I am a new student, learning about the ways of Chan meditation. In fact Dharma Drum Mountain introduced me to the Chan discipline through the introductory workshop. Even as a beginner, I was thrilled to be oﬀered a seat to participate in the 1 day meditation retreat on 3/17/19.
“Chance”, brought me to DDM one Saturday for the open group meditation session. To be honest I was quite unprepared for the group setting. I was not mentally balanced to meditate without some sort of guidance. Nevertheless, that is a day I will never forget. Within the 3 hour time frame I was able to relax, breath, let go, and just enjoy the moment of allowing myself to learn and feel my way through the peaceful vibration that radiated from DDM.
In fact, my most recent experience at DDM for the 1-day retreat ﬁlled me with indescribable waves of warmth, messages and elevation. Until my visits to DDM, meditation had always been self directed and in the comfort of my home or personal outdoor space. I was really wasn’t sure what to expect at a meditation retreat. The day began with a short introduction directly into the ﬁrst meditation sitting. Personally, this was the best sitting for me. I was humbled to receive a spiritual message as to why I needed to be present at the retreat. As life would have it I was in physical pain. Meditating allowed me to separate my mind from the discomfort: my aches/pains (physical/emotional), my anxiety/worries…it simply gave me a break. It allowed for relaxation to reach me holistically. Next, came the teaching of a prostration. A prostration is a formal bow done 4 times to represent aspects of kindness/gratefulness. I had seen a plenty of people bow to the Buddha at DDM and was thrilled to learn how to properly. I gathered that in the ﬁrst bow one asks for help from the Buddha. In the second bow you give Thanks for your teacher. In the third bow one may ask for forgiveness and in the fourth bow one may move closer to, “releasing the sense of self”. I’m sure there are more details of the prostration, these are just the points that stayed in memory. The experience was humbling, spending the day in noble silence was humbling, the group prayer before our wonderfully prepared meal was humbling, the closing statements the retreat ended were humbling.
From entrance to exit it was welcoming, encouraging and enlightening. It was this day that changed the direction of my energy which then aﬀected my life in so many positive ways. The 2 videos shown reinforced the acceptance and openness of the Chan practice. These sparked my urge to ﬁll myself with the available wisdom of the Chan masters and other practitioners in hopes of developing a stationary alignment with this beautiful art full of movement, relaxation, release, and revelation-Chan. As I continue to practice the method, Chan is ﬁnding new ways to relax my body/mind and my meditation has deepened. Talk about an “easy button” this amazingness of Chan is readily available to me or anyone…what a gift. I greatly, Thank the staﬀ, volunteers and guides at DDM. I appreciate all of your hard work and time.
17 March 2019
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