Sitting meditation is a practice that, in the mind, calms wandering thoughts and manifests the true nature. It is also a method that, in the body, causes the fire energy to descend and the water energy to ascend. As delusive thoughts are calmed, the water energy will ascend; as the water energy ascends, the delusive thoughts will be calmed. Consequently, one’s body and mind will be in perfect harmony, and both the spirit and energy will be refreshed.
However, if delusive thoughts are not calmed in one’s mind, the fire energy will constantly ascend, burning up the water energy in the entire body and obscuring the light of the spirit.
The operation of the human body is like a steam engine; without the energies of fire and water, not even a finger can be lifted. A human’s six sense organs are all controlled by the brain. Whether seeing, hearing, or thinking, whenever one uses the six sense organs, the entire body’s fire energy will naturally become concentrated in the head, burning up the entire body’s water energy, just as the oil is burned when a lamp’s wick is lit.
Therefore, whether we think long and anxiously on something using our mental powers, look carefully at something using our visual powers, or raise our voices to talk energetically about something, our faces will become flushed and our saliva will dry up. This is precisely what we mean by the phenomenon of the fire energy rising upwards. We should use our six sense organs sparingly even with things that must be done. How much less should we let the wicks of our heads burn continually day and night with useless delusive thoughts! Therefore, sitting meditation is a practice that aims to remove all these delusive thoughts, to manifest our original nature, to bring down all the fire energy, and to raise the pure water energy.
– The Scriptures of Won Buddhism
Chanting meditation is a method of practice that focuses the mind that is distracted among the myriad things into the one pointed mind by reciting a simple phrase or Sutra. Because the mind of a beginning meditator is not settled, chanting meditation is a very efficient method to calm down one’s mind.
In the program, we chant NA-MU-AH-MI-TA-BUL, Ilwonsang Vow, and Heart Sutra.
The Phrase “NA-MU-AH-MI-TA-BUL” means to return to Ami-Ta Buddha, the Buddha of infinite light and life that is within all of us.
Walking Meditation, as a form of meditation in action, is essentially about the awareness of movement as we note the component parts of the steps. In walking meditation we use the experience of walking as our focus. As we walk, we become mindful of our walking movement and try to keep our awareness of the experience of walking as the basis of developing greater awareness. With this practice, we can easily apply meditation into our daily activity. The great thing about walking meditation is that we can do it anytime we are walking even it’s just walking from home to the subway and from the subway to the office, even in the noise and bustle of a big city. Walking meditation is a wonderful way of transforming something we do every day into practice for our awakening.
Walking meditation is really to enjoy the walking – walking not in order to arrive, but just to walk. The purpose is to be in the present moment and, aware of our breathing and our walking, to enjoy each step. Therefore we have to shake off all worries and anxieties, not thinking of the future, not thinking of the past, just enjoying the present moment. – Thich Nhat Hanh
Koan meditation is a method to directly see one’s Buddha nature by asking a question. Koan means a spiritual question in Zen tradition and it is used as means of gaining spiritual awakening. Koan generally contains aspects that are inaccessible through rational understanding, yet accessible to intuition. A famous Koan is:
Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?
Essential Cases for Questioning
- What body did you have before your parents conceived you?
- When a person is in deep, dreamless sleep, where is the numinous awareness that makes one sentient?
- “All things are created by the mind.” What does this mean?
- “Mind is Buddha.” What does this mean?
- Why is it that there is samsara for sentient beings but liberation for all the buddhas?
- “A person who practices well is not separate from the self-nature.” What is this practice which is not separated from the self-nature?
- How are mind, nature, principle, and energy the same?
- Are all things in the universe subject to arising and ceasing or free from arising and ceasing?
- The karmic retributions of cause and effect among all things in the present life occur by knowing one another. But how do the retributions of later lives occur, when they have forgotten their past lives and no longer recognize one another?
- “Heaven and earth know without knowing anything.” What does this mean?
- The numinous awareness of people who attain nirvana is merged with the dharmakaya. How, then, do individual spirits become divided again and the standard for distinguishing past and future lives come into existence?
- “I have a volume of scripture that is written without paper or ink. It does not contain a single word yet always radiates light.” What does this mean?
1. Rash and flighty behavior will gradually disappear.
2. The activities of the six sense organs will become orderly.
3. he suffering of illness descreases and your face becomes smoother.
4. The power of memory improves.
5. The power of endurance grows.
6. Attachments disappear.
7. Perverse states of mind change into right states of mind.
8. Your self-nature’s light of wisdom will shine.
9. You will be gratified by ultimeat bliss.
10. You will gain freedom in birth and death.
– The Scriptures of Won Buddhism