Just as when you sit in meditation you just sit, when you sleep, be aware of the totality of your whole being going to sleep. When walking, you just walk. When you eat, you are right there just eating. Plunge your whole life into what you are doing at that very moment and live that way. So we train ourselves to engage our whole being in what we are doing. Whether sitting or eating, you are not engaged in discursive, wandering, or deluded thoughts. All of you—environment, body, and mind—is right there. Whatever you do, whatever the task at hand, your whole life is there at that moment.
Some people may interpret plunging your whole being into the practice or into the task at hand as a very tense approach. This is incorrect. By putting your whole being into whatever you are doing, you are also being relieved from doing anything else at that moment. Therefore, when you are doing that one thing, that is all you have to care about, and you can do it in a very relaxed manner and attitude. In this light, you will better understand the meaning of engaging your whole being in the present task. This is the relaxed and reposed attitude to practice.
Excerpted from: The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice ofSilent Illumination by Chan Master Sheng Yen,