FAQ


Bodhi Meditation

Can I learn from home?

Best results are normally attained if students first attend a Bodhi Meditation and Fitness Retreat at a center. Not only will the foundation of learning be the strongest possible, but the speed of physical improvement will be the greatest as well. However, for students who do not participate in a Retreat, excellent results may also be experienced through home study when there is dedication to learning the techniques correctly. Bodhi Meditation has prepared a number of audio-visual materials for students unable to attend classes, or for those who wish to continue their studies between programs. To purchase materials, please contact a center. Students may also seek guidance from teachers via mail, phone or e-mail. See Contact Page.

Can the practice of Bodhi Meditation cause any problems? What safety issues may be involved in meditation?

Bodhi Meditation is a process of connecting with the nature of mind and body, thereby regaining a natural balance. There is no inherent harm in the process, though it is always best to learn under the guidance of a meditation master. As there is such a diverse range of meditation styles, there is likely to be a meditative practice suitable to almost anyone. Again, however, if a particular meditation practice could exacerbate a specific medical condition, then is should be abstained from
(e.g., deep breathing for asthmatics; sitting in certain positions for individuals with hip disorders).

Likewise, as previously stated, some mental health issues
(e.g., schizophrenia)
may make meditation therapy unsuitable for individuals addressing those diseases.

It is always best to consult with your doctor before starting a meditation program for the purposes of health-issue management, especially when mental health conditions are involved. During meditation, people may experience a variety of physical sensations, ranging from shivers to a feeling of heat. Also, different images may appear in the mind’s eye. These phenomena occur uniquely for everyone, as no two people share the exact same physical or psychological constitution. These phenomena are both harmless and unavoidable. There is nothing mysterious in the occurrences noted here: they are illusions, mere distractions created by the mind. Meditators should neither fixate on them, nor allow them to hinder their self-cultivation initiatives. Lastly, some people gain great benefit from their meditation practice without ever experiencing any of the above – this is also normal. *Also, please see question “Is it possible to practice meditation incorrectly?”

How can I expect to benefit from Bodhi Meditation?

Meditation has been used successfully in conjunction with conventional medical treatments. In the Western medical world, it has already been applied to treat the following:

  1. Addiction-related issues, ranging from behavior awareness to withdrawal symptom management for narcotics, nicotine, and alcohol dependencies
  2. Cancer-related issues
  3. High blood pressure: a report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends meditation as one of the primary treatments for high blood pressure
  4. HIV-related issues
  5. Menopausal symptoms
  6. Pain issues and responses
  7. Stress, anxiety and depression

The practice of Bodhi methods benefits both the body and the mind. Physical benefits of Bodhi Meditation may include:

  1. The regulation of arterial and nervous system disease (e.g., fatigue, headaches, insomnia, nervous breakdown, etc.)
  2. Amelioration of lower back and spinal pain, numbness of the extremities, rheumatism and neurovascular illness
  3. Improvement of liver, gallbladder, spleen, stomach and kidney function, as well as relief from diseases of the internal organs
  4. Treatment of allergies
  5. Notable improvements in overall physical condition and general appearance, including weight control
  6. The clearing of mental distractions and impurities, facilitating the emergence of seemingly inexplicable abilities
  7. The occurrence of a state in which, without intending so, a practitioner becomes unable or unwilling to eat, yet is relaxed and full of energy – it is known as “spontaneous fasting” The psychological and spiritual benefits of Bodhi Meditation may include:
    1. Increased patience and will power
    2. Increased mental agility and task proficiency
    3. An improved ability to remain calm and emotionally grounded
    4. A broader, more open heart, increased initiative and enthusiasm, plus greater motivation to help others.
How long before results appear?

Due to the ease with which students learn and practice Bodhi Meditation, the majority of practitioners see obvious results after as little as two weeks. Results differ for everyone, as no two people are identical in body or mind. Focus on your practice and you may experience enormous benefit. If you wish for the best and quickest results, participate in one of our Bodhi Meditation and Fitness Retreats, so as to solidly establish the most positive and powerful grounding in the principles. By the same token, practicing the Meditation of Greater Illumination and the Meditation of Purity at least once a day is recommended. If you do, you are more likely to maximize benefit.

