I have admired your teaching for quite a while and hope that someday I will have the opportunity to practice under your guidance. I feel very close to you. There is a feeling of familiarity with your teaching which makes me feel very happy and optimistic about life.
In Vietnam, my friends and I follow the Buddha Recitation method that contemplates a red dot on the top of Amitabha Buddha’s crown. This is under the guidance of a monk over the internet. That is why we call it a cloud temple.
We all read the articles on the web site which includes experiences from our co-cultivators. I often feel at a loss and submitted a lot of question but it seems that conditions are still not ripe yet as he has yet to give answers… May I ask for your opinion? I hope that you will compassionately answer me.
I do not cultivate that vigorously and make a lot of mistakes. My study load is quite heavy and causes me a lot of stress. Hopefully your answers will provide me more encouragement to be more vigorous in my cultivation. I hope to be able to come to your temple to cultivate in the future when conditions ripen. ..
- My teacher says that the full lotus posture is not good for our legs. Therefore, he suggested that we use the posture while lying down only. It seems to make sense because my experience has been that my leg became weaker and bow a little more because of that posture. However, I find that lying down makes me drowsy and seems to be encouraging self-indulging in comfort.
- Your Chan Handbook does not teach how to end Chan sessions.
- … I asked you earlier about becoming a doctor. You encouraged me to become one even though there are undesirable consequences for pursuing the ideal of healing others. How do I become a good doctor?
- When I recite the Buddha’s name while contemplating the red dot and following a melody, is it OK?
I do not normally comment on other teachers’ teaching or technique in order to avoid being perceived as jealous, insecure or envious.
In this case, however, I will make an exception in order to clarify some important cultivation aspects. Furthermore, since this cloud teacher is anonymous, it cannot be construed as a personal criticism or attack.
- Your teacher is incorrect. He does not give you the proper technique for practicing the full lotus posture. Just follow the instructions in our Chan Handbook and you can’t go wrong. As you have found out for yourself, lying down is for sleeping, not for practicing. I would dump all of this teacher’s instructions in the trash can because his techniques are wrong.
- There is no need to end a Chan session. Other teachers make a big deal out of ending a meditation session properly because they tend to emphasize redundant and useless techniques.
- You become a better professional by adhering to the Five Precepts.
- No, it is not desirable to use melodies as part of your practice. Again, ditch all the techniques associated with this cloud teacher.
One simple technique that you can use to help increase your stamina and reduce stress is to gradually learn to build your Chan skills using the full lotus technique outlined in our Chan Handbook. Simply train yourself to sit in full lotus in 2 minutes increments until you break through the first pain barrier. This will give you added stamina, faith and confidence.
I am very conservative in my spiritual practice. I only learn from the patriarchs’ teachings and stick to the Mahayana methods of cultivation.