Commitments for Mind Training–Meditation & Shine

These commitments not only apply to mind training but in general to life itself:

  1. Always abide by these 3 principles: keep you commitments and vows for mind training, don’t overindulge in anything including self-image, be patient with everything and it shouldn’t be selective
  2. Remain natural, transform in your attitude: essentially transform your selfishness to be caring attitude
  3. Do not talk about the defects of others: do not tease, make fun or bring attention of others physical and mental handicaps
  4. Whatever the faults of others may be, do not contemplate them
  5. Abandon poisonous food
  6. Helping others is not based on returning favors: doing good for others must not depend on how well or badly that person has treated you in the past
  7. Do not expose the faults of others to irritate them
  8. Do not wait in ambush: do not wait for opportunity to strike back at those against whom you hold a grudge, never seek revenge.
  9. Never strike at heart, never be sadistic or cruel to others
  10. Do not put an ox’s load on a cow
  11. Do not aim to be the best: do not try to get better deal for yourself at the expense of others
  12. Do not misuse remedy – merit gained from mind training is for good purpose and not for personal gain
  13. Do not use gods for evil: do not use religious pretexts for anything evil
  14. Be like a humble servant before all
  15. Do not delight in the suffering of others

Follow a single pointed dedication to this mind training goal and merit comes on its own – perhaps the duration is not known but surely it arrives to being peace and clarity and goodness for all.

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Shine Practices : Remedy for Pride

Part 3

Remedy for Pride: Where am I?

The next concentration is the ideal remedy for pride and self-clinging. This meditation allows us to understand that there is no self to cling to and be proud of. Begin by considering the nature of clinging or attachment. Is clinging independent? No, it cannot be independent, because it requires that there is something to be attached to. For example, "that is my phone" or "those are my shoes." Now think about the way you cling to yourself as special, unique, the center of your own world. What are you clinging to? What is it about you that you are attached to? To your form? Consider the different things that make up your form. Think about just your skin, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, from back to front, just the skin. Ask yourself: "is that me?" Then think about your flesh, the muscle, fat, organs, etc. everywhere. Take the time to look in biology books to get an impression of flesh, then really use your mind to picture your own flesh. Where is "me"? Is that me? Am I in any part of my flesh? In my heart? In my head? Now think about your veins. Mentally strip away the flesh and muscles and organs in your body and think about your whole circulatory system. Where am I in that network of veins, arteries, capillaries? There is certainly still a feeling of self as you do this, as you look for yourself, but try to locate it somewhere. You will find that there is no "me" anywhere. Now think about all the liquid in your body: blood, lymph, water, urine, etc. Is there anything there in all those liters of various liquids that is you? Now think about your bones. Concentrate on every part of yourself, thinking about the bones in every part of your body. Slowly consider each and every part of your bone structure. Look for something to cling to as a self there: is that me? Now examine the space in your body: there is space in your intestines, space in the marrow of your bones, space in your veins, in your lungs, ears, etc. Can you find a self anywhere there? Then think about all the elements in your body, the air, the heat, the cool. Is that me? Now think about the sense consciousnesses, the distinct capacity for awareness of each sense organ, and try to find a self there. Is my self in my consciousness of sound? If you cling to a self in your consciousness of sound, how does the consciousness of seeing occur? Where am I in seeing? What about tasting, touching, smelling, or even thinking? How can the self be there separately in each of these senses? If each sense consciousness has one self, you have at least five or six selves—you are not one, you are many. That would mean that for each sense consciousness there is a separate self. How can you be many selves? If you think that you have one self altogether for all of these. then it should follow that you can hear with your eyes, see with your skin, etc. If you cannot find a self in any of those parts, then collectively where could it possibly be? That is how you meditate. Then in post-meditation, consider how your idea of "self’ is just an illusion. You have examined each and every part of your body and did not find a self there. It’s just an illusion. Therefore, since there is nothing to think of as your self, there is nothing to cling to. This will reduce the clinging you have to yourself. It will reduce pride and ego.  I recommend working on this concentration for about one week.

Shine Practices : Remedy for Anger

Part 2

Remedy for Anger: Concentration on compassion and loving-kindness

The most effective way to remedy anger is to cultivate loving-kindness and compassion. In order to cultivate compassion. you must concentrate on the suffering that permeates the minds of all sentient beings. There are three types of suffering that exist in the minds of all sentient beings: suffering, sadness, and disappointment. Suffering mind is the mind that is constantly suffering from one thing or another. This can be caused by physical pain, for example. A sad mind is principally caused by thinking in a particular way: what you needed did not happen, what you did not need happened, etc. Anything that contributes to sadness and depression is part of the sad mind. Unlike suffering and sadness that come from the inside, disappointment comes from the outside. Whoever and whatever hurts you or harms you, disappoints you. That is disappointment. First think about these three kinds of suffering that afflict the mind. Now think about how others suffer from these three types of suffering. First concentrate on the tiniest creatures—ants, earthworms, etc. Think about how each and every individual ant has a mind, and how every mind. no matter how small, is afflicted by these three kinds of suffering. Try to really feel how they feel their suffering. Now gradually consider bigger and bigger sentient beings: dogs, cows, etc. concentrating on how each living creature has a mind, that mind is afflicted by three kinds of suffering, and try to feel their pain. This continues up until you consider the minds of humans. Feeling how others feel this constant pain, just like you, you can really experience their pain. Feeling their pain as strongly as your own, you now cultivate the wish that all sentient beings should be free from these three types of suffering. Now consider the nature of this suffering, what is it? Where does it come from? Think about where suffering occurs: in the mind. Suffering permeates every moment of mind, every moment of mind carries sadness, disappointment, and subtle suffering. This is the real truth of the first noble truth: there is suffering. The mind never has a moment of peace. Now consider how if there is no suffering in an individual’s mind, there is in fact no suffering at all. So what is mind? Investigate it closely and you will see that every moment of mind is impermanent, not solid or lasting. Moment to moment it changes, without a single, solid essence underlying it. Through this sincere investigation, you will discover that mind is in fact empty. that underlying it there is no such thing as a self. So in fact it is the mistaken belief in a self, the mistaken belief in the permanence of the mind, that underlies the experience of each of these three kinds of suffering. Now with the understanding that all beings—including yourself—suffer equally, and with the understanding that there is no self to suffer, that mind is empty, raise up the intense desire that all beings be freed from their suffering. Wishing that they be free from suffering is compassion. After you have generated the sincere wish that all beings be free from suffering, cultivate an equally intense wish for all sentient beings to experience happiness. Do this by calling to mind the fact that each living being has the same desire for happiness as you do, and then concentrate on generating the profound wish that every single sentient being experience true joy. That is loving-kindness. This concentration is limitlessly meritorious. It produces limitless merit. This meditation is something you can practice for weeks, until you can comfortably and smoothly concentrate the moment you sit down for meditation: all beings suffer exactly as I do: suffering is in the mind; each moment of mind does not exist; the mindstream is therefore empty and there is nothing to cling to; may all beings realize this and be free from suffering. All beings wish for happiness exactly as I do; may all beings experience true joy.

