By Ting Chen
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Additional resources for Fundamentals of Ch'an Meditation Practice
In this way, you can be more free of desire, be more able to concentrate, and, in time, have successful meditation take place. Experiences Likely to Arise Do not be upset if, while practicing, you suddenly grow very hot, perspire profusely, shake, perhaps even violently, hear what seems like all-pervading sound, find yourself assuming various positions without intending to and, possibly, see apparitions. Do not attempt to suppress any of these manifestations! However, most practitioners never have any such experiences, but, on the contrary, practice successfully and have the benefit of improved health as well.
Practicing in this fashion over a period of time, he naturally comes to be of one mind (a mind no longer occupied with objects). When this stage has been arrived at, the four elements — earth, water, fire, and air — are said to be automatically at ease, and he has reached the level of bliss. Becoming skilled in these ways, he attains to what is described as great satisfaction. If he is not so skilled, however, he is advised to concentrate on the one mind until he is successful in obtaining this satisfaction.
Or, again, you might even silently repeat your recitation ten times with each breath or as many times as you can. Any of the above approaches can help to bring about effective concentration, the object of them all being to provide you with something simple and repetitious to fully occupy your mind without disturbing it. You have to try it! You have to experiment with it! That is to say, now that you know the way to pre37 pare a delicious and nutritious meal, you have to actually prepare it, taste it, see whether it agrees with you, improve on it, if need be, and then eat it until your health improves.
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