CHAN (CH’AN) & CHAN MEDITATION
You might already have some familiarity of Chan Buddhism without realising it. Chan Buddhism is also Zen Buddhism in Japanese. The word Chan roughly translates to ‘not phased’. As a result, this term refers to a state of indifference. This is indifferent in terms of not being affected by temptation and destructive forces. The goal and central ethos of Chan is to realise our true nature, which is free from the influences of destructive forces such as greed, selfishness and attachment. Chan also teaches that we should live in harmony with the world we inhabit and with all beings that share it. The reason for this inclusive and interconnected worldview is because Chan teaches that we are indistinguishable from everything else including beings and non-beings. The central practice of Chan Buddhism is meditation as a means to discover your true nature.
During meditation, your mind should be peaceful and empty, your heart should be relaxed and calm, and you should not feel annoyance or allow yourself to be distracted by anything internal or external.
Meditation is a vital practice in this study of Chan’s path of self-realisation. It highlights an awareness and receptivity to our nature and what we are individually capable of. However Chan meditation goes beyond sitting down and facing a wall every day for, there are many ways to train yourself to realise your true nature. Sitting meditation is just one of many methods. Once you gain enough proficiency in meditation, eating, walking, sitting quietly, sleeping, and all physical activities, can be a form of Chan meditation. By extension, if we try to approach our daily life mindfully, with moderation and with intention, your whole way of life can become a pursuit of Chan.