You are each cordially invited to participate in our Beginning Meditation Class at the Fo Guang Shan Temple. It matters not your level as long as you are there.
To preview if you have not attended a class:
The class begins with a few stretching out exercises. This is a warm-up for the muscles and the mind. We than participate in a walking meditation. In the walking meditation, we walk mindfully focusing the mind without being distracted by our thoughts. We do not look around but instead concentrate on relaxing our body and mind. As we walk, we gradually take longer strides and swing our arms. With head up and chest out, we work up to a sweat and keep an even distance from the person in front of us. During this time, we can notice our thoughts and attempt to prevent daydreaming. Our walk should not be in vain. This is the time to tackle the random thoughts and face them without fear so that we can let them go easier each time they enter. It is similar to working the muscles to build up strength in them, but here we are building the mind’s strength to free the thoughts.
After the walking meditation, our muscles are stretched out and we than begin the sitting meditation. All jewelry, watches, etc should be removed so that silence can be observed during this time. We focus on the breath by silently counting each breath in and releasing. Each inhale is counted until a total count of ten is reach and we begin our count again. We count in intervals of ten since the mind can latch on to the count if counted over ten or under ten. If for some reason, a thought enters, we release it and restart our breath count to one.
I think that the furthest that I have gotten to my count is four, and I have not yet made it to a total of ten counts without having to restart my breath count. I have a very long way to go with my sitting meditation and taming my mind.
The Venerable stated that not only is meditation good for the mind but also the body. She said that when she first started meditation, she lost over 30+ pounds. I am hoping by the time that I am able to reach a breath count of 10, ten times in a row, that I will be a little more weightless and alot more peaceful in my mind. For me to stop the mad monkey in my mind for just a few minutes would be an accomplishment and that is my goal.
I hope you can join us on Saturday at 2:00pm and develop a goal of your own that is sure to make your life easier, healthier and a little less stressed.
(There is also now available a book in the temple bookstore that explains Chinese meditation for all of those wishing to further their understanding of it beyond the class.)