Report - 2018 DDYP Central Park Outdoor Meditation in New York
July 28, 2018
DDYP Central Park Outdoor Meditation in New York

On July 28th, Chan Meditation Center’s DDYP held its first Outdoor Chan Meditation Event at the Diana Ross Playground lawn in Central Park, New York City. Organized by DDYP volunteers and led by Venerable Chang Hsiu and Chang Guan, the event saw about 50 attendees from diverse backgrounds and focused on the Eight-Form Moving Meditation, natural walking, sitting meditation, and group sharing.

At the start of the gathering, Venerable Chang Hsiu briefly introduced Chan Meditation Center of DDM which is a Buddhist organization based in Taiwan, and explained the essence of the Eight-Form Moving Meditation - “where your body is, your mind is; clear-minded, whole body relaxation” - as the guiding method of outdoor meditation practice. During moving meditation, busy yet curious passers-by stopped to watch and some even joined the group practice. Venerable Chang Hsiu used “clear-mindedness, relaxation, and mindfulness of the senses” as the guiding method for sitting practice and “let it in, let it be, let it go” to allow body and mind to accept the environment in its entirety and find stillness in a noisy and disorderly surrounding.

Report - 2018 DDYP Central Park Outdoor Meditation in New York

One participant said during group sharing that Chan practice is usually done in the quiet indoors, counting the breath to settle mind and thoughts. Outdoor sitting meditation was a first for him, yet learning how to accept the outside environment in its entirety was a new and refreshing experience. Towards the end, the Venerable briefly summarized that the method used for today’s outdoor meditation was body-mind relaxation as well as being clear of the various sensations and external stimuli the body and mind receive without being influenced or afflicted by them. Allowing all external phenomena is the method of Silent Illumination in Chinese Chan, similar to shikantaza (sitting only) in Japanese Zen. This method helps body and mind relax anywhere, anytime, and can keep the mind bright and clear during different situations in everyday life and resolve them with reason and wisdom. At the end of the event, many participants expressed that this was their first time hearing of Silent Illumination and hope to learn more as well as be able to participate in more of these events.

Report - 2018 DDYP Central Park Outdoor Meditation in New York