The key is to meditate without wavering. Experience the great reality. It is a flowing ocean that arises and dissolves again. In the same way, thoughts are no different from ultimate reality. Remain at ease, whatever arises or occurs don’t grasp, release it on the spot. Appearances, sounds and objects are one’s own mind. There is nothing except mind. The nature of mind (awareness), although using the objects of the five senses, does not wander from reality. In a state of meditative equilibrium there is nothing to abandon or practice, no meditation or post meditation. Just this.
These thoughts from a Zen nun suggest that there is nothing to do in our meditative training but allow. Each morning in the guiding online session of The Practice of Living Awareness, we are invited to smile. One might ask, Isn’t smiling a doing? Awareness would retort, “Why was smile not already painting your mind?” As we focus on the tip of the nose or our breathing, is this a doing? Only if we were already beside ourself in unawareness of breath. We then do to renew a constancy of awareness.
These Zen or Mahamudra thoughts want us to tilt our head in order to perceive more about meditation. Meditation asks us to be gently aware of everything: our self, our reality, mind and emotions, the names and labels we give events, circumstances, attachments, wishes or fears. Meditation massages our sense of self, softening it, so that life is allowed to arise into our awareness without immediate reaction or response. This way, we cultivate letting reality BE for a moment before we do something with it. In that magical moment, no “me-ness” is involved. Instead, we are witness and the moment can be registered and related to like the sky relates to the birds flying through it. We have suspended our personality filters for a millisecond and the moment can just BE what it is.
In The Practice, Smile is this training. It is a titling of the head that no longer sees life as coming at us head-on, but like an artist with one eye closed squinting at a horizon, we invite the more that is there to become apparent. That open millisecond, that interlude of no me-ness, is the gateway to Buddha smile awareness, to understanding and its flow.
Smile supports and awakens what is genuine in a moment. It brings forward appreciation, acknowledgement, letting and letting go. We let the moment be, let another person have their thought or way of doing something. We smile feeling the ocean of labeling thoughts arise in us like a tidal surge, and then smile again with the mindfulness that was the noticing, and one more time with the ease of release.
Much in a day does not need our personal response or reaction, yet that which does needs it fully. Meditation helps us sort this out. Letting through appreciation, recognition, allowing, and non-grasping (my way, my thought, my responsibility, and so forth) are the smile of meditation working magic on the glue of the me. Things begin to stick less and we become less stuck.
More on meditation at Living Awareness Meditation blog.
(replay from 2011)