Before I was born, who was I?
After I am born, who am I?
Respect yourself, and everyone will respect you.
Understand yourself, and everyone will understand you.
There are mirrors all around you:
Strive to see and understand yourself.
Strive to have the heart of a Buddha.
Stop doing bad things, only do good.
Do whatever you can to help others.
In these ways you help yourself.
Help yourself, and you help the world.
Buddhism was born in Nepal about 2500 years ago. It spread to India some 400 years later, and 1500 years ago, it appeared in China. Chan Buddhism is said to have originated at Shaolin Temple, and its spiritual founder was an Indian prince named Bodhidharma, or as he was known to the Chinese, Da Mo. It is characterized by a rejection of much of the protocol associated with other sects of Buddhism and is oriented around the practice of meditation. In Chan, the Temple is everywhere, and one can pray anywhere, meditate in any position, and it emphasizes the idea of personal awakening and understanding. Chan is the spiritual parent of Japanese Zen Buddhism.
What is "Action Meditation"?
Action meditation, or "dong chan" in Chinese, can be everything and anything we do. Play some music, speak, eat, go swimming, go climb a tree, go climb a mountain, walk upside-down, play basketball, make dinner, make love - any action you can think of that you can express in your beautiful life - that's action meditation. There are a million different doors for a million different people to walk through in their lives, and a million different ways for a million different people to meditate in their lives.
Sitting meditation probably may not be good for some people, just like everyone likes different food and has different tastes. I can just sit there watching TV, and without warming up kiss my foot. It feels so good, so fresh and so clean - that's my action meditation. Maybe you'll never be able to do this kind of action meditation, or maybe you can. That's why you have to be yourself. You can't copy other people. You can borrow somebody else's philosophy to use in your life, but you can't live completely like somebody else.
Even now, in the 21st century, there are many monks, masters, or instructors who still just use one way to teach many people, to cross their legs and sit in the lotus position doing sitting meditation. Not everybody is flexible enough to put their legs together and sit there like that. They sit there for 15-20 minutes and their joints begin to ache, their knees, ankles, lower back, and neck get tired and uncomfortable. Why do you want to do sitting meditation when you're torturing yourself, creating a problem for your life?