Is Bodhi Meditation we practice everyday the same as Qi Gong/Tai Chi?

Bodhi Meditation, Qi Gong and Tai Chi were all born from the rich soil of 5000 years of Chinese civilization. Practiced properly, they can all induce health benefits. That being said, Bodhi Meditation is unique in the following ways:

  1. It channels universal energy rather than working with what’s within one person (Qi). It transcends the genetic and physical limits of just one being by relying and drawing energy from the entire universe.
  2. The entire human body is the receiver of this energy. The energy’s effects on the body do not rely on certain meridian paths or pressure points of the body, which are the common requirements for many types of the Qi Gong practices. Such requirements entail the need for close monitoring by experienced master for beginner practitioners. Devoid of such supervision, improper practices and adverse side effects have often been observed. Because of the simplicity of Bodhi Meditation, it can be safely practiced at home by beginners.
  3. Tai Chi is a form of martial art. The full- length version has 84 continuous movements. The simplified version still has 24 movements. It will require a period of dedicated practice before a beginner can master it, while the Meditation of Greater Illumination— Bodhi meditation can be learned as quickly as within an hour
What is special about Bodhi Meditation?

The meditation techniques taught at Bodhi Meditation are those compiled by Meditation Grandmaster JinBodhi during his many decades of self-discipline and trial. They represent the refinement of his traditional instruction, with the following enhancements:

  1. Accessibility Bodhi meditation methods are easily acquired, irrespective of age or gender. Their accessibility is not hindered by differences in cultural, economic, religious, or linguistic background. With a willing mind, practical proficiency with the techniques develops in a very short time.
  2. Result Oriented Practitioners of Bodhi Meditation learn to access and make use of the natural world’s energies. With these energies, they are able to treat illness – within themselves and others. The body is strengthened, while psychological and spiritual development occurs.
  3. Making Life Meaningful A course based on Bodhi methodology is a course in the methodology of good living – our students learn about cultivating and enlightening the heart-mind. This process leads to the accumulation of merit, or “positive habits that lead to positive results.”
What time of day is best to practice Bodhi Meditation?

Students can practice any time, day or night, although it is generally best to wait thirty minutes after eating. No matter when you practice, it is always optimal to continue for as long as you can – so long as it is enjoyable. Be sure to practice everything in correct sequence, aiming for half an hour of practice, and then adding a little to that half-hour each time according to your ability. If you practice every day, you will definitely benefit. For many people, the common excuse for not practicing daily is that they “work long hours and have no time to meditate.” However, meditation is a wonderful way to get rested! What’s more, on many levels it invigorates and dispels fatigue more efficiently than sleep. We recommend that anyone who works exceptionally long hours put aside an hour of their normal sleep time for meditation. It will increase both the amount of energy that they have each day, as well as their work-related problem solving skills.

Chanting

Chanting Questions

What’s the meaning of the chant Ahh, Mee, Tuh?

Ahh, Mee, Tuh is a mantra in the Buddism tradition. A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of “creating transformation”. Their use and type varies according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra. In the context of Meditation of Greater Illumination, it is used as a way of connecting to the most powerful benevolent energy in the Universe. It does not carry any meaning in the concept of human language. It is a special combination of sound waves that channels the universal energy. The person who chants this mantra with purity of heart and sincerity of spirit will experience enhanced sense of confidence and courage. It is like a prayer for spiritual rigor and reinforcement. At time of fear or doubts, this mantra will induce calmness and peace of mind.

Greater Illumination

Greater Illumination Questions

As a beginner, I know we’re supposed to relax, but my arms ache when I raise them up for too long. Can I bring my arms down to rest, then put them up again?

It’s beneficial to hold them up until the mudra is finished. But if it’s too difficult, then you may, of course, rest them for a bit before lifting them again. Your arms won’t ache after a few days of continued practice. If you feel your arms are sour, you can let them down and relax, then slowly move them up again. It’s beneficial to relax the arm and release any muscle tension. Please bear in mind that relaxation of both body and mind is key in the practice of this meditation. The body should feel comfortable in any mudra or position during the process of meditation. Avoid any rigidity or stiffness in your practice.

