Contemplative Exercise Immersion: A Taste of Chan

Mar 21, 2022

A pivotal dimension of learning at DRBU involves directly applying what we learn from the texts in our own experience. Each semester we pause our study routines and unplug from digital devices to immerse ourselves in contemplative exercise for one week. While the practices change from semester to semester, each one provides an opportunity to know thyself, to attend to our hearts and minds, and to open up the possibilities for profound freedom. The theme of the 2022 Spring CEI was "A Taste of Chan." The entire university immersed in four days of sitting, standing, walking, and (hopefully) reclining in Chan meditation. Can you taste a little bit of Chan from these photos? :)

Here are some reflections from the participants:

“I am profoundly inspired by the teachers' unconditional and selfless giving. I also learned that in cultivation, a tiny, little unexamined laziness or selfishness could stop us from advancing the Way or prevent us from awakening.” –Faculty Yihuan Shi

“We spend so much time in words and language as a DRBU student–due to all the reading and writing for our classes–so being able to put that all down for the stillness of meditation was a welcome change. It was a chance to take what we've learned, and put it into practice within our own minds.” –MA student James Nguyen

“What did you learn? That intectuallizing has its time and place. And figuring out things. Like how to deal with afflictions, tasks, problems, and studying doesn't have to be so stressful. Abiding in Chan, especially outside of meditation even for a few minutes helps you let go of your worries and constructs, so you have a little more freedom than you had a while ago.

How was your experience? Like this:

....... ...... 4
1 ...... 3

–BA student Norbel Casas

“I learned that Chan is not just sitting on the cushion asking “Who?”. Chan is also the small moments in daily life, when I take a mindful breath, listen to the silence when the birds momentarily stop singing, look at the space in between words on a page, and savor the split second of stillness in between the incessant thoughts.” –Translation Certificate student Grace Woo

“Chan tasted like Water.
When I held it, it took the shape of my mind.
When asked 'whose' mind?
It disappeared into the sky.”
–MA student Sanju Kattel Baral

“In stillness I am able to see.” –Staff member Jianqiu Wu