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A word of advice if you meditate

‘In the beginning’ it is quiet and all one. Space and time do not yet exist.

A living being is born, a being who can see, hear, feel, taste. It is a being with consciousness. It is aware of the environment without separation between inside and outside; eyes and seeing, ears and hearing, they are one.

Space and time arise when consciousness of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting plus an i-consciousness coincide.

The ‘I’ in a human being arises from the environment of other I’s, it is incorporated into the community, first of all in the family of which it is given a name, an I.

With an I plus consciousness, a two-unity is created, duality, you and I, this and that.

Over the years, over time, the I-consciousness as an ego, a personality increasingly comes to the foreground and the sense of unity fades backwards -although it never left-. In addition, experiences and memories push the person going here and there, following an endless stream of thoughts. A world of thoughts has arise.

In this world everything is changeable. Take the weather, or the news, ourselves, we are young and grow old. Ideas, beliefs, truths. Who or what can be trusted, what can you build on? What is immutable?

The short answer: consciousness. The I is not you the ego/personality but you consciousness. Not what comes along in consciousness, but consciousness itself. That is the real you, it is unchangeable and is always there. It is equal to the consciousness of everyone else and to the divine consciousness. You are not alone, never separated from the environment, one.

As a witness you look at life, like you watch a movie. It begins with a white screen. You know that what is projected is not real, with actors and decor, and yet you lose yourself completely in it. This is how you also look at your own life, which is being rolled out in front of you. When the movie is finished you are back at the white screen.

In meditation you consciously stay in consciousness, for example by imagining an empty space, in silence; while feelings and thoughts regularly pass, pay no attention to them. Unnoticed often you will fly away with thoughts, until you realize it and calmly go back to the empty space. 

Research the I-awareness. What am I without doing, wanting, expecting, without ego? The goal of your examination is to harmonize. To make one.

Don’t examine the feelings and thoughts, they pass; it would be a hopeless exercise.

The consequence of ‘in unity’ will be sweet. Life will pass by itself, while regularly ‘out of the blue’ waves of happiness flood you. Really!

In the meantime, life continues as normal, you do what needs to be done and you do what you want to do.

So far this basic knowledge for every meditation practitioner. Think about it, contemplation is important. What in me is real and what is unreal? You can’t trust things that pass. I, as I-awareness, am always there.

This brief text is based on the view of thousands of years old knowledge of the Indian Veda’s and of the Tibetan Buddhist Dharma. It is also written from a student’s point of view, a self-experienced view on reality. (To make it your own you always need to confirm knowledge for yourself.)

A further word of advice if you meditate,

”Leave this mind of yours in its natural state where there is nothing artificial.

In this state, seeing a thought move, rest on it, relaxed.

In this state, stability will come.

No attachment to stability no fear of movement, aware that there is no differencebetween stability and movement, mind arising from mind.

In this state, where there is no grasping, no attachment, rest natural and relaxed.

In this state, natural reality itself, the essence of your own mind, primordial awareness, empty clarity will arise… and you won’t know what to say.

In this state you will settle, suspended and relaxed.

Without grasping at the stability as something, naturally in place, naturally free;

without seizing on or rejecting the mind’s productions,

please settle… THERE.”

lama Gendun Rinpochee, Tibet 1918 - France 1997.

A word of advice if you meditate 2.

You want to meditate, for peace in mind, stillness and yes, for the feeling one with all. Don't be discouraged now you know it takes more than sitting with eyes closed. 

Hundreds of birds flying in formation towards the south, as they are one. Fish in a school making those amazingly quick turns, again, as one organism. For us, with the assignment 'feel one with everything' we will not immediately have the feeling of unity, in our mind our individuality is more at front, but in fact we are one.

In reality everything is non-dual, there is no subject and object. You are the whole.You can understand what is written here, but for the deeper meaning and to master it you need time, up to a lifetime. Study of Advaita Vedanta, on duality, accelerated it for me.

According to Vedanta, self-knowledge is the answer to our eternal search for fullness and happiness. We seek fullness outside of ourselves, by continually undertaking and acquiring different things. Vedanta puts an end to this quest, by showing you that in reality you are that fullness, free from all limitations. You are not a small, insignificant individual, on the contrary, you are the whole.

Matthijs, Buddhist for 35 years, studied the Dharma of Tibetan Buddhism; Bhagavad Gītā of Hinduism and Advaita Vedanta and other ancient sources. 

Meditating means to “sit in silence”, or “the practice of not speaking”, in that “what is untouched by time and history.” Now!

A good sitting posture is important for meditation, but that doesn’t have to mean a cross-legged pose, the lotus sitting pose. Personally I prefer to sit on a chair with feet on the floor, legs uncrossed so that nothing in the body becomes trapped and the blood can flow freely. Sit up tall with your back as straight as possible, relaxing your shoulders down and back, broadening your chest, the chin pointed slightly towards the chest.

While you are sitting.

All activity in you comes from the body or the mind. They are going on by itself, you are not involved in both, whatever happens will happen. Take a distance from the body and the mind. You are sitting aside from them. When you take a distance from the two, you are doing nothing. You sit still with your eyes closed and forget all the ideas and possible benefits you have about meditation. Do not try to meditate. Give up and surrender.

Try also not to worry about the thoughts that pass, remain calm and centered. Instead of trying to avoid your thoughts, become an observer.

Sit at the same time every day and always on the same spot, in your meditation space. I like early morning when neighbors and dogs are still fast asleep, but you do what suits you best. Settle into a time that feels right. After a while, you'll even want to meditate at that time. It’s your time.

Do not entertain thoughts, but do not try to forcefully remove them either. Simply ignore them and, if necessary, remind yourself that you are meditating. If the disturbance is too great, you can open your eyes for a few seconds and look down, which will clear that condition. The trick is not to follow the stories that thoughts bring. They can come in the form of desires, ambitions, expectations, doubts, pleasant or unpleasant memories, anxieties, worries, regrets, the list is endless. Whatever it is, don’t go there. Let them pass. This isn’t therapy. You are meditating, it’s not the time and place for anything else than silence.

Pure consciousness

The body is a vehicle, in a way used by consciousness to create. With body and mind it has build the world we live in. 

Pure consciousness seems to be dressed up with mind, breath, body and senses. The problem is that when pure consciousness is wearing these layers, it is pushed into the background. At front is an “I” that thinks it is the body that breathes, thinks and has senses.

The mind is always filled with thoughts and feelings, but also has openness. The mind is always divided, but also has unity. The mind is always in motion, but also has silence.

Investigation: Who is the thinker? The mind is the one who does the talking, the mind often independently decides what I think about and what I feel, I see myself thinking. I'm a witness. When I smell, hear, see, feel, taste, it seems more direct, without that independent intermediary. Although here translation happens immediate, unconsciously I describe what I smell, even when something smells like nothing. The mind uses language to tell me, the observer, what I smell. Everything seems to exist as language. Scents and colors, they are words.

With mind plus consciousness we -the observer- understand. Consciousness is independently always there. The observer needs awareness, mind needs awareness. Consciousness itself is the only independent truth, you could call it the Devine truth. It was already there before the birth of a sentient being.

Identifying yourself with consciousness/awareness will stop the search for happiness. You found it.

Matthijs Warner 

 Tavira, Portugal, november 2023.

 First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa

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