The simplicity and supremacy of meditation has been championed many times here on this blog. As the compassionate and wise have testified through the ages, there is nothing more powerful for a person’s self-actualization of heart and awareness than meditation. And, though there are countless variations on the theme of meditation’s simplicity, each technique highlighting or emphasizing one factor of awareness/compassion or another or addressing the untamed and untrained factors within our habits that obscure awareness/compassion, meditation practice itself is simple.
After teaching meditation for over 30 years and practicing it for a very long time, my practice has essentialized to the simplicity offered by the enlightened ones and used by them so that awareness/compassion would be what they lived and demonstrated. I long to do the same; and in the recognition of one’s challenges to that aspiration is the recognition and empathy that others also are challenged. We all suffer but we all want peace within and happiness in our lives. We want that for our dog or cat, our family, and the world.
So, here on the online practice, we will focus on four simple techniques. I did not make them up. They are from the Buddha, the supreme master of meditation and conqueror of all that was untamed and untrained within. Each of these techniques runs through the entirety of meditation practice, from rank beginner to realized being. Of course, that is true of all the essentials within meditation practice: the beginning step is also the final step in the most advanced practices. For example, shamatha is dzogchen if fully accomplished.
1. The first technique requires 10 minutes. First, settle: acknowledge that you are sitting, the sensations of body, breath, sitting, etc. Participate fully in your choice to be present and sit in meditation practice. That will take a minute or two. Then, simply be. Thoughts will arise, they will fall. Lists will want to be tabulated, don’t pay attention. Breathe. Within and underneath the litany and the complexity of our usual emotion-mind state is a smooth, gentle, blank, flowing awareness. It has nothing, is nothing, and yet is experience-able. This smooth blankness is the mother of all cognition, the source of all peace, the origin of equanimity.
Thaz’it! (as Darren would say)