Seated meditation is the foundation of the practice of Heart Chan. Many people today explore meditation practice to seek peace of mind, reduction of the stress in our lives, or to improve a health issue. For others, Chan represents opportunities to deepen and clarify our spirituality, upon whatever path our heart takes us.
Heart Chan represents an unbroken line of teachings and teachers, traced back over 1500 years at Shaolin temple in China, where Master Bodhidharma, an enlightened Indian monk traveling all the way from India to central China to spread the teachings of Chan, integrated and harmonized it with various local practices that led generations of practitioners to clarity, truth, fulfillment, and inner peace.
This unbroken line of spiritual teaching was eventually passed to the Shifu of our generation, the 85th Patriarch of Chan, Wujue Miaotian, who dedicated his entire life to enable us to also be able to walk the path towards enlightenment. Through sitting meditation, we can transcend the limitations of our body, our conscious and subconscious mind, and to become in sync with our heart and uncover the most natural expressions of compassion and joy in each and every moment of our lives.
There is deep wisdom within our physical self, if we can practice to quiet the distraction and feel and listen to the lessons it seeks to share. At our centers and groups, we share ancient, refined body practices that traditionally complement the Chan seated meditation. After all, most of our life is spent in motion, not seated practice, and body is the vehicle of that motion.
Our teachers are proficient in sharing the Ba Duan Jin Qigong movements for self maintenance of health and wellness. These eight gentle movements invigorate the organs and help enhancing the alignment and functions of the muscular/skeletal systems to reinforce, sustain, and integrate the clarity of the seated meditation practice and make our body’s wisdom accessible in our daily lives.
In addition, we offer teaching and practice in several forms of traditional Tai Chi. Focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form helps bringing about a state of mental calm and clarity in motion. Besides general health benefits and stress mitigation, many find Tai Chi training brings their seated Chan practice “to life” in a practical, tangible sense.
“Posture and movement in daily life can easily affect the posture and quality of seated meditation.” – Chan Master Wu Jue Miao Tian
Qigong and Taichi practice can allow us to feel and correct subtle hindrances in our posture and movement that can make significant improvements in our daily life as well as our meditation practice. They go seamlessly hand in hand.
It can be a big stretch to take the calm and peaceful, centered state of seated Chan meditation or the formal movements of Taichi/Qigong and directly translate this into our daily lives of work, kids, computers, commutes, relationships, etc…
Recognizing this in our own lives, relationships and careers, we have incorporated several classes and workshops designed for creating the bridge from the formal practice to practical application.
“Chan meditation develops a focused mind that enables more effective study, better relationships with family and coworkers, induces creativity, inspires more effective management of ourselves, our resources and skills…” Wu Jue Miao Tian , Shifu