Meditation is the essence of Chan Buddhism and Shaolin kung fu.
It is the soul of Da Mo's teaching




The word Chan is translated into English as meditation.

 What is meditation ? The very act of practicing kung fu can be, in itself, an act of meditation. Such is the paradox of Chan.

Meditation simply means to be fully aware of the moment. This is not as easy as it appears. Your mind is always processing your sense perceptions, constantly contributing to mental noise.  To be in the moment, all of these delusions dissolve and what remains is what it is. This is why doing nothing and practicing kung fu (in a sense doing everything) can both be acts of meditation. To a Chan Buddhist, any act can be meditation if you are in the moment : When I eat I just eat, when I sleep I just sleep. Although these paths may seem totally different, ultimately they are one and the same.


Meditation practice

Sitting Meditation is a regular part of Shaolin practice. All you really have to do is just sit and do nothing.

First sit. Cross-legged is the mode of preference. The Lotus position is even better if you are flexible enough; however, even seated on a chair is possible. The Japanese Zen Buddhists have special pillows on which to meditate.  If you are new to meditation, use the pillows. They are very helpful. Sitting for a long time becomes tiresome.

If possible try to find a quiet place to meditate, one with fresh air where you will not be disturbed. Align the point on the top of your head and the base of your pelvis so that your spine is erect. If you are male, the fingers of your left hand should be placed in your right palm. Reverse this if you are female. Your thumbprints should be lightly touching and your little fingers should be resting on your DanTian, just below your navel. The five surfaces, the palms of your hand, the soles of your feet and the base of your heart should face upwards. Your eyes stare at your nose and your nose stares at your heart. Observe the process of your breath, being attentive to each inhalation and exhalation. If a thought enters your mind, observe it and let it pass like a floating cloud.

A daily practice is recommended, generally beginning with fifteen to thirty minutes a day and working up to longer periods as your lifestyle allows.

The effect of meditation is subtle at first but can be very rewarding in the long run. In fact, it may even lead to your enlightenment.