Meditation has been recognized by the medical community as an activity that is beneficial to the human body. However, many people have been asking me that sitting quietly at home is also relaxing, so why should I attend intensive meditation courses?
Except for the big lockdown during the epidemic, I attend intensive meditation courses at least once a year. What I participated in this time was Zen Qi, which is more difficult than ordinary Jing Qi. The location was Kluang Town, Johor.
The arrangement of the course: get up at 3 a.m., go to the room to sleep at 10 p.m., sit cross-legged with an incense stick for 50 minutes, meditate for at least 10 hours a day, and do walking meditation and jogging in the afternoon.
Can sit at home for 3 hours at a time
Many people feel scared when they hear they get up at 3 o’clock. This is second and the biggest test is how to get rid of delusions and sit on every incense stick.
Before the epidemic, I used to participate in Zen Qi activities. The courses were far more difficult than the Jing Qi courses I usually go to. On the fifth day, I moved my legs to beg for mercy because of the pain in my legs. Finally, I got through because of Master Jicheng’s teaching: “Except for methods, everything else is delusion.” This time, although I knew how to get through the level, I wasn’t completely sure about sitting cross-legged and holding each incense stick without moving my legs. The practice of Zen Buddhism is about living and dying, so I signed up for this course without even thinking about it.
On the first night, I only sat with a stick of incense, and then slept in the same room with a lot of big men. Because I am a light sleeper, I am not used to listening to the snoring symphony in the middle of the night and staying awake all night.
The next day when I was dealing with Duke Zhou, I even dozed off while sitting cross-legged, and spent the whole day “fishing” in the meditation hall.
The physical and mental exhaustion ended on the third day due to the constant release during meditation. What comes in exchange is entering an excellent state, with very few delusions, and what you get is peace and joy. This state of focused awareness continues during samsara (meditation while walking) and paoxiang (meditation while running).
On the critical fifth day, after sitting cross-legged for 10 hours a day, my legs began to hurt. At first I was a little worried about whether I would be able to pass the test, but I just remembered Master Jicheng’s instructions and continued to use the method of sitting quietly and observing my breathing. My leg pain was no longer a problem, and I successfully passed the test.
After passing the psychological hurdle, I began to think about whether I could sit on the Lianxiang? When I meditate alone at home, I can sit for 3 hours at a time, but during intensive meditation, I sit for 10 hours a day, and the pain in my legs starts to accumulate. It is not easy to sit continuously (about 1 hour and 50 minutes).
Enlighten patients with profound experiences
When Xiao Shen (asking the instructor for help when encountering problems during meditation), I reported my wishes to Master Ji Zhen, and she gave her compassionate advice: “After sitting on one incense stick, if your mind is still very careful, you can continue to sit on it for the second time.” “Incense”, Master Seventh Master Ji Cheng gave a great teaching that night, which made me feel full of Dharma joy.
I crossed my legs, closed my eyes, and relaxed. Harmonize your breathing and your heart will become thinner and softer. Gradually, I no longer feel my body, and what is left is the beautiful breathing and the subtle mind that focuses on breathing. This state lasts for dozens of breaths. When small delusions begin to appear, the breathing is no longer so smooth. When I notice it, I start to soften it again, and my heart starts to be gentle again.
This process was repeated several times, and when delusions appeared, the breathing was immediately adjusted, the heart was also softened, and leg pain became less common. When the chime sounded, I continued to meditate and could not get still. As a result, I was sitting in the incense stick. I suddenly realized, isn’t this what Master often said: “Tune the body, adjust the breath, and adjust the mind”? I have known it for a long time, but this time I really experienced it!
I used the same method in meditating, and the result was that my ability to be aware was stronger!
This is a special place for intensive meditation. The guidance of a good teacher, the power of group meditation, and the all-out practice allow practitioners to have some profound experiences. I can use this profound experience to deal with physical and mental problems in the future, and I can also enlighten patients.
If you ask me, will I still go to practice next year? The answer is yes! Not afraid of leg pain? No problem, just adjust your body, breath, and mind!