done, practitioners will move on to the third stage: "Aware of the false thoughts."

    3. Aware of the false thoughts: This is a focus of the practicing at all Zen monasteries. From the stage of observing the breaths, the practitioners progress to the stage of attaining serenity without focusing on breathing. At the moment a false thought arises, you immediate know not to follow it. When the false thought subsides, your mind becomes bright.

      As you continue this practicing method, the false thoughts will arise less, the "knowing" exists, and the "master" (true nature) appears. This is called "Concentration and wisdom arise at once," taught by Sixth patriarch Hui Neng. It's also called "always knowing."

  3. Ending
    (Cushion ready)

    The ending session will take from 10 to 15 minutes.

    Silently recite the "Merit Transference" verse.

    Breathe strongly, then softly for three times. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Inhale in perceiving that the blood travels through all places of the body. Exhale in perceiving that all afflictions and illnesses are terminated. Next, move your shoulders, each side for 5 times. Bend and raise your head 5 times. Turn your head from left to right, and right to left 5 times, then bend and raise your head 1 more time.

    Extend your arms. Move your body lightly then strongly for 7 times. After that, put your hands on the knees, then press.

    Next step is to massage your face massage both ears, head, front and back of the neck. Massage each location 20 times. Then, massage your shoulders and sides, each side for 5 times. Massage your back, chest, and stomach in vertical direction. Do each part 5 times. Massage the sides of your hips, then the thighs. Rub them down toward the knees.

    Rub two middle fingers until feeling warm. Then, gently touch your eyes in-out or out-in direction. Each side takes 5 times.

    Next, hold your toes and unleash the legs. Rub the legs in up-and-down motion to circulate the blood. Rub the sole of your feet. Finally, straighten your legs, rub your calves down to the tip of your feet three times while sitting on the cushion.

    Take the cushion out and continue to massage carefully your body.

    Stand up, recite Prajna Suttra (The Heart Suttra). Finally, recite the "Merit Transference" verse.

    Prostrate to pay a homage to the Three Jewels. (3 times)


Symptoms



  1. Salivation: Means that you have been unfocused. You should wake yourself up.

  2. Head Tension: Means that you're too aggressive. You should relax yourself.

  3. Back Pain: Means your back is bending a bit much. You need to straighten it a bit.

  4. Chest Pain: Means that your body is too straightened. You need to bend it a bit. If your breath is not through, you need to take long and light breaths.

  5. shoulder Pain: Check if two shoulders are leveled. Possibly, one is drooping. If both shoulders are painful, it means that your arms are too tense. Loosen your arms as well as your body.

  6. Pain In Your Sides: Your body is skew. You need to erect your body.