The 13th Karmapa wrote,
“As for meditation, there is a great variety of meditative systems that set their teaching priorities to people’s capacities and individual qualities. … Adopt the essential points of the body (posture) and mind… . No matter whether it is still or moves, just be aware with mindfulness. … Leave mind in its uncontrived, naturally settled, intrinsic state. If you can leave it this way, there is some slight knowing of your own face. It is nothing but this which, for the time being, is merely labeled ‘meditation.”
In the nature of meditative equipoises, there is no difference; but in terms of the progressive arising of qualities and the difference in purifying cognitive obscurations, they become gradually more superior.” The Song of the View excerpted from Straight from the Heart translated by K. Brunnholzl
Walking, sitting, washing dishes, driving, gardening, hiking, biking, parenting, being with someone – no matter what one is doing, it can be done “in the nature of meditative equipoise”. In fact, the more one does bring mind-fullness to each mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical-energetic activity, one is practicing meditative equipoise. Along with myriad teachers down the ages from various traditions, the 13th Karmapa states the same primary elucidation has been made before. It doesn’t matter what you do, simply do it in present awareness.
He adds that equipoise (tranquility, peace, neutrality, impartiality, detachment) brought forward and experienced as one’s current point of Path will mature, yes, but also is the same equipoise that is experienced later on the Path. This is like reading. We read when we were five years old. That reading was commensurate with our reading-maturity. The maturing of reading has happened throughout our life, but reading itself is the same as when we were five.
We add, that due to off-the-cushion application of whatever technique one is currently working with and its integration into daily life, the progressive purifying within that technique embraces the daily life also. With such application, all activities and processes of body, speech, and mind that are engaged off-the-cushion are subsumed in one’s meditative practice.
At essence, training in taming results in some tranquility. Tranquility allows innate clarity to self-illumine. These two are then brought into union through numerous techniques, yes, but more importantly through application in one’s moments of life.
Tranquility (impartiality, neutrality, detachment) now in union with clarity (precision, alertness, altitude) stabilize as awakened awareness. No matter where one is on the Path, tranquility will be required in order to invite the natural vivid clarity and luminosity that is. One’s “own face” is a metaphor for residing in the natural, amazing, yet ordinary state of simple awareness.