Spiritual practice is discovering our calm, true nature. From this state of mind, perpetual, unconditional, indestructible happiness and freedom arise.
Sitting meditation is the foundation of our practice. In traditional teaching, beginning meditators are asked to concentrate on three techniques in their practice: achieving proper posture, maintaining awareness of breath, and quieting the mind.
Posture: After properly arranging a mat and/or cushion, sit comfortably with legs crossed and head aligned with your spine in an upright posture. If sitting on the floor is too difficult, sit on a chair. Sitting meditation should require little physical effort.
Breathing: Breathing is an involuntary act. Every moment we breathe in and out. Unless we are out of breath, we are seldom aware of our breathing. Our normal breathing is smooth and steady. In sitting meditation, we become aware of our breathing pattern and turn it into a technique for calming the mind. By having our mind focus on the smooth and steady pattern of breathing, we give the mind something to do. So, when your mind drifts in sitting meditation, gently guide it back to your breathing.
Quieting the Mind: It is normal for the beginning meditator to experience a steady flow of thoughts that may interrupt the state of calmness. However, these disturbances can be overcome by not dwelling on them. Simply notice each thought and release it as quickly as it comes. Let thoughts be of no interest or concern during your sitting meditation.
Chanting meditation helps to focus the mind by reciting a simple phrase or sutra. Because the mind of a beginning meditator is not settled, chanting meditation is a very efficient method to calm the mind. We chant in both Korean and English, and you are welcome to chant whatever you're comfortable with. Chants we use in our programs include the Il-Won-Sang Vow, the Heart Sutra, "We Are One, We Are Whole," and “Na-Mu-Ah-Mi-Tah-Bul,” which means to return to Ami-Ta Buddha, our true nature within.
Moving meditation is a practice accessible to all. In this practice, we do not see the mind and body as separate. Moving meditation helps us get out of our heads and balance the physical needs that can arise from seated or chanting meditation. When the body is changed through moving meditation, there is a change in one’s chi energy, improving the balance and harmony of our bodies.
In our programs, we incorporate moving meditation in the styles of Qi-gong, Tai-chi, and simple yoga asana, in addition to standing and walking meditation.