Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Should a spiritual seeker practice standing meditation?

"Should a spiritual seeker practice standing meditation ?" (zhan zhuang)  I raised this question to a respectable Buddhist monk with a high level of chi-achievement as well as a high level of spiritual enlightenment, so much so he said he was able to receive revelation from the Divine source. His answer was adamant, a definite no. Indulging on the game of muscle-training will lead one to go astray from one's pursuit of spirituality.  Too much attention to the flesh (muscle-training included but certainly not exhaustive when we talk about flesh) will lead us towards the opposite direction of spirituality, and many modern men fall prey to this fatal attraction (my dear reader, our guru was just talking about a piece of nicely grilled waku steak).

Buddhist monks are usually not glutton, and they don't usually exercise much as well, nor are priests of other religious affiliation.   The Buddha told us in the Diamond Sutra that we should throw away the raft, i.e. his Dharma, after a Buddhist achieved Enlightenment, i.e. reached the other shore.  Or as Bruce Lee said "Don't look at my finger, but the moon that I'm pointing at" (well, something like this).  But we poor mortals just can't get to the other shore without a raft, nor we know where the moon is before being pointed out by the finger of wisdom. Yet, I still go with the gurus that the raft should be thrown away and the finger should be forgotten if the bigger thing is what we're seeking.

I told my venerable friend "But most people are not as talent as you, they can enter the world of spirituality faster if they can start on something with more worldliness".  He remained silent, as both he and I knew very well that it would not be my call to advice as respectable a person as him for a faster (and I would say better, though he might not agree with me) way to enlightenment.  Faster but contaminated, as he would perhaps argue, and that would not be what he wanted.  Anything less that a hundred per cent purity would not be good enough for him.  If I could figure out what would possibly be behind his mind, with his intelligence, he could certainly figure out what was in mine.  And he smiled.  And I smiled too.

Many of my students started with wishing to take care of their bodies through zhan zhang (standing meditation) and ended up with a personality that makes the lives a lot easier for people they cared about.  It doesn't matter where we start, as long as we end up in the same place,  does it?

Kong 空

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