The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

realjannaweiss

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

74 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING

more, it evokes and reminds you of the Buddha within you.

As well as serving as the object of your meditation, it will

transform the environment around you and, even more important,

inspire the atmosphere of your meditation with a deep

stillness. If you wish, as you gaze into Padmasambhava's face,

invoke the blessing and presence of all the buddhas.

Then recite the mantra, and let its sound transform the

energy of your mind and purify your emotions. Try chanting

it aloud. Chant with as much inspiration and feeling as you

can, and it will release your nervous tension. Then, rest in the

special silence that ensues. You will find your mind naturally

quieter, more focused, more pliable, and at peace. Equally,

you can recite the mantra softly or silently, as I have

explained.

Sometimes our minds are too agitated and too restless to be

able to focus immediately on the breath. But if you practice

for a little while with the first two methods, by the time you

come to turn your attention to the breath, your mind will

already be somewhat tamed. Now you can remain, silently

watching your breathing. Continue with this, or after a while

return to the practice that most deeply appeals to you.

Spend as much time on each method as you wish before

moving on to the next. You may find that sometimes unifying

the practice, in the sequence given here, is of more help, and

at other times one method, whether it is watching the breath

or looking at an object or reciting a mantra, will be more

effective in gathering your mind. Some people, for example,

are simply not relaxed or at ease with watching the breathing;

they find it almost claustrophobic. For them an object or a

mantra is more suitable. The important thing is to do whatever

helps you the most and whatever is appropriate for your

mood. Be adventurous, but try to avoid jumping from one

method to another, once you have chosen a method to use.

Be wise in applying the right practice to fit your specific need

at the time. That is being skillful.

THE MIND IN MEDITATION

What, then, should we "do" with the mind in meditation?

Nothing at all. Just leave it, simply, as it is. One master

described meditation as "mind, suspended in space, nowhere."

There is a famous saying: "If the mind is not contrived, it is

spontaneously blissful, just as water, when not agitated, is by

nature transparent and clear." I often compare the mind in

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