Guam Buddhist Sangha

American Humanistic Buddhism

Meditation Exercises in Class May 3, 2011

Filed under: Meditation — memeandbojo @ 10:08 pm

This has taken me a little time to do since I had to translate it from Chinese to English (a thank you to Kaylynne and Spring for all the help), but I thought it would be nice to show everyone what happens usually in a meditation class at Fo Guang Shan in Guam. I would suggest attending at least one class and then using the below exercise guide as a go-by for independent study or when the temple is unable to have a teacher for meditation available. Remember you can attend the temple any day except on Mondays and the meditation hall is always available to you from 10am-5pm.

First off, you do the below exercises to stretch out the legs so that they do not fall asleep while meditating and also to improve the flow of the life energy. You will also do a walking meditation following the below exercises. Visualization or clinging to images that pop in your mind while meditating is discouraged. Sometimes images will pop in as random thoughts will and it is best to free them and not cling to them, accept them but allow them to disappear as you release your breath. The images are merely distractions along with the thoughts which take you away from your meditation practice. A practitioner clinging to an image that has popped into the mind is like a child day dreaming while in class. A clear unattached mind is one of the goals in sitting meditation.

Exercises to Warm Up Before Meditation











Now that you have completed those exercises, you will begin your walking meditation. While walking, you swing your arms by your side as far as you outstretch your legs in the walk. You will start out at an even pace but build up to a brisk one and clear your mind as you walk only focusing your eyes on what is in front of you. If thoughts appear in your mind, you acknowledge them and allow them to flow out with your breath as you breath. You will circle the entire room at least four times in your walking meditation. When you come to the last lap, you steadily slow down and then you pause and stand  before your seat. When everyone is back to their original place, you will sit and begin your sitting meditation. Of course, when you start out your sitting meditation, you remove anything that would make a sound or cause distraction. Watches, jewelry, glasses are removed. Cell phones are set on silence and all objects can be placed in the storage area below you. Please also do not wear after shave lotion, cologne or any type of fragrance since this also can be distracting. Eat your meal one hour or more before attending the class and avoid onions and garlic. The instructor will usually talk to you before you begin, providing you with a brief overview of how to breath, but once the lights are dimmed, your practice for the class begins.

 

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