Meditation

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For my visitation paper, I visited a Buddhist temple, London Fo Guang Shan Temple, to participate their meditation. I chose to experience Buddhist meditation because I have heard reviews from people who had done it before. They all said it helped them to calm down and to become more focus on their work, in addition, meditation helped them to release their mental stress. All these comments triggered my curiosity, I wanted to feel that healing power personally.
Buddhist meditation is preserved by Theravada, the oldest branch of Buddhism. Generally, there are two major types of meditation and they are Samatha (calm abiding) and vipassana (insight) (textbook). Meditation practiced in Fo Guang Shan Temple is vipassana, which begins by simply watching’s one’s breath as it flows and out (textbook). Besides the traditional meditation, zazen, I also experienced the one that has curing power, which is called “The Tien-Tai School Six ‘Qi’ Healing Methods”.
The meditation room is located at the third floor of the temple. Different from the main worship room for both bodhisattva and ancestors, the worship does not have much decorations, the walls are painted with plain-white and hold no paintings. On the floor there are only cushions, 36 of them, spread out with certain distance, making sure everyone has enough room for meditation. In front of the room is a small table and a wooden fish is on the table, aside the table is a special cushion for the leading nun. I arrived at around 1:25pm, there were not many people in the room, mostly Asians; when the leading nun came in, around 20 cushions were filled in.
Before the meditation started, we have to “Pao Xiang (跑香)”, which is an warm-up activity that involves walking, both fast and slow. Buddhists believe that “Qi (氣)” function along with blood in human body and it is essential for our health. Similar to blood, if Qi doesn’t circulate well in our body, it will affect our health in a negative way. Since we were

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