|Chan Meditation Program
“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
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.
Weekly Meetings (EMD)
We meet every Saturday and Sunday to learn and deepen our 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.
Through group learning, discussion and practice, participants have the opportunity to learn from each other’s views and experiences. They can be motivated and gain confidence in their practice as well. Moreover, the resident monastics are present for questions and/or guidance.
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Besides weekly English-language meditation and discussion (EMD), we also have the Half-Day Meditation Retreat taking place from 9am to 12pm on one Saturday of every month. This is a good way to get a taste of a Chan retreat. It includes sitting and walking meditation, eight-form moving meditation, mindful yoga, and a Dharma talk. Anyone who has taken the beginner’s meditation workshop or has previous experience in Chan/Zen practice is welcome. Registration is required.
This full day of meditation practice not only immerses you in peace and quietude but also infuses new energy and stability to your busy life, and prepares you for more serious practice and intensive residential meditation retreats. One-day retreats include several sitting periods, walking meditation, mindful yoga, eight-form moving meditation, and Dharma talks.
These retreats usually start on Friday and end on Sunday afternoon. They follow the traditional Chan monastery schedule, starting early in the morning and using concentrated group practice. There are numerous thirty-minute sitting periods throughout the day. In addition to sitting meditation, the retreat also includes mindful work practice, walking meditation, chanting, and gentle yoga exercises. Interviews with the teacher are available for direct guidance regarding the method of practice, and daily Dharma talks elucidate the details of investigating one’s mind. It is an opportunity to strengthen your practice by sitting together with other experienced practitioners. It is also excellent preparation for our longer intensive retreats.
Intensive Seven-day Retreat
Intensive retreats are the entry point for serious Chan study and practice. They follow the traditional Chan monastery retreat schedule: waking up at 5am and ending at 10pm each day, you immerse yourself in alternating periods of sitting, mindful yoga, eight-form moving meditation, and walking meditation. Personal interviews with the teachers are available for you to receive direct guidance. Dharma talks are given daily to shed light on your practice and understanding of Dharma.