Q&A and Dharma Talks – 2022

Guo Gu Q&A

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 21st April 2022:
1) How to understand the position of Nianfo (念佛) practice in Chan?
2) How to face our strong views/opinions on something? (00:13:20)
3) What to do when we don’t find strong interest in our breath? (00:32:30)
3) When we pray and ask for help/guidance/protection from higher spiritual beings, are we simply talking to ourselves or are we actually connecting to the spiritual dimension? (00:41:20)
4) What to do when we feel strong emotions when practicing mindfulness? (00:46:20)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A

By Venerable Chang Wu

Chang Wu Fashi addressed a question at London Chan Meditation on 30 April 2022 related to:
1) How to release the tension around my chest after fully relaxing my body?
2) Any advice if I found the morning sitting sessions are generally quite hard to stay with the method? (00:14:15)
3) How to correctly understand “our mind in the past, present and future is not attainable” (過去心不可得,現在心不可得,未來心不可得) from Dimond Sutra and how to incorporate it into our daily life? (00:23:30)

Guo Gu Q&A

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 16th April 2022:
1) I talk to myself all day long, could you suggest some method to help me to silence my mind?
2) What to do when we have some experience/insight in meditation? (00:22:17)
3) I found it’s hard to let go of the grasping of our own view/opinion. Is there any method we can employ? (00:37:05)
4) How to deal with the heat generated in meditation practice? (00:45:25)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A

By Venerable Chang Wu

Chang Wu Fashi addressed a question at London Chan Meditation on 26 March 2022 related to:
1) How to keep motivated in meditation practice if we are not yet Buddhists?
2) How do we know when we get to the stage of no-mind? (00:14:50)
3) I feel less negative (e.g. sadness, nervousness) as well as positive emotions (e.g. happiness) since I practice meditation, am I practicing in the right way? (00:22:10)
4) How to place our mind at this moment? (00:54:00)

Guo Gu Q&A

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 19th March 2022:
1) How to practice when we are sick?
2) How to manage the anxiety when we are not feeling well? (00:13:45)
3) How is the practice of observing the mental factors during and after our meditation? (00:23:40)
4) If we like to start to read sutra, where shall we start? (00:38:00)
5) How would you normally teach Huatou? Is it close to vipassana or samatha practice? (00:48:00)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (Reciting Buddha’s Name 念佛)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Chang Wu Fashi addressed a question at London Chan Meditation on 26 February 2022 related to:
1) What is the position of the Nian Fo method (reciting Buddha’s name) in Dharma Drum Mountain or Chan?
2) How to approach the anxiety of thinking we won’t be able to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime? (00:25:20)
3) How to balance effort and relaxation in our life? (00:35:55)
4) Shall we continue to use reciting Buddha’s name when it drives emotion when using it? (00:46:40)

Guo Gu Q&A (“Seed” in Yogachara 種子)

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 19th February 2022:
1) How to understand the concept of “seed” in Yogachara? When I’m experiencing challenges or difficulties in life, how do I know the “seed” was planted by me not others?
2) What to do when the breath becomes very subtle and hardly noticeable? (00:35:10)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (Relaxation & Breathing Method)

By Venerable Chang Wu

1) when we do eight-form moving meditation, shall we place our mind on a part of the body or the sensation of the entire body as a whole?
2) how to stretch and relax at the same time when doing certain forms of movement meditation (e.g. backstretch)? (00:28:50)
3) in using the breathing method, shall we move our focus to abdominal movement when we find it difficult to sense the sensation around the nasal area? (00:46:30)

Guo Gu Q&A

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 22nd January 2022:
1) What is the role of ritual in Chan practice?
2) How special is the retreat? (00:06:30)
2) What is the place of mantra practice in Chan? (00:15:30)
3) How to solve the conflict between people using Dharma? (00:25:45)

Q&A and Dharma Talks – 2021

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (Direct Contemplation 直觀)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Venerable Chang Wu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 27 November 2021:
1) how to use the sound method? And what it’s relationship with other methods like Huatou (話頭) and Silent Illumination (默照)?

Guo Gu Q&A (Huatou Practice 話頭)

By Guo Gu

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 20 November 2021:
1) What does it mean to write the word “death” onto the forehead? How to practice this or is it referencing an attitude?
2) How to keep our Huatou at all times, e.g. in our everyday life when walking, sitting, lying down, standing as Dahui Zonggao suggested? (00:17:08)

Ven. Chang Wu Dharma Talk (The Teaching of Non-Abiding in the Platform Sutra 無住)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Chang Wu Fashi gave a Dharma talk at London Chan Meditation on 30 October 2021 on The Teaching of Non-Abiding in the Platform Sutra.

Guo Gu Q&A

By Guo Gu

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 16th October 2021:
1) How to approach the problem of “evil” in today’s society?
2) What’s the difference between Silent Illumination and Shikantaza? (00:39:05)
3) What’s the difference between the two methods taught by Huineng (the Sixth Patriarch)? (00:43:35)

Ven. Chang Wu Dharma Talk (The Teaching of No-Form in the Platform Sutra 無相)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Chang Wu Fashi gave a Dharma talk at London Chan Meditation on 25 September 2021 on The Teaching of No-Form in the Platform Sutra.

Guo Gu Q&A (Brahmavihara 四無量心)

By Guo Gu

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed a question at London Chan Meditation on 19th September 2021: How to approach old age, sickness and death? How to find equanimity, even joy, in the process?

Ven. Chang Wu Dharma Talk (The Teaching of No-Thought in the Platform Sutra 無念)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Chang Wu Fashi gave a Dharma talk at London Chan Meditation on 28 August 2021 on The Teaching of No-Thought in the Platform Sutra.

