When I first started to practice meditation, I desperately wanted to enter First Dhyana because I realized that it was a critical milestone. I researched and tried everything but was not able, as I found out many years later, to enter First Dhyana until after two years of practice.
So far during this Chan Qi, people have been entering samadhis left and right.
There was a young lady from San Jose who is a nurse. She tagged along with her friend to the Chan Qi for a week without taking it very seriously. However, after listening to the Dharma instructions during the first two evening lectures, she began to take it seriously. And within five days, she reached First Dhyana even though she never meditated before. She was a picture and serenity and happiness. She said that she never felt “this great ever!”
Then there was a Hispanic lady who purchased our Chan Handbook. She wanted to learn Chan because “it is good for me” she said. After one week of practice, during which she could barely follow one third of our sits, she entered First Dhyana too. She just told me: “I felt good. My head is like stone.” I said: “I am sure the stones in Mexico are the same as here. They are very heavy and dense. Do you mean that your head feels so light and clear?” She smiled from ear to ear and replied: “Yes, there is nothing inside.” [All the worries that tormented her when she first started were gone].
I am not sure why there are so many wonderful responses. Maybe the participants are very special, or it’s the water, or the food that is cooked with so much care and kindness from our volunteers?