Chan Meditation in the Park
In 2012, I went to Lu Mountain Temple out of curiosity about meditation. I always liked everything I read about Buddhism and I always wanted to find someone who can answer my questions. I visited many temples before I came to Lu Mountain Temple but I never found any temple I wanted to visit regularly. For some reason, I decided to meditate 30 minutes every day after the first visit to the temple and went back to Lu Mountain Temple regularly. The teacher gave me answers to my countless questions which gave me great satisfaction.
Dharma Master Yonghua, who is also the abbot of Lu Mountain Temple, answered my questions which provided a great satisfaction to all my curiosity. After a few months of learning meditation, I learned about ChanQi Meditation retreat at the temple. I decided to participate and stayed at the temple for a few weeks without coming back home. I was barely able to sit on the ground. My body was hurting everywhere. I had to sleep many hours because I felt so exhausted every day for some reason with only a couple of meditation sit. I was still not able to sit in full lotus.
Ever since that Chan meditation retreat, I experienced a great benefit in all areas of my life. I continued to practice and in 2013, I took the refuge and precepts and became a Buddhist.
In 2015, with the encouragement of my teacher, Master Yonghua, I started to organize Chan meditation group in the parks. When I first started this group, I thought that I didn't know enough about meditation yet but still it would be good to have a peer support group. I thought it would help me stay more discipline and meditate regularly. And furthermore, my teacher told me that it's a good idea so I do it!
After organizing meditation meetups regularly, I learned that many people want to learn meditation but don't have good resource to learn the proper methods. I am grateful to have this opportunity to offer and teach what I know and learned from my master. I see the great benefits people experience after starting to meditate regularly after visiting our meetup. It also taught me a lot by showing new perspectives about meditation. I hope that this group will grow and benefit others. I feel my little time and money is very well spent when I see the great benefit in others from this practice. When a person discovers the "Way", it is priceless.
There are numerous styles and traditions of meditation such as zen, mindful meditation, tibetan style, yoga, prayer and vipassana. I think that it is very important for us to be open-minded and explore to find something that works as the best and continue to practice. With spirituality, the life will be much richer and meaningful.