Meditation Practice

The meditation method, shikan, is based on the teachings of Chih-i and used by Saicho.

Shi ( or shamatha-calming the mind) meditation is the fundamental practice of “just sitting.” Letting thoughts arise and fall away without grasping onto or being swept away by them calms the mind and develops peace and equanimity. Shamatha is practiced during the first period of the meditation service.

Kan (vipashyana-discerning the real) meditation is designed to lead the practitioner to intuitively experience the “true nature” of reality, without judgment, preconception or wishful thinking. This second meditation period can be a Contemplation, Guided Visualization, Loving-Kindness practice, Chanting, or Walking meditation.