Why Meditate?

“Mind Leveled, Why Meditate?
Actions upright, why keep precepts?”
(Huineng, Sixth Patriarch of Zen)

See character and pictogram of mind and heart. In Chinese, mind and heart are the same character. The second character of “leveled”, “equal” or “balanced” is actually made up of the character of “war”. The pictogram is a weapon, When the pointed ends of the weapon are inverted, it becomes a flat table where people can sit and communicate as equals with balanced minds. It is then the pictogram of leveled, equal or balanced.

Mind Levled
The character of “walk” can mean “conduct”, “actions” or “behavior”. The pictogram has a foot or leg on the right and left depicting walk.

Action Upright

The character or pictogram of “straight” is made up of an eye and a cross of a vertical and horizontal stroke to represent the eye assesses if the lines are straight or not, The curve below represent lines.

When one walks a straight path, his conduct, actions or behavior would be upright.

In Chuang Tzu‘s terms, a balanced mind is one of “Dual Path” that is “not engaged in being right but dwell in the common“. “Sit and Forget” so there is “No Self,No Merit, No Name” and “No Self-Interest“. “Fast the Mind” so it is “Clear as Morning” or “Void“. Being in the common or on dual path is to “harmonize right and wrong” in “One“. When you are “Void” and “One“, you can have “Peace amidst Chaos“.

“Integrity” in Taoist philosophy literally is depicted by its pictogram which  has the radical of “Walk” (the drawing of the left foot) and “Straight” depicted by its pictogram (except with the drawing of the eye turned ninty degrees so it’s on its side in the modern character ) above the “Heart”pictogram or drawing of a heart.

Walk Integrity.png

If you can void your mind of right and wrong so it is one with all and walk straight from the heart, you have a free easy mind. Why meditate or keep precepts?

 

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Sitting Meditation Zen

MEDITATION and NATURE

“Meditation: see the unmoving innate nature inwardly.” Huineng, Sixth Patriarch of Zen.

“The sage lets NATURE enlighten him and follow what is.” Chuang Tzu.
(Nature includes innate nature of living and nonliving things, self and others, people and circumstances or the nature of what is.)

“One who cultivates the unmoving state does not notice whether other people are right or wrong, good or bad, or whether they have other faults. It is UNMOVING in the INNATE NATURE.”Sixth Patriarch of Zen.”The mind’s thoughts do not arise with respect to any good or evil external state. That is what ‘sitting’ is.”

Meditation and Nature
“The Way is awakened from the mind. How could it be found in sitting?”
Huineng, Sixth Patriarch of Zen.

Sengai Frog

One with Environment Meditation: Sitting

In meditation, the sitting posture is like a mountain, with the pointed head at the top and our knees folded like the bottom of the mountain. The purpose is to merge the spirit, body and mind in one or in our innate nature. In Chuang Tzu’s terms it’s letting the energy flow in Nature’s cycle of polarities or merging heaven, man and earth as “all things and I are one” depicted by the vertical and horizontal strokes of “One”.

Drawing of three mountains became the pictogram of “Mountain” with the mountains on left and right reduced to vertical strokes. When the strokes shorten, we have the Chinese character of “Mountain’.

Mountain Pictogram.png

The drawing of mountains can be simplified into a triangle depicting heaven,earth and man in ONE or body, mind and spirit in modern terms. This is the triangle in Sengai’s Universe, the well known Zen painting.Sengai Universe

 

One with Environment Meditation (Walking )

To diffuse anxiety, stress or anger at the office, walk around the block or on the rooftop. Walking between two trees in the forest or a sheltered clump of trees in the park would be better.

Remember to keep the body STRAIGHT and your legs BALANCED. (This is from “Mind Balanced, Walk (or Conduct) Straight” of Huineng the Sixth Patriarch, the true founder of Chinese Zen even though Bodhidharma the Indian was the First Patriarch.

Connect to heaven above your head and to earth below your feet. Remember Chuang Tzu’s “Heaven and Earth co-exist (or arose) with me.” In Chinese “Heaven“or “Universe” and “Manmerging in “One” is the superb condition.The Universe includes “Heaven” and “Earth”. The triarch of Heaven, Earth and Man is crucial in Taoist teachings of Lao Tzu as well.

When the triarch of spirit(heaven),body (man) and mind (earth or the field) balanced and unified in a circle with energy flowing freely in ONE, there is peace. “All Things (or existence) and I are One.” Chuang Tzu.

Body Straight Legs Balanced

The following daily regimen was very effective for depression as well.

1.Walk very fast (conscious and deliberate) for fifteen minutes.

2.Walk very slow (suppressing urge to move fast) for fifteen minutes, fully aware and mindful.

3.Walk at normal speed. (natural and spontaneous) for fifteen minutes.

The slow part is like walking meditation in Theravadan tradition.Raise one foot, move forward and then put it down touching the ground very slowly while saying in mind “raise the foot, move forward, put it down”. As if in slow motion movie.Repeat with the other foot. The path is not more than ten steps and then you turn around. Do it for half an hour to an hour.

Of the four types of meditation: walking is the easiest;sitting is hardest on the legs and feet; standing may cause dizziness or falling backwards in some and lying down is prone to falling asleep.

 

ONE with Environment Meditation (Standing Up)

Imagine the horizontal stroke of “One” turned vertical.

Vertical One
as you stand straight by the tree (or wall) and gaze at it.

Tree

Unmoved, connecting earth and sky.

Breath in and out mindfully.

Embrace the tree in gratitude when finished.

(Some people may get dizzy or fall backwards standing up too long. Don’t do it more than ten to fifteen minutes)

ONE with environment Meditation (Lying Down )

(Do the lying down meditation outdoor if possible.
Otherwise, lie down in bed or on the floor and imagine the outdoor.)

Lie down on the ground,
Mother Earth below;
stare at the sky,
Father Heaven above.
Imagine your body as
the horizontal stroke of “One”.

Above and below

Breathe in from the toes up
and hold at the head,
breathe out from the head
down to the toes.
Breathe normally.
Watching mindfully.

Your belly supple like a baby,
rising and falling.
Contain any anger, grudge, hatred
or negative emotions at heart
in a bubble.
Let your heart fast.
Void of emotions.

Say out loud or in silence,
“May I have compassion
to embrace anger
with all my heart,
may I have mercy
to absorb all injustice
with an open heart,
dissolve all grudges
and negative emotions
with a loving heart.”

Bubble Reflection

Let the bubble rise above the body
into the vast empty sky.
Watch the floating clouds
come and go like your thoughts
or what appears and disappears
in the mirror.
Fast your mind.
Void of thoughts.

Stare at the sky until
your eyes are cleansed by tears.
See your true nature as
the clear sky in the morning.

Free Your Life