October 3, 2014

The Far Out Ch’an Project.


I like to meditate outdoors.

There’s something special about sitting on the ground under a tree.

Sitting at home on a cushion facing the wall is fine but sitting outdoors in nature is something different altogether. The Buddha was after all, meditating outdoors when he attained enlightenment. He stayed outdoors for a while. He was essentially camping. This was true not only when he attained enlightenment but during a lot of his teachings as well, such as the Deer Park Sermon.

I started camping and giving teachings too.

I created a project through the International Ch’an Buddhism Institute. I call it the Far Out Ch’an Project. The purpose of the Far Out Ch’an Project is to facilitate meditation instruction at outdoor camping festivals in the midwestern United States.

The purpose of this project is to spread authentic Ch’an teaching in settingswhere it is not normally available while camping among students. This is a manifestation of the dharma in public and the spreading of teachings far and wide.

Meditation is central to Buddhist practice and the journey toward enlightenment.

In this project instructions are given in Silent Illumination, Hua t’ou and walking meditation. Students are taught the many benefits of Ch’an practice.

The Buddha meditated in the wilderness until he attained Enlightenment. So do I.

Find out more about The Far Out Ch’an Project.



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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: Courtesy of the author


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