During the practice, some people feel cold or hot. Some feel sore in some parts of their body. Is this normal?

Yes. Self-cultivation has the potential to completely re-order the body’s internal functions. For this reason, it is important not to concentrate on one’s illnesses during meditation. Focusing on an issue can create or reinforce it.

If I don’t have enough time in the morning to practice the entire meditation, what should I do?

You can just practice the Pure Heart Mudra- Relax your eyes and look at a tree far away on the horizon, imagine you are practicing with the tree, and saying to yourself: “I am the tree and the tree is me. I have no concerns and fear. I am relaxed and at ease, I take the nourishment of the world around me, accepting energy from the universe”. Within a few minutes, such practice may bring a fresh start to the day.

Meditation

Mediation Questions

During meditation, how to deal with a sudden distraction?

Before you start meditation, allow the distraction to register on your mind. Don’t try to identify the distraction. If it is sudden noise from the street, let it remain just a sudden noise from the street, rather than trying to decide whether it’s a lawn mower or a power tool, and which neighbor is responsible for causing it. Don’t respond emotionally to the distraction. Judging it as unpleasant or pleasant, or resenting the fact that your neighbor or your family can be so noisy, only strengthens the chances of the noise distracting you from your meditation. It is simply noise, nothing more. Finally, don’t abandon the meditation sessions because of a distraction. If you do so, the distraction has won. It is sometimes said that you should soften yourself around the distraction, instead of becoming hard to it. Experience will help you recognize what this means.

During meditation, my mind often wonders away. What should I do?

The mind’s natural tendency is to “wander away.” The response is simple: acknowledge the distraction and gently return to the desired mental focus. This method promotes profound calmness, inner stillness and non-reactivity of the mind.

How will meditating make any difference if I’m having problems?

Most forms of meditation catalyze a “relaxation response” and improve mental-physical function; as a result, meditation may provide both immediate and long-term benefit to almost anyone. Moreover, there are other potential benefits of meditation, ascribed to the theory of causality. Causality states that behaviors, meaning oft-subconscious intentions, thoughts, words and actions, provoke matching responses. These responses occur both within an individual, and externally. In essence, the theory of causality is an extended version of “cause and effect” – every act, including thought, has a corresponding result. Furthermore, the quality of the behaviors, especially the core intention behind them, determines the nature of the effects. Thoughts, words and actions that are positive (corresponding to the situation) create equally positive results – the reverse is also true. The results of any behavior occur without fail, though they may not be immediate or obvious. Meditation encourages an unobstructed understanding of existing and possible behaviors. This is an important point, as an unobstructed understanding of behaviors equals power to control them. For that reason, meditation is often the key to understanding and changing subconscious actions and patterns that create unfavorable responses… in both the mind and the world beyond. Thus it logically follows that as meditation leads one into a more intimate relationship with the body and the mind, it can also lead to the selection of positive behaviors on even the most profoundly subconscious levels, creating the possibility of positive results in every aspect of life. Meditation offers the truly phenomenal power to free oneself from the fetters that prevent success and joy.

I am physically healthy and happy with my life. Will meditation benefit me?

The simple truth is that life is a process of development – change is the only constant, after all. Health, happiness and any other state are essentially transient phenomena. In ancient China, it was believed that “humans have but a short while to enjoy both misfortune and joy.” While the average individual may be dissatisfied with numerous issues in his or her life, even someone blessed with a remarkably happy disposition will encounter rainy days. Self-cultivation is a tool that can be developed, and then used in challenging situations. It engenders a calm that allows wisdom to be the main and active element in problem resolution.

I do not belong to a religion that encourages meditation – can I still meditate and attend classes?

Everyone has the right to freedom of belief; it is our beliefs that guide us through life. We warmly welcome people from all religious backgrounds, and wish for the everlasting peace and health of every being. Thus, potentially divisive issues have no precedence. Moreover, the quality of thought attained during meditation surpasses that of everyday life, and also therefore transcends everyday human philosophical, scientific, and religious understanding. For that reason, it is possible for people with differing worldviews to appreciate each other in new ways during or after meditation.

