Meditation simplified – lesson 7 – The mind during sitting meditation
The Chan practitioner should be mindful that when he sits in the meditation hall, he is present ‘here and now’. That is, he should be mindful of his presence in the meditation hall and not let it stray elsewhere in ‘Never Never Land.’
The practitioner should be mindful that he is present in the meditation hall and not ponder on matters or events pertaining to the past or the future.
At all times, the practitioner should be alert to his presence in the meditation hall; otherwise he has to ask himself why is he sitting there and wasting his time and suffering the discomfort of sitting there and just shortchanging his own self.
Being aware of ‘here and now’ is not a practice per se but merely an expedient for beginners to be mindful of his practice and to recognize his wandering thoughts.
If the practitioner still finds that he keeps on straying away from his practice, then he should slowly and deeply inhale and exhale as an expedient to freshen up and ‘reset’ his motivation for sitting in the hall.
There is another expedient method of purposefully thinking and writing down all the outstanding matters before he sits in meditation. This expedient allows the practitioner to
search and exhaust all his wandering and false thinking and penned it down just before he sits. In doing so, he will have some measure of comfort that he has thought what he needs to think and do prior to his sitting.