Ch'an - the Road Back Home - Welcome!

Hi everyone!
This is to welcome you to a series of teachings in 12 Chapters by Master Hui Re on Ch'an Meditation. The sections will be split into digestible bite-size chunks for your convenience and to keep things straightforward.
We welcome your enthusiastic feedback and input.
These precious teachings are mainly focused on the essence of meditation in a practical way.
May all those needing meditation guidance benefit!
May we all ever steadfast walk the path...

Part 1

The Ch'an Meditation Lineage

Eastern meditation started in the 5th Century BCE with the awakening of Sakyamuni Buddha. After this the great Indian monk Bodhidharma entered China, leaving to this day 2000 years of meditation history. The meditation propagated at Nan Hua Temple is the meditation of the Ch'an School, being the wonderful result of the effect of Chinese culture on the teaching of the Buddha. In the past, this had a deep and powerful effect on the philosophy, literature, arts, architecture, and so on, of both China and her neighbours, Japan and Korea. In the future, its effects on Europe and the Americas will be similar. Buddhism and meditation are the spiritual legacy of humankind, and it is certainly worthwhile investigating this, to extract the essentials we now require.

Principles and Concepts of Meditation:

1 The Thought of Meditation: The virtue of maintaining a balanced and even mind, putting an end to mundane thinking, and to develop the thinking of the saints.
2 The Culture of Meditation: The growth and increase of confidence, unconditioned kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.
3 The Lifestyle of Meditation: The practice of a simple, grateful and regulated life. Living contentedly and ethically.
4 The Use of Meditation: Using it joyously, to become full of life. Everywhere is the right place, as there is no limit.
5 The Spirit of Meditation: Fearlessly taking on responsibilities and putting them into practice. Knowing that this Mind is the Buddha.
6 The Goal of Meditation: Entering into the realization of wisdom, freedom and awakening. Living with wisdom, as a free human being.

Stages on the Path of Meditation:

1 Path of Preparation: Practicing toward strong personal integrity, having gratefulness and modesty.
2 Path of Faith: Sincerely taking refuge in the Triple Gem, the Buddha, Dharma, and Samgha. Actively stopping unwholesome actions, and performing wholesome actions.
3 Path of Goodness: Developing Right Knowledge and Right View, benefiting society according to circumstances.
4 Path of Precepts: Relying on and upholding the Buddha's ethical precepts, being content without seeking fame.
5 Path of Meditation: Leaving the Five Hindrances and Five Desires, which hinder our spiritual development. Being clear and alert with every thought.
6 Path of Wisdom: Correctly seeing the pure Original Nature, and purifying remaining negative karma.
7 Path of Seeing: Forever eliminating dualistic differentiation. The negative emotions of desire, anger and delusion are slight.
8 Path of Cultivation: Removing grasping at self. Developing Great Compassion that seeks to benefit the entire world.
9 Path Beyond Learning: Complete Unsurpassed Awakening, beyond views, beyond no cultivation and without anything to attain.

In learning Buddhist meditation, emphasis is placed on actual practice. Right View guides practice, so that one does not inadvertently follow a wrong path. Otherwise one's cultivation is blind. Thus, the practice is based on the Bodhisattva mind of the Mahayana, the Great Vehicle, and the clear stages, goals and practices of all schools of Buddhism. Beginners start at developing personal morals and integrity. They then learn to develop and practice the awakened mind that has love for themselves, others, and the whole world. On preparing the requisite virtue and wisdom, one can attain and confirm the highest mind of enlightenment, accomplishing the Perfect Unequalled Enlightenment.

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