Is it possible to practice meditation incorrectly?

As meditation has to do with the mind and mental habits, it is actually possible to reinforce negative thoughts and behavior through unsupervised meditation. For that reason, it is always recommended that new practitioners seek out an experienced meditation master or other form of teacher, whereby they can learn “correct” meditation theory and execution (“correct” meaning “most likely to produce the most positive outcome”). *Also, please see question “Can the practice of Bodhi Meditation cause any problems? What safety issues may be involved in meditation?”

What are common forms of meditation?

Most forms of meditation encourage the focusing of thought and the mindfulness of mental distractions: pleasant, unpleasant, habitual and so forth. Most meditation promotes thought-pattern recognition and renewed perspective, effecting calm and a sense of being “grounded” regardless of the style of practice. Some styles require frozen physical postures (static meditation); some make use of meditative gestures and movement (dynamic meditation). Others are defined by complete silence, or by chanting and visualization. Many modes stipulate focused concentration on a single object, act, sound or concept. Remarkably, practitioners of meditation often experience improvements not only in their mental function, but also in their physical faculties.

What are the common phenomena during meditation?

Some people may tear up, get a runny nose, cough, yawn. Some people may feel cold air come out; Some may find sweat in their hands or feet. When they just sit or do the normal chores, they don’t have these symptoms. This is actually a good sign that our body is detoxifying and purifying. Deep seated emotions, some of which we may be aware of, but some we may not, get released during meditation. It’s a good thing because it is a sign that our body is losing more of the internal blocks. The body tenses muscles to store an emotion it doesn’t want to experience. It acts as a reminder to experience that emotion later. It can be stored in this manner for years. It negatively affects your health. So as meditation profoundly relaxes the whole body, these chronically tense muscles bring back the emotion that was stored. This is a big part of the “impurities” that are cleaned out by meditation. Your body temperature may increase and you may perspire slightly, a sign of enhanced blood circulation. If your tongue is touching the ridge behind your teeth, you may find that you are producing more saliva than usual. Do not be disturbed if you find yourself swallowing often. During meditation, your body may shake and sway, which is to be expected when the body relaxes and the vital energy of internal organs flows. It is not a cause for concern. Your stomach may make noises and your muscles may twitch; this is also normal.

What scientific research has been done on meditation?

Many people have a limited concept of “the body”. They believe that the body is flesh and flesh alone, erroneously dividing the concept of “self” into two exclusive categories: body and mind. Due to this misunderstanding, many attempt to nourish the former only by means of food and drink; they lack awareness of the necessity of nourishing the body through mental means, and as a result they suffer from physical maladies. There is a growing recognition that bodily illness may be born of psychological imbalance, for the mind is the body’s master. We are human and live in a world of daily struggle, and constant stress makes it challenging for many to avoid unhealthy emotional tendencies such as greed, anger, ignorance and so forth. These tendencies create our illnesses and our pain. Treatments that address only the symptoms provide superficial, temporary relief, while the root of the problem remains intact and capable of creating further damage. Research suggests that when people are in states of psychological wellness, their bodies produce beneficial hormones, enzymes and compounds. These may lower blood pressure and influence neurons to function at optimum capacity. Contrarily, depression, anxiety and sadness throw the body’s internal workings into disorder and result in sickness. Self-cultivating can ease a tumultuous mind, fostering a clearer, grounded and more joyful internal state. When the mind is peaceful and receptive, the body’s energy, traditionally known as qi or pr?na, flows smoothly. When the flow of qi is fluent and steady, the circulation of blood follows suit. Not only are illnesses dispelled and the body strengthened, but lucid perspective is also encouraged by this state; clearer perspective eliminates misconceptions born of pure subjectivity. Mental focus is likewise enhanced. This leads to the development of new wisdom and finally the realization of each individual’s unlimited potential for health, success and wonder.

What should I do if I experience soreness during meditation (e.g., lower back and legs)?

