Meditation Advice from Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
"So, practically, if we are doing sitting meditation, we relax our body. Try to let all tensions go because we don’t want them. Relax our body from our toes to our head, to the brain, to the eyes. Relax. Wherever there is tension, we try to relax. Relax our eyes. Relax our face muscles, our mouth, neck, shoulders and internal organs. Relax our feet, our hands. We really relax our whole body. And bring our mind into the body so that I feel the body. I am here. I am now, in my body. I feel the relax-ness of my body, I see with my eyes, I hear what I hear with my ears, I feel with my body, I smell with my nose. So I am here now, in this very moment. I am not there in yesterday, I am not there in tomorrow, I am here in my body now, this moment.
My mind is also relaxed. I am not dealing with all the problems from yesterday, I am not dealing with the problems of tomorrow, I am not even dealing with the problems of the last hour or minute or the next hour or minute. I am just here, now.
Only seeing what I am seeing, now. Only hearing what I am hearing, now. Not holding on to anybody or anything, just being.
I am not meditating. I am not doing anything, I am just being. Clear, open, not fighting against anything, not closing anything, not trying to wish away anything, not trying to get anything. Just here, natural.
Maybe a thought comes, it doesn’t matter. You hear something, it doesn’t matter. You see something, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you see, it’s okay. Don’t make a story of it. You hear something, that’s okay. Sometimes a bird sings. Then you think, “Oh, the bird is singing. It’s disturbing me. It has to sing as soon as I start to meditate!” You don’t have to think like that. You let the sound come and go and if it continuously comes, continuously let it come, and let it go.
With thoughts it is the same. When a thought comes, it’s ok. If a thought comes, don’t concentrate on the thought, just be in the present moment. And then, if too many thoughts come, allow your mind to be aware of your breathing. You are feeling that you are breathing in. You are breathing in and then you are feeling that you are breathing out. You are not thinking about it, you are just doing it; you are feeling it. If too many thoughts and too many things are going on in your mind then just lightly focus on that breathing because that is what is happening now.
You are not trying to push away thoughts. You are just letting them go, because you are more focused on what is happening now.
You may remember something that happened yesterday. You don’t go through it too much, you just remember breathing now.
If you are a little bit more advanced, then you can even look at that thought.
The thought is not a story; it’s just a thought coming up. There is nowhere that it comes from; there is nowhere it goes away to. As soon as it arises, it changes. It goes. Another thought comes. And actually that’s your mind. There is nothing called one mind. It’s the stringing of thoughts and emotions and arisings. It’s not one thing.
And all these thoughts and emotions and sensations that arise in your mind are yourself, your mind. It’s not coming at you. It’s not coming to affect you. That is me, that is my mind. So, therefore, I don’t have to be afraid of that. I don’t have to be afraid of my fear as well, because that’s also myself. Anger, upset, is myself, it’s my own manifestation. So there is no need get rid of it, there’s no need to follow it, there is no need to be afraid of it, there’s no need to feel bad, or good. I just allow it to be and then, like the waves coming and going, it dissolves itself. There is nothing outside my mind.
So whatever comes, nice experiences, not nice experiences, they come and they go. And I have to allow them to come and allow them to go. Not holding on to anything, whether good or bad. Even good and bad is just a concept.
If I can enjoy myself in all these thoughts and emotions, if I can just relax in my thoughts and emotions, if nothing is happening, it’s very nice. It’s peaceful; it’s joyful. If thoughts and emotions are coming, it’s very nice. It comes and it goes and I just relax in it. I don’t own it, I don’t grab it, I don’t build a story on it, I just be…. and relax.
If you are trying to meditate for a session, keep an alarm clock. Don’t say, “I want to meditate for five minutes” and look at your watch 50 times. When the time is ended, the alarm clock will come and you might jump out of it! But don’t jump out of it.
Enjoy it. Make friends with your meditation. Think that this is time off. Sometimes you get time off from work, but you don’t get time off from your mind. You don’t get time off from your thoughts and emotions. This is the only time you can get time off from your thoughts and emotions. So it is real time off. Look forward to that time off. It’s not only that you don’t have to work but you don’t have to think also. It’s the greatest pleasure."
This is an excerpt from a teaching on Ultimate Bodhichitta given by Rinpoche in Dzogchen Beara in 2012.