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The Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan Story

The Healthy Path

May 25, 2017, three faculty members at the University of Akron, together with friends who consider themselves as warriors of Love, inspired by a Chan (Zen) Master, established this non-profit, non-religious organization.

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          The Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan

CHHC is a Non-Profit Organization that devotes itself to the health and happiness of all people by promoting a contemplative and mindful lifestyle. This approach to living provides a space to practice purposeful “being,” in contrast to the emphasis on “doing” that we often experience in meeting the many obligations in our busy work and home situations. 

We place special emphasis on Chan meditation, and its underlying views of life and world, because of the practical skills that it teaches.  These skills are transferable to all secular and faith traditions and a major goal of the Center is to translate them in ways that resonate with people from all backgrounds. We intentionally encourage their integration with contemplative approaches from other cultural backgrounds. 

We aim to provide exposure to Chan meditation and traditional Eastern health practices, with a focus on mindfulness that enhances values such as universal love, empathy, and compassion. Through these efforts, we wish to help people of different backgrounds become healthier physically, happier mentally, and more awakened spiritually. 

Our broader goal involves social engagement and we envision healthy, happy, and clear-thinking people making positive contributions to their local communities and the wider world. We wish to empower all those who participate in Center activities to be better able to help others in effective, practical ways.

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What is Chan?

Chan is an art of living

A very brief history

Chan meditation was brought to China by the Indian monk Bodhidharma in the 6th century. Chan’s golden age began with the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-Neng (638-713), and ended with the persecution of Buddhism in China in the middle of the 9th century. Dogen Zenji (1200-1253) brought Chan practice to Japan in the 13th century and called it Zen by the Japanese pronunciation of Chan. In 1893, Zen was introduced to the US and have gained popularity over the past century. 

Chan philosophy

Although rooted in Buddhism, Chan is actually a way of living that can be adopted by people with all faith background. Chan philosophy focuses on the transformation of mental habits and unchecked behavior patterns that usually govern our daily life and lead to negative experiences and interpersonal conflicts. In doing so, the goal is to achieve genuine peace and harmony. It uses meditation as the tool to reach this goal. 

Chan Mediation

The Chan meditation emphasizes the awareness of the present moment; the detachment of self from thoughts, feelings, and sensations; the acceptance of live as it is rather than the way we want it to be; the letting go of self and ego; and a nonjudgmental attitude toward all inner activities. Through meditation practice, one will gradually cultivate mental faculty for awareness, compassion, peace, and joy. 

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"The True Happiness comes from the awakening of the inner wisdom."

                                      Shi Dayan

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