"Dwelling on the disgusting aspects of the body is sometimes recommended as a meditation procedure. But Vimalakirti says that we do not have to do this. Whether one prizes or rejects the body, it is in principle the same. In both cases we are attached to the body by judgements about it, through the belief that it is something enduring and real.
Vimalakirti says that one should remind the sick person that the body is the cause of misery but should not encourage him to find relief in liberation. We much recognize the first noble truth of Buddha, that life is suffering. By dwelling with that we begin to find the strength to release our grip. It is as the hymn of Jesus says, "If you knew how to suffer, you would have the power not to suffer." To seek liberation from suffering is to deny that life is suffering; this search for liberation comes from the secret belief that the suffering is an accident, that it is not an intrinsic part of life. To see thoroughly into the truth that life is suffering is already liberation; it is liberation from all the suffering that we endure in our attempts to escape suffering.
One should remind the sick person that the body is without a self-entity, but, even so, living beings must be saved. One should also remind him that the body is without substance, but that he ought not to look for peace outside. He should be urged to confess his sins, but not so that he feels he does not have to bear their consequence. He should be encouraged to have compassion for all who suffer, knowing the meaning of suffering from his own experience, now and in the past. He should be encouraged not to give way to depression. He should but use the illness as another way to practice, to rid himself of the need to be something special, and the cravings this need generates. In this way he will be able truly to fulfill the first of the bodhisattva vows, to save all sentient beings."...from Albert Low, The Vimalakiri Sutra in Zen and the Sutras, pg. 109-109
2. How to chan meditate:
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook
4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/