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My Beginners’ Meditation Class at DDM

Despite being only a beginner at meditation, I am very glad that I became involved with this practice. Truthfully, having a weekly class to attend regularly is what gives me motivation to meditate, thus I am grateful for this opportunity. My experience with meditation was beneficial for my stress and exhaustion, and I have certainly gained a lot of insight and peace of mind from these sessions.

Before I dive into my experience with meditation, allow me to give a little background information. In order to balance the roles of being a mother and a teacher, I am often fixated on completing my never-ending to-do list. The accumulating physical and mental stress leaves me exhausted at the end of every day. I always think that I would be released from this pressure after the tasks are fulfilled, but I never achieve the peace I look forward to at the end of every day. Thus, my objective was to find a way to ease this stress. As Venerable Chang Wu said, “Just like sweeping, we try to dust, but the dust just floats in the air higher the harder we try; we tend to put in too much effort and produce fewer outcomes.”

To start off, the four classes consist of five categories: Moving Meditation (Eight-Form), Sleeping Meditation, Walking Meditation, Standing Meditation, and Sitting Meditation (not to mention Venerable Chang Wu’s interesting stories and words of wisdom). The Eight-Form moving meditation is composed of physical movements that relax the body and mind. The great thing about this meditation is that it is a simple exercise that does not require a lot of effort, and it allows the mind to focus and the body to relax. Sleeping Meditation is also a simple practice. It is essentially sleeping in a specific “Buddha” position. This will help with the blood circulation in the body. As for Walking Meditation, the main concept is to slow down your pace and focus on footwork, and Standing Meditation requires you to stand still and relax your body from your neck to your feet. Personally, I felt that Standing and walking meditations cannot be easily integrated into my own daily life because I am one to rush – hence, it is difficult for me to fit it into my routine. However, it is still a practice that I can work towards in the future.

If you are taking up meditation for the first time, I would recommend focusing on the types of meditation that are both enjoyable and suitable for you. The meditation I enjoyed the most is the Sitting Meditation. It was difficult to meditate in the morning for 10 minutes at first, because my legs were numb and my mind was still thinking about what I needed to do for the day. Nonetheless, I got used to it and improved after a few more practices. Like Venerable Chang Wu said, we want to live in the present, not in the past or in the future; it is not good to worry too much, because worries only build up because we are not living in the present.

In conclusion, I can’t say doing meditation has dramatically changed my life yet, but since my motivation is still there, I would like to keep it up until it becomes an effortless part of my daily routine. Thanks to Westwood Montessori School and Dharma Drum Mountain hosting the meditation class, I am able to find an outlet in which I can reset myself physically and mentally.

By Annie Tu

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