Chan Halls

发布日期:2010-05-21   字体大小:   

In the courtyard of Scripture Hall, there used to be five Chan halls on both sides, which were burnt to ground in 1928. According to the Shaolin Temple Records, the east Chan hall was at the north of the kitchen, while the west Chan hall was at the north of the storehouse. The kitchen and the storehouse were on each side of the Mahaviro Hall. Thus, Chan halls were originally located behind the Mahaviro Hall, flanking the Scripture Hall. The current east and west Chan halls were rebuilt in 1981 on the original sites. These buildings are traditional structures, with five jians (Jian, space between two columns) wide and three jians deep. Now, the east Chan hall is still named by its old name, while the west Chan hall is renamed as the Reception Room.



 Qizhi Position

Chan is known for the practice of Zazen, that is, sitting in a cross-legged (lotus) posture while contemplating and trying to find inner peace and balance. For all postures, Qizhi position as explained below is the traditional posture of Zazen.


To begin your meditation in Qizhi position, please be seated in a mat and keep the upper portion of your body erect, but not stiff or tense. One of the two kinds of cross-legged posture is recommended, namely the full lotus posture and half lotus posture.


Lift up one ankle with the hands and pull it up onto the thigh of the opposite leg; the line of the toes should align with the outside line of the thigh. Allow the foot to rest in the hollow of the thigh and then try to bring the other foot up to the same position on the other thigh. This is the full lotus posture. If this is uncomfortable, then bring up only one foot and tuck the other underneath the leg. This is the half lotus. You will probably experience some discomfort after holding this posture for a while. As you continue to practice, the body will settle into the posture, ligaments will become more flexible, tension held in the hips, thighs and calves will release. Basic stretching exercises will be helpful in alleviating undue stress on the muscles and increasing flexibility.


Hand posture: Place one hand in the palm of the other with the knuckles of the middle finger aligned. Bring your thumbs gently together so that they and your forefingers form an egg-shape. Let your hands rest gently in your lap.


While seated in meditation, make sure your spine is straight, your jaw closed and your tongue tucked against the back of your upper front teeth. Also, relax the shoulders and eye gaze is soft, half-open, and directed downwards slightly.

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