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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Chan Meditation

Chan Meditation

This meditation was taught to me at a Buddhism class. It's beautiful in it's simplistically and works well for myself.

There is a hand position that I will describe here. You don't have to do it, but since it was taught to me there must be a reason for it right? Ok, first, hold your hands out in front of you, fingers pointing up, palms out, left thumb crossed over your right thumb. Now fold your right thumb down, so it lies next to your left. Next, wrap your right fingers around both of your thumbs. Make sure you have both of the thumbs in your fingers. Then, just let the left fingers curl around your right hand. You don't have to hold everything real tight, just relax. Let the hands rest near your crotch. If you find yourself getting sleepy or losing focus during the meditation you can hold the fingers tighter.

Alright, on to the actual meditation. This should be done sitting, if you are unfamiliar with correct sitting positions, just ask. Full lotus is recommended but I can't even get close so I just cross my legs. I also do this on a chair at times. The important thing is to have good relaxed posture. Also, it helps immensely to sit on a small cushion. Also, put a towel across your knees and legs. This keeps them from getting too cool and letting in cold to the joints. This causes health problems which is what we are trying to avoid.

Take 3 deep breathes, in through the nose, out through the mouth to expell your old air and bring in fresh air. After 3 breaths, continue breathing, but only breathe in and out with the nose. Your tongue should rest on the top of your mouth, touching your teeth. This makes a connection for the energy to flow.

As you breathe, count. For instance, you begin to inhale, just start counting 1...2...3...4... until you finish inhaling. Then you exhale and start over from 1. This counting is there for you to focus on. If you lose count/focus, just start over at 1 again. This is not meant to count how long you are breathing, but to give you a focus point. Don't count too fast or slow, around 1 count per second, and never count above 10. If you reach 10 and are still on that same breath start at 1 again.

As you do this, other thoughts will enter your head. This is completely natural. Do not feel bad or other negative thoughts. Simply note that you have a thought and return focus to the counting. After a short time the thought will leave and you will have no trouble focusing on the counting again. Even if you do, stick with it. There are days when focus does not come easy, even to the most experienced meditator.

When you finish the meditation, take your time getting up. Rub your limbs to return circulation and to close the pores. Start with your face and head, your upper body and lower body. Slowly stretch your legs as they will be stiff from sitting in position. No need to rush and fall down because your legs are asleep!

I know I was very detailed here, but the meditation itself is very simple. It's much easier to see in person Good luck, and remember if a position isn't comfortable you can try a different position. Just try to maintain good spine alignment.