Guo Gu Q&A

By Guo Gu

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 21st August 2021:
1) How to correctly develop the “interest” in the method?
2) How to interact with surroundings when our own “energy” level is low? (00:25:47)
3) What is the best time to meditate each day? Should we focus on deep breath during meditation? How to face different mental status during meditation? (00:48:10)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A

By Venerable Chang Wu

Venerable Chang Wu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 31 July 2021:
1) What happens after our counting the breaths stop?
2) Where to place our eyes during meditation? (00:07:55);
3) How to deal with a strong dislike of certain things, e.g. moving meditation? (00:13:30);
4) How to deal with pain or numbness during meditation? (00:23:10);
5) How to understand the idea of energy circulation? (00:40:50).

Guo Gu Q&A

By Guo Gu

Guo Gu Laoshi addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 17th July 2021:
1) What method to use if I’m very sensitive to sound?
2) Is hatred most harmful among greed, hatred, and greed (three poisons)? (00:15:18);
3) What to do when we are trapped in our narratives and feel depressed? (00:20:25);
4) Could you give me a suggestion around a good Huatou to practice on? (00:42:50);
5) What to do when we lose confidence in a method? (00:55:30)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A

By Venerable Chang Wu

Venerable Chang Wu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 26 June 2021:
1) How can one separate the understanding about karma and practice compassion when dealing with narcissistic people?
2) How to practice when any form of concentration or mindfulness becomes an effort? (00:27:50);
3) How can lay people reconcile with the idea that Buddhism aspires to cut vexations including marriage and creating offspring? (01:02:45).

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (Judgement on Others)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Venerable Chang Wu addressed a question at London Chan Meditation on 29 May 2021:
1) how to work with our judgement on others from Chan perspective?

Guo Gu Q&A (Work with our Thoughts & Concentration and Creativity)

By Guo Gu

Guo Gu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 17th May 2021:
1) How to work with things that arise during meditation?
2) How to react to things that raise during our daily life? (00:19:24);
3) What is the effective way of dealing with stress? (00:27:19);
4) How to practice in daily life if we don’t have time to sit? (00:48:40);
5) Is it beneficial to allow our mind to wander sometimes? Would it affect our concentration? (00:56:40)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (Chronic pain & Anger)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Venerable Chang Wu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 24 April 2021:
1) how to practice with chronic pain;
2) how to face our anger (00:20:55);
3) how to perceive labelling in our daily life from a Buddhist perspective (00:44:20);
4) what is the correct view towards solitary retreat (00:58:34)

Guo Gu Q&A (Racism)

By Guo Gu

Guo Gu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 18th April 2021:
1) how to deal with chest pain during meditation;
2) how to respond to racism from a Buddhist perspective (00:15:16);
3) how to deal with mouth opening when relaxing the body (00:48:00);
4) what is the right order of full-body relaxation (01:01:59)

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (Relaxation & Wandering Thoughts)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Venerable Chang Wu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 27 March 2021, relate to how to deal with wandering thoughts (00:27:00).

Guo Gu Q&A (Depression)

By Guo Gu

Teacher Guo Gu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 20th March 2021:
1) how not to be overwhelmed by a good sitting;
2) relationship between mind-objects and awareness (00:10:23);
3) how to go beyond the narratives, thoughts, and intellect understanding of the cause of depression and suicidal fantasies? (00:17:16).

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (Emptiness, Causes & Conditions)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Ven. Chang Wu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 27 February 2021:
1) how to understand and practice with the concept of emptiness, causes & conditions;
2) do we find liberation/enlightenment within causes & conditions or beyond (00:55:50);
3) how to cultivate confidence (01:00:20).

Guo Gu Q&A (Scattered Thought, Wandering Thought & Discursive Thinking)

By Guo Gu

Teacher Guo Gu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 20th February 2021:
1) overcome difficulties in one-day retreat as a beginner;
2) the meaning of “not be affected” (00:07:40);
3) what’s the difference between scattered and wandering thought? (00:20:10);
4) how to face the back & forth in practice? (00:40:25); 5) conclusion & gratitude (01:00:00).

Ven. Chang Wu Q&A (the Foundation of Meditation)

By Venerable Chang Wu

Ven. Chang Wu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 30 January 2021:
1) how to make progress when the mind is unsettled;
2) what is the right approach to working through the chatter (00:26:06);
3) how to cultivate the ability to concentrate on one thing (00:40:40).

Guo Gu Q&A

By Guo Gu

Teacher Guo Gu addressed questions at London Chan Meditation on 16 January 2021:
1) is it useful to classify methods into being dual or non-dual?
2) what’s the point of life if Buddhism perceives everything is suffering? (00:27:36)

Dharma Talks – 2020 selection

Practice in Physical or Emotional Pain

By Venerable Chang Wu

Talk at London Chan Meditation on 22 August 2020 – addressing questions on how to practice in physical or emotional pain, how to face the doubt during practice, and how to observe “false speech” (one of the Five Precepts) in daily life

Attachment to Meditation

By Guo Gu

Talk at London Chan Meditation on 19 September 2020 – address a question of how to understand the paradox of our free nature but some people’s attachment to meditation

Live a Purposeful Life

By Venerable Chang Wu

Talk at London Chan Meditation on 26 August 2020 – addressing questions relate to how to live a purposeful life, how to deal with arrogant (00:46:00) and how to integrate practice into daily life (01:03:00)

Chan Practice and Buddhism

By Guo Gu

Talk at London Chan Meditation on 15 August 2020 – addressing a question of whether we need to have a systematic understanding of Bodhidharma while practicing Chan meditation

Buddhist Perspectives on Subconscious and Mind Healing (Yogachara)

By Guo Gu

Talk at London Chan Meditation on 17 October 2020 – addressing question relates to the Buddhist perspectives on subconscious and mind healing techniques