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

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

62 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGthat seals it—are what make your meditation truly enlighteningand powerful. They have been beautifully described by thegreat Tibetan master Longchenpa as "the heart, the eye, andthe life-force of true practice." As Nyoshul Khenpo says: "Toaccomplish complete enlightenment, more than this is not necessary:but less than this is incomplete."THE PRACTICE OF MINDFULNESSMeditation is bringing the mind back home, and this is firstachieved through the practice of mindfulness.Once an old woman came to Buddha and asked him howto meditate. He told her to remain aware of every movementof her hands as she drew the water from the well, knowingthat if she did, she would soon find herself in that state ofalert and spacious calm that is meditation.The practice of mindfulness, of bringing the scattered mindhome, and so of bringing the different aspects of our beinginto focus, is called "Peacefully Remaining" or "Calm Abiding."This is the first practice on the Buddhist path of meditation,and it is known as shamatha in Sanskrit, shyiné in Tibetan.Calm Abiding accomplishes several things. First, all the fragmentedaspects of ourselves, which have been at war, settleand dissolve and become friends. In that settling we begin tounderstand ourselves more, and sometimes even have glimpsesof the radiance of our fundamental nature.Next, the practice of mindfulness defuses our negativity,aggression, pain, suffering, and frustration, which may havebeen gathering power over many lifetimes. Rather than suppressingemotions or indulging in them, here it is important toview them, and your thoughts, and whatever arises with anacceptance and a generosity that are as open and spacious aspossible.Gradually, as you remain open and mindful, and use one ofthe techniques that I will explain later to focus your mindmore and more, your negativity will slowly be defused; youbegin to feel well in your being, or as the French say, être biendans sa peau (well in your own skin). From this comes releaseand a profound ease. I think of this practice as the most effectiveform of therapy and self-healing.Then, this practice unveils and reveals your essential GoodHeart, because it dissolves and removes the unkindness or theharm in you. Only when we have removed the harm in ourselvesdo we become truly useful to others. Through the prac-

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