Meditation Instruction through Imagery: 3

samantabhadra-2fThe nakedness of both of Samantabhadra/Samantabhadri represents the nature of Mind stripped of conceptions and mental habits. Mind is not our mind anymore than the air is our air. This is discovered as the meditator, through a mindfulness practice, experiences how fully one’s thoughts and feelings are permeated by self-story. We experience that our thinking and emoting are predicated upon preferences and avoidances, concepts, ideas and beliefs.

Each of these triggers response or reaction, yet also is a response or reaction. However, Mind is not the thoughts, concepts, preferences, ideas, or beliefs that occupy our thinking and emoting. In fact, the personally programmed and responding mind-consciousness is not Mind. It is simply a collection of responses programmed just as a dog or computer is programmed. The nakedness of Samantabhadri/dra calls us to the fecund (she) and unfabricated (he) nature of Mind. To discover this innate and fundamental essence, we must undress our mind: take off the layers of personal programming and the costumes of thought. As we do so, we come to recognize, and then understand, the two qualities of response-react and of non-deviation.

Let us understand the fullness of this. Response-react is the source of the sense of self. All responses come from the sense of self, reinforce the sense of self, and bring either temporary happiness or disappointment to the sense of self. Response or reaction is born from preference or aversion, survival-security or abandonment. Conceptions, beliefs, and explanations are a response or reaction to the mundane world with its constant external stimuli. They are the substance-oriented way to make sense of the world around us. Sensations are biologically hard-wired, many feelings are as well evidenced in personal bio-chemistry. Yet a human being is not a set of sensations and responses to outer stimuli. A human being is undiscovered omniscience, unrecognized omnipresence, and untapped omnipotence. Thus, to venture the undressing of the personal mind is to embark on an epic journey, one that is classically predictable.

First we will encounter restlessness, frustration, and the inner voices of personal phantoms. Beginners to meditation inevitably experience the buzzing gnats of a restless mind. If we persevere, steadfast and resolute in taming the inner activities and restlessness, then wisps of divine innate presence encourage us on, as does moments or sustained minutes of tranquility and clear, luminous peace of mind. Around that corner lie deeper doubts, cavities of unfulfilled desire, and worries or past memories that we reify with our creative imagination. Yet, layer by layer, as we learn to let the activities rise and fall like the breath, a sacred pervasive abiding peace is the reward. This state of mind becomes increasingly the response to life – creative, responsive, patient and clear mind.

The symbolism of Samantabhadra/dri represent all of the above, plus levels of refined meditation and states of awareness that can and inevitably will arise through the practice of true meditation. He is ever the watcher, the steadfast determination to stay the course of a meditation session and its particular technique. She is ever the arising state, the percolating emotion or thought, the twitch, the itch, or the warm glow of grace that arises and exudes from our heart. She is the dynamic and fluid quality of awareness, whether that be of discomfort, something to be attended during the day, an insight or creative thought, or radiant unfettered enlightenment. He is the persistence necessary to sit, to make meditation a priority; and then he represents the inner gaze of the meditator and the sky-like mind unperturbed by passing cloud-like thoughts. He signifies the transcendence of Profound Awareness that is here right now.

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