We each come into this world and go through our lives with our own karmas, our own paths, and our own ways of understanding our world. And yet, the beauty of meditation is that it can transform each of us, regardless of our million differences. Meditation practice can offer the practitioner a method to transcend one’s consciousness. As we transcend our consciousness, we will be able to experience a peace that is not of this world, a joy not of this world, a contentment not of this world.

The experience of what meditation means to each one of us is so various, and so difficult to describe adequately, I am hesitant to say too much about my own experiences. I will share this. When I practice Chinese Esoteric Buddhist meditation, I fill with light, and throughout the rest of the day, live in that light. I wish for you that light — your own light — and your own peace. I wish for you your own awakening, your own Buddha nature emerging. I wish for you that light throughout your day. I wish for each of us, that peace.

There are many kinds of meditation, both within Buddhism and outside of Buddhism. There is enough variety so that those inclined to meditate can surely find a form that works for them. If you do not yet have a meditation practice, I encourage you to develop one. Seek out a teacher, seek out a form. Seek until you find one that resonates with your spirit. Then practice it. If you do already meditate, I encourage you to continue onwards.

The Chinese Esoteric Buddhist school has meditation practices that were developed by enlightened masters more than 1,300 years ago and have been passed down unchanged throughout this time. These meditation practices are profound opportunities for the practitioner to develop and strengthen their spiritual development and use these meditations to help others. The Lapis Lazuli Medicine Buddha Prolong Life and Extinguish Disaster meditation practice is only one of the Chinese Esoteric Buddhist lineage’s meditations that is both for self-transformation and to help others.

“Buddhism emerged over 2,500 years ago in ancient India. Its teachings are first to let the people learn the method to know oneself and then to use these means to change oneself.” — Great Master Dechan Jueren, 49th lineage bearer of the Chinese Esoteric School.

What are these methods? Meditation practice and self-cultivation (the practice of becoming a better person).

May we all use our meditation practice to know ourselves, and then use our meditation practices to change ourselves. May we all awaken to supreme enlightenment together.

Best wishes! And Happy Chinese New Year 2017! Year of the Rooster!

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Charlotte M. Steen, Vajracharya ZhiChan, is a Buddhist nun and ordained teacher in the Hanmi (Chinese Esoteric) Buddhist lineage. She can be contacted through the Upper Midwest Hanmi Buddhist Association at 651.278.0697.

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