Reflections on Hsi All-Stages Meditation

The opportunity to participate in the Hsi All-Stages Meditation (HASM) as a method of healing was recommended by a past student who had benefited from this experience. Having pursued various therapeutic directions to address many current and past ills for both my wife and I, we were hopeful that this rare occasion may bring a new breakthrough to this path of health recovery.

The Hsi All-Stages Meditation is unlike any meditative methods that we have encountered. The presentation lecture described a method that was discovered through Master Hsi・s own exploration, together with Chinese philosophical teachings and systematic meditative practices. The fundamental difference between HASM from all other meditative methods is that it being not mind-directed, but rather through developing a mind of impassive awareness. Through successive stages of practice, this quiescence allows the self-regenerating life force to emerge, resulting in the healing to the body and mind.

In each lessons in the beginner through the intermediate level of meditation, the master imparted new philosophical teaching according to Taoist teachings, together with the review of each participants・ inner experience and a new step in the meditative practice. The first notable difference was the ease in practice to develop a quieter mind with lessened disturbance. Aberrant thoughts are incessant, but the practice of the impassive view free oneself from their attachment. The master strongly emphasized the importance of inner experience through the stages with diligent practice, rather than relying solely on the instruction in order to progress.

Life is unpredictable and ever changing. So long as we are on the right path and direction, the improvement will develop through various ups and downs. The benefits of the HASM are intangible yet certain, differs widely between individuals. We observed changes through improvement to insomnia, the greater ability to deal with stress from life・s occurrences, a better state of bodily functions and better spirit, although fluctuating. It is likened a Monarch butterfly migrating south in the undulating flight with a defined direction. In another way, it is likened peeling an onion, layer by layer through years of afflictions on the body and mind. Regardless, the meditative practice became a refuge to seek solace in the daily stress and strain of living.

In the discussion of Taoist principle of the :Three Hearts;, it brought to mind a reminder of Buddhist teaching of cultivating the Bodhi Mind through adherence to precepts (moral code), meditation and the development of wisdom. The HASM practice influences the .moral heart・ that transcends the universe, resulting in the development of a selfless and compassionate mind, which in turn benefits the :heaven heart; that affect the life force. Whereas cultivating the Bodhi Mind of compassionate heart aims to alleviate of the world・s sufferings and to attain nivana, the :moral heart; aims to attain an internal harmony and well-being.
We are in the beginning phase of the His All-Stages Meditation, yet benefiting from it in different ways. There is much to be discovered through diligent practice since it is the inner experience that will lead to changes, as it is much said by the master, to whom we are very grateful to show us the way.

Michael TAM