English Meditation and Discussion (EMD)

Welcome to English Meditation and Discussion (EMD), a group for English speakers who are interested in studying and practicing Chan Buddhism. 



What is Chan?

“Chan is a form of Buddhism that originated in China. It was transmitted to Japan where it became known as Zen, the name most familiar to Westerners. The ultimate goal of Chan is the realization of one’s true nature and the expression of this realization in our interactions with others. The goal is nothing less than the attainment of our full potential as Buddhas — the embodiment of wisdom and compassion.”                                            “What is Chan?” - DDM Chan Magazine Oct’11

“Chan is not a religion, not a philosophy, and surely not mysterious or weird sorcery. It is the wisdom of living, the cultivation of body and mind, and a principle and guideline for spiritual development.  It is also the best method for influencing and purifying the environment.”                                               “Liberated in Stillness and Motion” – Master Sheng Yen

Why practice Chan?

 “Chan takes simple normal living as its basis, lessening afflictions as its purpose, being relaxed and at ease.  One does not regret the past; rather, one actively prepares for the future, moving steadily ahead while being fully in the present.  These are the benefits of practicing Chan.”                        “Liberated in Stillness and Motion” – Master Sheng Yen

 “Many masters in the history of Chinese Chan Buddhism emphasized practice as daily living.  Whether monastic or lay, a follower uses the concepts and methods of Chan in daily life.  By doing so, one experiences calmness and ease while being spontaneous and lively amidst mundane reality.”                  “Liberated in Stillness and Motion” – Master Sheng Yen


EMD meets every Saturday from 9:00 am until noon to learn and deepen understanding of the principal concepts of Buddhism, practice Chan Meditation, and learn how to apply Buddhist concepts to one’s daily life.  Activities, well-balanced between studying and practicing, include eight form moving meditation, sitting meditation, Dharma talk videos or book study, and group discussion/sharing.

Understanding the Buddhist concepts helps set a clear and correct direction for practitioners to focus on. Chan meditation practices develop a foundation of calmness and awareness for practitioners to deepen their understanding of Buddhist concepts, cultivate compassion and wisdom, and to realize Chan.  The practice of Chan meditation also benefits people physically, psychologically and spiritually.  Chan is lively wisdom and it should be experienced in one’s everyday life.  

Through group learning, discussion and practice, participants have the opportunity to learn from each other’s views and experiences.  They can get motivated and gain confidence in their practices as well.  Moreover, the resident monastics are present for questions and/or guidance.  To further enhance one’s practice, there is also a half-day or one-day meditation retreat every month.

After each EMD group meeting, you are welcome to join us for a vegetarian lunch at the center.

Anyone who is interested in Chan 
Buddhist meditation is welcome to join, no matter your level of experience.  If this will be your first time attending the group, please email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or call (626-350-4388) in advance. 

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to all meetings. 


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