Here is a spiritual practice uncomplicated enough for anyone to learn, yet rich enough to be worked with for a lifetime. The traditional Chan (Chinese Zen) practice called Silent Illumination begins with nothing more than putting aside all thoughts except the awareness of oneself "just sitting." It’s so simple in execution that it has sometimes been called the "method of no-method"—yet simple as it is, the practice is subtle and profound, with the potential for ever subtler refinements as the practitioner moves toward mastery of it. When fully penetrated, this radical form of emptying one’s busy mind-stream leads to perception of the vast ocean of pure awareness.
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This book was recommended to be read before attending a Silent Illumination retreat. Although I did not understand its full meaning before the retreat; it prepared a foundation for practice during the retreat and for mediation practice afterwards. If one wishes to learn, practice, and understand the path of Chan Buddhism, The teachings as presented by Chan Master Sheng Yen are highly reputable, comprehensible, and accessible.