Meditation and Shine Practices

Part 1

The Path to Awakening by Shamar Rinpoche is wonderful aid to novices to start on the great mindfulness journey to freedom. Some important snippets are captured here for aspiring meditators who want o earnestly start this skill:

Sitting Posture:

  1. You must it up straight when you meditate. Your legs can be fully crossed in the full lotus position, or alternatively they can be half crossed with the right leg out and left leg in. Generally, a person with longer legs sits on a higher cushion, but how high your seat is really depends on your physical proportions. It is important that your spine be completely straight. Your stomach is slightly drawn inward and back, while your abdomen is very slightly resting forward for balance. This keeps the central part of the body very straight ad it is the ideal posture for meditation
  2. To enhance a straight central torso, your shoulders should also be balanced and straight.
  3. As for your hands, yo can place them together in the posture of meditation. This means the palms of the hands face up, right hand on top of the left in your lap. Raise your shoulders slightly up and backward, such that the lengths of the arms are gently pressed against the sides of your body. This position further reinforces an upright and straight spine. Alternatively, you can rest your hands palms down on your knees, talking care to keep the shoulders straight.
  4. Your neck should be slightly curved so that your chin is slightly tucked in towards your chest.
  5. Your eyes are half open, looking ahead and cast slightly downward – In my experience, you can fully close your eyes!
  6. Your mouth should nether be open nor pressed firmly closed. Your lips should be relaxed in a very natural position
  7. Breathing is mainly through the nose and not the mouth

These are essential pints of a correct physical posture for meditation. Now you need to know how to focus your mind – rather un-focus the mind on anything. As you practice, you may notice once your mind calms down, your breath automatically calms down. So the option is before your and depending on your makeup, yo can either calm your mind or calm your breath to calm your mind – which is rather circuitous but both achieves same purpose – i.e. to calm mind and have no thoughts and if any thoughts pop up – mindfully watch it but not pursue it anymore of wandering with the thoughts.

Some remedies through Shine Practices:

Remedy of Desire: Concentrate on repulsiveness of the body

The most effective way to remedy the power of desire is to concentrate on the impermanence of the body. First visualize your body as clearly as you can. Try to really understand and know that it is a collection of parts that all depend on each other—the skeleton is a collection of bones joined by ligaments, it contains and protects many organs, it is covered by a network of muscles, there is flesh, fat, the circulatory system, the nervous system, etc. and wrapped around it like a bag is your skin. Now picture a spot of decay the size of the tip of your thumb on your forehead, between your eyes. That spot right there is rotting. What color is it? What colors will it become? Think of the progression of putrid colors a rotting corpse goes through. Now those colors are progressing on your own forehead. Then the decay starts to spread all over your body. Your whole body is rotting, putrefying, and actually starts falling apart. Your rotten flesh falls in pieces to the floor all around you. Your organs also rot, decay, and fall to pieces on the floor. Now only your skeleton is left whole, together with one tiny piece of fresh flesh on the top of each foot, close to your big toes. Those two tiny spots, each the size of the tip of your thumb, are all that remain untouched by decay. Now even your skeleton starts to disintegrate, falling in scattered pieces on the floor. That heap of bones that made up your skeleton now starts to expand and grow. It grows vastly, until it is almost inconceivably big. Wherever you live, whatever continent, picture your skeleton expanding to the very shores of the oceans on every side. East to West, North to South. Your bones are huge, a giant skull, giant spine, etc. Then slowly, ever so slowly, it begins to re-condense and reconstitute, slowly returning to its former size, slowly reforming itself back into your seated position. Then when your skeleton is completely back to its familiar state. those tiny pieces of fresh flesh close to your toes begin to spread. From these, everything regrows: your organs, muscles, tiny pieces of fresh flesh close to your toes begin to spread. From these, everything regrows: your organs, muscles, flesh and blood. In the end your face grows back. It all returns except for one small mark between your eyes, ready to decay again. Take a small break at this point, then begin the meditation again. After you have done this many times you will reach a point where your reaction towards your own body and the bodies of others is one of nausea and revulsion. When you have reached that point it is time to stop. When you have finished your meditation session, do not continue to picture that spot of decay there. As explained above, you must not cling to this as real in post-meditation.