In TRAINING by Erik Pema KunsangLeave a Comment

There is a point in meditation training, after having developed a sense of calm and being able to remain consciously present, where the need for yielding personal territory is unavoidable, inescapable. This yielding of personal territory means to disown calm attention, rather than claiming ownership of it and trying to hold that silent state of mind. Instead of control, it’s actually easier to cultivate an atmosphere of yielding from the territory of quietness and letting be. It’s easy to say, but not always so simple in practice.

Rather than caring too much about my quietude, there is a stepping back, a yielding the territory, a being without possessiveness and therefore letting the calm be more free and open. In that openness, insight and kindness become even more possible. The atmosphere of yielding may at first feel like losing control. But just relax and let awareness open up within that open state.

The next training, after allowing this freed-up awareness, is to continue being this way while moving about. We have ample opportunity during the whole day. Just stop up a little bit. Breathe in naturally, exhale naturally. Allow a little room in between.. Breath in again. All in a very free and easy way. Forget about being contrived or uptight. As a matter of fact, this way of being is not spiritual, it is just being you in a very ordinary way. Unhurried, gentle and just present in a simple, easy way.

Somehow we need to relearn this simple way of being, because we may have forgotten. Try to integrate it. Meditation practice is not only while sitting down, but it is each time we forget. Gentle presence is to allow room in the mind, to make space. We are not literally making the space, but allowing mind to be more spacious, in the sense of being un-occupied. Cultivate this sense of being unoccupied. Free and easy.

About the Author
Erik Pema Kunsang

Erik Pema Kunsang

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Translator of ancient Buddhist scriptures, author, bridge-builder to modern life, Buddhist teacher & meditation instructor. Board of director at 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha. Founder of Rangjung Yeshe Publications and LEVEKUNST art of life. Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author. Erik's website & retreats.

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