When we are practicing Zen (Chan), we should ask ourselves: “who is practicing?” Is there a “me” in this body? When the gathering of four elements (earth, water, heat, wind) of the body separate, where is this “me” going? Is there a “me” in the mind? Which moment of mind is “me”?
The “practicing” is just a dependent-arising state…no matter the physical movement or the mental awareness. With this understanding, we can have a normal attitude to keep on practicing.
Keep awareness on the sitting; is there an independent “posture”? Keep awareness on breathing, is there a solid breathe-in or out? Keep awareness on movement; is there a fixed pulling or stretching?
When the pain arises, you don’t know how long you will keep it? When the itch emerges, are you sure it will not come again after you scratch it? How long can you stay in the most comfortable posture you feel?
State of mind
Why do you have a different feeling with the same melody in different circumstances? Why do you have varied emotions in the same environment? What causes you to stick to the computer for hours with less breathing? What moulds your mind into colorful patterns?
Are you living a happy life? Does it mean you don’t have worries? Are you a successful person? Does it mean you have no frustrated moments? When you say: “I’m very strong and healthy!” Are you sure the sickness will not knock at your door later?
The world is colorful and life is vigorous, because nothing is solid! Keep a neutral awareness on whatever happens to you, and enjoy living without clinging.