Ocean Sky Chan Monastery is a school of Zen Buddhism, where Buddhist meditation classes are offered.
Meditation classes are taught and expertly guided by Zen Masters in a well-formulated curriculum prepared by the Chung Tai system. They are free of charge and open to the public.
Every year thousands of diligent students of all ages benefit from attending any of the different classes offered. There are many ways by which people in the Philippines discover Ocean Sky. Some discover through word of mouth, being introduced by family or friends who have experienced first hand the benefits of Zen meditation. Others find out through flyers or features in the newspapers; still others, through the Internet.
When these students first enter the monastery, all are immediately attracted to the serene atmosphere which is very conducive for introspection. Most of them come looking for something, searching for some purpose to their complicated existence. Some are depressed, weighed down by personal problems. No matter what their circumstances or backgrounds are, after regular meditation guided by the Zen Masters and listening to the lectures, they are all able to dramatically change their lives, became happier, healthier, and more optimistic.
Buddhist Meditation Classes Buddhist meditation classes are offered in three batches each year, each batch lasting around 3 months, or approximately 12 two-hour weekly sessions. The classes are centered on Zen meditation and the teachings of Buddha. In the Chan Hall, students are guided step by step on how to focus and calm the mind. Backed by Dharma lectures, they soon learn how to be mindful, to always reflect on their own minds when facing life’s difficulties, thereby gaining clarity, and an unbiased view of reality. This way, they understand their problems more clearly, and are more able to resolve them.
Beginners’ Meditation Class (初級班), in Chinese and English It offers a new perspective for beginners to understand themselves and the world around them. The lessons include: 1. Introduction to basic Zen meditation techniques, correct sitting posture, breath-counting method, and walking meditation. Students are also oriented on the various sensations that may arise during meditation. 2. Lectures on fundamental teachings of impermanence, principle of causality, Four Noble Truths etc.
Intermediate meditation lets the student learn more contemplation practices, like the Seven-round Compassion Contemplation and the method of samatha balanced with vipassana. 2. Lectures on the Twelvefold Causal Chain offer a deeper and subtler understanding of the Four Noble Truths; the states of the mind in Ten Dharma Realms; the practice of compassion in Vegetarianism; a guide to an honorable life in the Four Tenets of Chung Tai; and interesting teaching stories between Grand Master and his disciples in Chung Tai Koans.
Lessons include: 1. Advanced meditation technique on the Middle Way Reality, the highest level of meditation, a practice of no practice, a method of no method. With this technique, one can directly see one’s true nature. 2. Lectures are on the bodhisattva practice, specifically the Six Paramitas (Six Perfections). It is a cultivation practice that prioritizes the well-being and happiness of all sentient beings over ourselves, leading them towards the realization of their Buddha Nature, as a way of attaining our own liberation. The advanced class students are also required to join half-day retreats and Dharma ceremonies to further enhance the lessons learned in class.
Students study the different levels of sutras, like the Heart Sutra, Eight Realizations of Great Beings, 42 Chapters, etc. In 2012, the Surangama Sutra, Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, Vimalakirti Sutra, The Discourse of the Teachings Bequeathed by the Buddha, etc. were also taken up. Through the more extensive study of Buddha’s spoken words, students are guided on how to transform deluded mind into true mind. In class, the Lecturer-Master centers her Dharma talks and discussions on how to distinguish between the two, often with questions aimed at refining the students’ perception on the topic.