Chan Meditation

In China, many different kinds of Buddhist meditation are practised. One of the most popular meditation systems is Chan Zong (Chan School). The word Chan stems from the word ‘Zhang’, which can be translated as ‘containing one’s thoughts’.

There are many branches of Chan Zong, and the most important one is Zhu Si Chan (the teaching of the ancestors). Monk HuiNeng (638-713) is the founder. He pointed out that the Center of Mind is the place to ‘contain’ and where to change one’s thought. With this practise, he said ‘an ordinary person can find their own nature an become enlightened’. Monk HuiNeng was the first person who spoke of ‘sudden realisation’ or ‘sudden enlightenment’, as a possible result of mental information transmission from teacher to student. This technique was known as ‘mind stamp’: information that passes directly from mind to mind. The remembering of the ever-present Buddha State may happen in one single moment.

Finding the Center of Mind can bring true stillness and inner peace. Seeing the Golden Light opens the door to spiritual development. Meditation at the Center of Mind can help to change negative thought patterns, maintain and improve health and lead to the re-awakening of latent functions, such as healing abilities.

Another essential part of meditation is the opening of the Central Channel, an energetic radiation pathway that connects the human body to the cosmos. With an open Central Channel we can receive universal information and inspiration. Contact with the lineage and its strength can be achieved.

My father Dr. Shen Hongxun has studied different Chan Zong meditation methods with his root master Lama FaHai (1909-1991). The Chan Zong lineage of Lama FaHai is descended from Monk XuYun (1840-1959).

ShenXiu 神秀
身是菩提樹,The body is a Bodhi tree,
心如明鏡臺。the mind a standing mirror bright.
時時勤拂拭,At all times polish it diligently,
勿使惹塵埃。and let no dust alight.
HuiNeng 惠能
菩提本無樹,Bodhi is fundamentally without any tree,
明鏡亦非臺。the bright mirror is also not a stand.
本來無一物,Fundamentally there is not a single thing,
何處惹塵埃。where could any dust be attracted?