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 Meditation With Form

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Aaron
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Age : 46
Location: : Connecticut
Registration date : 2007-01-24

PostSubject: Meditation With Form   Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:30 am

This is a type of meditation that I have done for years and it works very well for me. This is a good description of it for those who are interested.

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Meditation With Form

First, with regard to form, our eyes see two kinds of things: shapes and colors. So it would be best for us to start off with a small object. We can look at a very small object and at the same time that our eyes are looking at that object, our mind should also look. If our mind can look at that object, this is what is called shamatha with object. We do not need anything but for our eyes to be looking at the object one-hundred-percent. It is not necessary to try for two-hundred-percent. [Rinpoche holds up his hand.] You see my hand. Even if we were to look at it for one whole hour, would our mind be looking at the hand for the whole hour? If our mind can see the hand, then this seeing is shamatha. That's easy, right? We do not need to meditate on our hand. We don't need to visualize our hand in our mind, or worry what a hand is like. We need merely to see it. [Rinpoche demonstrates by moving his hand around and saying "hand" in each location.]

Meditation for beginners is just like a frog - it jumps to one state then goes to the side again, then back and off to the other side, then back and off in another direction. We focus our mind on a particular object and it actually focuses on that object but then scatters off to something else, comes back to the focus, scatters off to something else. We do not need to hold our mind tightly or put a whole lot of energy into our mind to try and bring it into focus. We merely need to see.

We manage to look at the object with our mind for a few moments and then it goes off for a tour somewhere in Halifax. We bring it back, and the mind sees the object again for a while, and then it might go home for a few minutes, and then we bring it back to see the object again and that is how we meditate as beginners. We simply just keep bringing it back to that object of focus many times. It is just like exercising.

If we practice in this way, our mindfulness will become stronger and stronger. Seeing the form, our mind will extend for longer periods of time.

We can practice this type of meditation now, together. You can choose any object to look at. You can look at the back of the head of the person sitting in front of you, if you wish. You do not need to think, "Oh, what kind of hair-do do they have, how did they get their hair to go that way" or "This person doesn't have much hair at all." You don't need to think about that.

First, relax your mind. [Pause] Now look at a form. [Pause] Now, without particularly looking at a form, continue sitting with your mind relaxed. [All practice.]

When we take a form as an object of our meditation in this way there could be four things that happen that would make us uncomfortable. One is that the object we are looking at turns into two objects. Second is that our perception of the object becomes obscured so that we cannot see it clearly any more. Third is that everything starts moving so that the object does not remain still, kind of like getting dizzy. Fourth is that our eyes could start to hurt, as if the form is actually kind of penetrating into our eyes in an uncomfortable way. Nothing is wrong with any of these four happening; we can simply continue to look at whatever is appearing to our eyes. If we see two things that were once one we can keep looking, but at two.

When we practice this way, it is good to alternate the way we just did, sometimes looking at the forms, sometimes not particularly looking at the form but just sitting with our mind relaxed and going back and forth between the two. If we get tired of looking at form, just sit relaxed. If we get tired or bored from sitting relaxed then look at the form.

http://www.mingyur.org/teachings/shamatha1.html

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