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

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

BRINGING THE MIND HOME 75meditation to a jar of muddy water: The more we leave thewater without interfering or stirring it, the more the particlesof dirt will sink to the bottom, letting the natural clarity of thewater shine through. The very nature of the mind is such thatif you only leave it in its unaltered and natural state, it willfind its true nature, which is bliss and clarity.So take care not to impose anything on the mind or to taxit. When you meditate there should be no effort to controland no attempt to be peaceful. Don't be overly solemn or feelthat you are taking part in some special ritual; let go even ofthe idea that you are meditating. Let your body remain as itis, and your breath as you find it. Think of yourself as the sky,holding the whole universe.CALM ABIDING AND CLEAR SEEINGThe discipline of the practice of Calm Abiding is to keepbringing your mind back to the object of meditation, forexample, the breath. If you're distracted, then suddenly, theinstant you remember, you simply bring your mind back toyour breathing. Nothing else is necessary. Even to ask, "Howon earth did I get so distracted?" is just another distraction.The simplicity of mindfulness, of continuously bringing yourmind back to the breath, gradually calms it down. Gradually,mind will settle, in the mind.As you perfect the practice of Calm Abiding and youbecome one with the breath, after a while even the breathitself as the focus of your practice dissolves, and you find yourselfresting in nowness. This is the one-pointedness that is thefruition and the goal of shamatha, or Calm Abiding. Remainingin nowness and stillness is an excellent accomplishment, but toreturn to the example of the glass of muddy water—if youkeep it still, the dirt will settle and it will become clear, and yetthe dirt will still be there, deep down. One day if you stir it,the dirt will rise again. As long as you cultivate stillness, youmay enjoy peace, but whenever your mind is a little bit disturbed,deluded thoughts will set in again.Remaining in the nowness of Calm Abiding cannot lead usto enlightenment or liberation. Nowness becomes a very subtleobject, and the mind that dwells in nowness a subtle subject. Aslong as we remain in the domain of subject-object duality, themind is still within the ordinary conceptual world of samsara.Through the practice of Calm Abiding, then, the mind hassettled into a state of peace and found stability. Just as the

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