My Journey in Meditation
My journey of meditation started two years ago, when I was a freshmen in collage. I read a book named “the mindful way through depression” by Zindel Segal. I started trying MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction),it brings me life-transforming impacts, which can be called enlightenment, and thus my journey on meditation starts.
These are several meditating methods I tried:
MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) is a non-religious way to meditate. In this process, focusing on present moment, relaxing through deep breath, free from judgements are emphasized. When I first started doing this when I was a freshmen in college, I got wonderful experience, I started to realize how beautiful a tranquil present is. My concentration improved, I got more flows during studying and happier than ever before. I kept meditating in this way for the whole year on a weekly basis, and my happiness level goes like this.
I actually didn’t insist meditating after half year since I didn’t get any improvements since then. For me, who is passionate in seeking newest exciting things, it’s hard to keep those positive changes stay for a life time, because it’s becomes less exciting if we don’t feel there are more positive changes taking place.
Zen is one branch of buddhism originated in China, spread into various Asian counties, then became known as Japanese Zen.
When I was an exchange student in Japan, I joined several zazen (座禅) assemblies hold by famous temples.
First I joined a half-hour Zazen activity in a 曹洞宗（そうとうしゅう）temple. People meditate facing a wall, and after a short period we will walk through the room (this is known as walking meditation, aiming to building up relationships between mind and body through simple daily activity). Then we read “Heart Sutra” (般若心经), the interesting thing here is it’s all written in Chinese characters but it sounds totally different when pronounced in Japanese. Finally came the monk explaining “Heart Sutra”, he told us everyone can be enlightened if he/she focuses on his/her real life, keeping doing good to others.
I joined another Zazen assembly in a famous 临济宗（りんざいしゅう） temple in Kyoto (see the official website), it’s a two days one night program. It was a snowy winter that time, and It was not such a pleasant stay there because we had to wake up at 4:30 am to start meditation. I tried my best to meditate but I was too sleepy. Anyway, scenery in the temple with snow falling down was quite beautiful.
I did this follow a online course Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World. Tibetan Buddhism is quite close to primitive India Buddhism. It emphasizes Buddhism such as unavoidable suffering and impermanence, and the first step to reduce suffering is to accept the fact that we are all suffering. For me, it’s a little difficult to fully engage in because it’s hard to understand these criteria without a Buddhism background knowledge.
In all, probably it will take many years to be enlightened, I enjoy so much with my way of trying all kinds of meditation. As a programmer who faces bugs everyday, it’s important to bring curiosity to code, also stay relaxed towards severe problems, then every line of code will become the deepest secret of universe.