When people begin to study meditation, they often experience a variety of pains and discomfort, including the sensation that time is passing very (VERY) slowly: these are tricks of the mind. It is important not to allow these tricks to distract you too much, and to quiet your thoughts and feelings, because practice is a matter of overcoming your own self-imposed limitations. When you persevere and continue working through those challenging moments, you are likely to access an exceptionally peaceful and joyful state, one that elicits indescribable sensations that must be experienced firsthand to be truly understood. The most important aspect of this positive state is the manner in which it benefits everyday life.

Self Cultivation

Self Cultivation

Do I need to be a vegetarian in order to self-cultivate?

The most important aspect of self-cultivation is the pursuit of a balanced heart-mind, not vegetarianism. Your ability to be happy, healthy and calm is of primary importance, much more so than the foods you consume. Nonetheless, cattle, lamb and pigs are gentle animals that benefit the human world in a variety of ways. Eating them is a form of unnecessary violence on our part. Being more aware of what we eat, and avoiding the consumption of anything that has suffered to become our food, is a choice that can encourage awareness and kindness.

What is the difference between “meditation” and “self-cultivation”?

Meditation is one aspect of self-cultivation, the process of mastering heart, mind and body. This process increases self-awareness and broadens perspective. A heart that is influenced by self-cultivation becomes clearer and more enduring; a feeling of calm becomes more frequent. The body grows stronger, healthier and more relaxed. There is a common and mistaken belief that sitting meditation alone is the totality of self-cultivation. Practitioners who hold this point of view behave as they always have when not practicing their sitting meditation. If an individual is a true self-cultivator, they are aware that even when the position of their body has altered, they are still capable of meditative thought. Everyday activities can be conducted with mindfulness – to do so is to be the essence of self-cultivation.

Which physical posture is best for meditation?

The lotus position is not directly related to meditation, per se. However, body and mind are best cultivated as one – that is the goal of self-cultivation. If you have never meditated in the lotus position, then you are not likely to know how much your body and mind affect one another, nor whether you have really linked them in your awareness. Meditating in the lotus position is an excellent way to enhance your willpower. If you are able to pass through the periods of discomfort, soreness and numbness that may result, then you are more likely to be able to meet the challenges and difficulties of your day without losing energy or focus. The lotus position should not be overlooked, as it is a useful tool. Once the position has been experienced a few times, it becomes easier to assume.

Who can practice meditation and self-cultivation?

Anyone can practice, because the innate wisdom that lies within each and every person is the same, though it manifests differently. Some people who regard themselves as highly educated are limited by the mental tendencies developed through academic study. They are unable to discern that their inner growth and natural progress are being stunted by the limits and structure that they have unconsciously placed on their thinking. Meditation provides a different sort of education – an experiential one. The irrelevant is set aside, giving room for real and personal experience of deeper, more fundamental understandings. As there are so many different forms of meditation, there is likely to be a meditative practice suitable to almost anyone. However, if a particular meditation practice could aggravate an individual’s medical condition, then it should be abstained from (e.g., deep breathing for asthmatics; sitting in certain positions for individuals with hip disorders). There are also certain mental health issues (e.g., schizophrenia) that may make meditation unsuitable for individuals managing those diseases. It is always best to consult with your doctor before embarking on a meditation program as a part of wellness management. This is particularly the case for individuals receiving treatment for mental health challenges.

Who can practice meditation and self-cultivation?

Anyone can practice, because the innate wisdom that lies within each and every person is the same, though it manifests differently. Some people who regard themselves as highly educated are limited by the mental tendencies developed through academic study. They are unable to discern that their inner growth and natural progress are being stunted by the limits and structure that they have unconsciously placed on their thinking. Meditation provides a different sort of education – an experiential one. The irrelevant is set aside, giving room for real and personal experience of deeper, more fundamental understandings. As there are so many different forms of meditation, there is likely to be a meditative practice suitable to almost anyone. However, if a particular meditation practice could aggravate an individual’s medical condition, then it should be abstained from (e.g., deep breathing for asthmatics; sitting in certain positions for individuals with hip disorders). There are also certain mental health issues (e.g., schizophrenia) that may make meditation unsuitable for individuals managing those diseases. It is always best to consult with your doctor before embarking on a meditation program as a part of wellness management. This is particularly the case for individuals receiving treatment for mental health challenges.

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