In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fo Guang Shan will hold its 2021 Buddha’s Birthday Celebration once again with the Virtual Bathing of the Buddha for those unable to personally visit a temple. Join us online by using your computer mouse as a ladle to bathe Prince Siddhartha. May we purify our minds and unite in prayer for the world through the Virtual Bathing of the Buddha.
Please Click Here to read Meditation Part 1 to Part 4
Experienced mediators can enter meditative concentration no matter where they are, be it beside a stream in a forest, inside a mountain cave, or among some graves, but for those beginning the practice it is best to choose an indoor area that is away from outside noises. Such locations bring better results. The lighting in the room should be moderate: too much light is harsh on the eyes, while too little light can make one drowsy. It is best if an image of the Buddha is placed in the room, so that one can make offerings by burning incense as a source of inspiration. One should also not sit where there is a draft to avoid catching a cold.
Before sitting in meditation one should also pay attention to how one eats and dresses. One should not meditate less than an hour after finishing a meal, since at that time blood has rushed to the stomach and intestines and one can easily become drowsy. One should not be too full or too hungry; seventy to eighty percent full is best. One’s clothing should be loose, comfortable, and soft to promote good circulation. Having sufficient sleep will also prevent one from falling asleep during meditation and wasting precious time.
Once all preparatory work is complete, one can then begin sitting in meditation. In the Chan School, sitting meditation is generally divided into three stages: *3 regulating the body, regulating the breath, and regulating the mind.
*3 A more complete explanation can be found in Master Zhizhe’s smaller text Stopping and Seeing (小止觀).
All 2021 retreats and public and special events have been put on hold.