Chan Practice

Stay Happy

Stay Happy-MasterHsinTaoWhen in plights, how can we break through the bottleneck quickly? How can we maintain a positive attitude in a busy life? Well, there's an excellent method, which is Chan practice. I've personally experimented with this method and the effect is remarkable. There are four steps in the Ling Jiou Mountain's Peace Meditation. One could experience purity and serenity – so our inner world is free from pressures, noises, and distractions. When our body and mind are approaching a state of clarity and calmness, we'd experience vastness and peace. The more you work on it, the more beautiful you'd realize the mind. 

Through Chan practice, we can see the luminosity of our Buddha-nature. The nature of our mind has always been there like a sun without a moment of darkness. The nature of the mind is luminous day and night. Despite the intermittent clouds and fogs of conceptions, the sun can never be completely veiled. Clouds are just a temporary obscuration.  

Stay Happy-MasterHsinTaoHow should we maintain a happy mood? As long as our mind stays grounded and not to be distracted. Often, our minds generate attachments towards the environment we perceive. However, we must train ourselves for a mind not to attach with whatever we perceive. In that case, our body and mind will be free. Even with the sounds we hear, we should bring it into the very core of our minds. Listen with your mind to return to the origin of our nature.

Our minds are luminous. When we are awakened, the light will never fade. When the mind is serene and at peace, we can experience clarity. Dharma is the method to be free from suffering for the ultimate happiness. In the samsara, may it be a loop of a thinking pattern, a loop with what you hear, a loop with your thoughts, or loops of forms, sound, smell, taste, and touch – all are the attachment on notions. Yet, mankind tends to attach to conditions that prevent us from freedom. If we could be at ease, we’d find a sense of belonging inside. Too often our minds fluctuate in the illusory-like phenomena. The three poisons (greed, aversion, ignorance) arise from the experience of losses, gaining, emotions, sentiments, and so forth. Like the hot asphalt that sticks, our minds are glued to afflictions and all sorts of conceptions. How can we set the mind free at ease? Do not let it attach or cling onto anything. Let your mind be as it is. The mind is nothing physical. 

Stay Happy-MasterHsinTaoWhile the realization of the mind seldom happens overnight, it is a contemplative analysis in daily life. We can practice and experience it in every moment. Gradually, we can break the habit of attaching. Chan practice is one of the methods to transcend the habitual clinging to phenomena. Our spirituality is not embedded in the body or anything else. It is as luminous, formless, and notionless as it is. The body is merely a form which the mind "mistakes" it as the basis of attachment. But, who were we before the presence of this body? Keep in mind that Chan practice doesn't encourage us to seek the mind in any form. Instead, we must detach from the conditioning.

As we are aware, time is life and vice versa. To sustain our living, we need to work and make money. Unfortunately, we are lost in the pursuit of wealth too easily. How can we maintain awareness while making a secular living? Do not attach to money, emotions, anger, hatred, etc. Spirituality is to be free from attachments. I hope that all of you could apply this method at all times. When tired, take a five or ten-minute break with Chan practice, you’ll find it very helpful!