Practices

Chants, meditations, prayers and practices

Monastic Chants

Chanting can be done at prescribed times in the mornings, afternoons or evenings. Or, they can be done anytime, in any situation or circumstance, silently or aloud. If done aloud, they can be toned musically or in plain voice.

The Five Chants of Relaxing

  • Breathe and Let Go
  • Relax and Be Calm
  • Calmness and Stillness
  • Simply Nothing
  • Just Relax

These may be done individually (any single verse done repetitively) or in a circular repetition of all five phrases.

The practice is simply about relaxing.


Monastic Meditation

The Four-Step Breathing Meditation

  • In Breath — Meditating: gathering, listening, intent, and creation.
  • Full Breath — Savoring: enjoying the sense life, letting go of the things we tell ourselves that keep us from being happy.
  • Out Breath — Praying: pruning, release, action, giving to that which make us strong, healthy, and loving.
  • Empty Breath — Slowing: The Nothingness, the Center, being centered, calm and relaxed.

Simple Meditation
Finding the simple
Is taking a nap awake
Restful wakefulness
The mind in neutral


Monastic Practices

The Four Daily Practices

  1. Slowing
  2. Savoring
  3. Praying
  4. Pruning

About the Practices

Q. What is Slowing?

A. It’s less about fasting (going faster and faster, being competitive) and being first, and more about slowing down and becoming greater through the opening of the mind and heart. Slowing can also be seen as relaxing.

Q. What is the Spirit of Savoring?

A. To quote the Tao, “We will dance, while we’ve still got feet.” Savoring incorporates The Art of Giving, respecting and appreciating, having gratitude for and valuing.

Q. How is Praying Related to Meditation?

A. We think there is a simple way to sum this up: “Listening to my breath, I am reminded that it is the world which breathes me.” In other words, through meditation we learn to connect to that which is bigger, to that in which we are contained. Another perspective, however, is to view meditation as the inhale or the inspiration, and prayer as the exhale or the expiration, i.e., prayer is the outcome, the action. The entire process becomes one of transformation, the transformation of the divine into the human, of the spirit into the practical.

Q. Is the Term ‘Pruning’ expressing the idea of simplifying?

A. Yes. For example, “When I forget my ways, I am in The Way.” Pruning is very much about letting go, trimming the waste, recognizing that there are seasons which allow things to fall away and decay.

Prayers

opening mind
offering the universe
a cup of tea

How to Pray

Fill your lungs with air
Use exactly what’s needed
Return everything else

Answered Prayer

when the Nothingness
answers our prayer,
it gives us
Something from Nothing