I wanted to share this meditation from Tsoknyi Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who wrote the book I’m currently reading, Open Heart Open Mind, because I think it’s simply worded, to the point, and packs a punch when it comes to presence and moment to moment awareness coupled with an expression of the importance of emptiness:
The instructions are simple.
Just straighten your spine while keeping the rest of your body relaxed.
Take a couple of deep breaths.
Keep your eyes open - though not so intently that your eyes begin to burn or water. You can blink. But just notice yourself blinking. Each blink is an experience of presence.
Now, let yourself be aware of everything you’re experiencing - sights, sounds, physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Allow yourself to be open to all these experiences.
Inevitably, as you begin this exercise, all sorts of thoughts, feelings, and sensations will pass through your experience. This is to be expected.
This little exercise is in many ways like starting a weight-training program at the gym. At first you can lift only a few pounds for a few repetitions before your muscles get tired. But if you keep at it, gradually you’ll find that you can life heavier weights and perform more repetitions.
The basic instruction is merely tobe aware of everything that passes through your awareness as it is. Whatever you experience, you don’t have to suppress it.
Just observe these thoughts and feelings as they come and go - and how quickly they come and go, to be replaced by others. If you keep doing this, you’ll get a taste of emptiness - a vast, open space in which possibilities emerge and combine, dancing together for awhile, and vanish with astonishing rapidity. You’ll glimpse one aspect of your basic nature, which is the freedom to experience anything and everything.
Don’t criticize or condemn yourself if you find yourself chasing after physical sensations, thoughts, or emotions. No one becomes a Buddha overnight. Recognize, instead, that for a few seconds you were able to directly experience something new, something now.
I’ve tried this mediation from Tsoknyi Rinpoche twice now, and I think it’s a great way to increase space and presence, which happen to be two aspects of focus I have tried to integrate in my practice lately.
Once you get over the funny mental image of a Tibetan Buddhist monk doing weightlifting at the gym it’s well worth your while.
Namaste and happy Oms,