Inhalation & exhalation are the exchanges of breath. Inspiration & aspiration are the exchanges of the mind. As we aspire or stretch our awareness upwards toward finer vibrational states, we invite inspired thought-forms to make their way to the mind. With solid ground established within our meditation practice, we can reach to the realms of intuition and co-creative imagination.
“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein.
Have we been experiencing the breath or observing the breath? Have we been experiencing the mind or observing the mind? Both. Experiencing and observing can be markedly different, though both collect data. As we experience, we register information with our perceptions in a subjective way. The data we receive as the observer feels a bit more objective. That’s because it is tinctured with the soul. Yes, the soul. The observer and the soul occupy the same vibrational space and both offer access to the highest aspects of our being.
This meditation offers a simple technique that switches on the observing mind. Enjoy.
All teachings that surround meditation have one clear purpose, which is getting to know the mind. Why? The Buddha would say that the source of our suffering is to be discovered within the mind. If we’re feeling stressed or worried, it originated in the mind. If we are overcome with grief, this suffering is produced by the mind. Conversely, if we are in love, or enraptured with joy, that experience arose from the mind.
Getting to know the mind is perhaps the most reliable path to freedom. It will not change the ups and downs of life, those are inevitable, but it will produce the freedom to choose our response to them… this is the purest freedom! Let’s get to know the mind.
In Wild Awakenings, the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche writes, “Pointing out may also be understood as being introduced to the reality of mind’s nature. …. In all of the Buddha’s instructions from beginning to end, the basic techniques are shamatha and vipashyana.” … “Shamatha is sometimes translated as ‘tranquility’ or ‘calm abiding’ … In (the) context of Mahamudra, shamatha … is defined as ‘the natural pacification of the coming and going of thoughts.’ This means that the mind comes to rest in its natural condition, which is a state of bliss, clarity, and non-thought.” Wild Awakenings, pgs. 85-86 by the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche; Shambhala Publishing, Boston, 2003.
In the current cycle of Intermediate meditations, the emphasis has been to notice and recognize the immediate quality and experience that is present as the meditation sitting begins. It is a pure expression of the quality nature of the mind. Until one is aware of this, one moves on quickly from the quality and its simple immediately present experience to doing something that has been part of meditation training. But, at some point, the training in withdrawal and coming inside, the acclimating to the inner landscape of arisings, interpretation, adopting (chasing after) or repulsing (pushing away), all must give way. When the practitioner realizes that all – ALL – is the landscape of the mind, then that which is perceived can take on a new purpose: to be recognized as the display of the nature of the mind. It is the display of Awareness.
The current set of instructions has been to notice and recognize the very first quality that is present as soon as one begins. It will be either luminosity/clarity, or vibrancy, or the experience of stable continuity. Variations on these themes such as brightness, sharpness, dynamism, scintillating, or even/smooth are still the same basic qualities mentioned. And, they also are the qualities stated by the Ponlop Rinpoche.