MEDITATE LIKE A BUDDHA
If you want to experiment with meditation you should pick a time and place when you expect to have at least five or ten minutes to yourself undisturbed, each day. It may be at home, during your lunch break, on a quiet hillside, or in a nearby church or temple. Morning and late evening are ideal times to meditate.
Accept and include whatever occurs as part of your meditation - car-noise, bird-song, ringing phone! Some days during your meditation your mind will seem to buzz with static, other days you will feel like a clear sky inside. Cultivate indifference in regard to mind-states and moods and you will strengthen the witnessing presence within you. All of it is fine; everything is food for the Buddha.
Whenever I get too precious about my meditation I recall the tale of the three yogis in a cave. Inside the cave all is dark and silent. Suddenly a roar is heard, “that was a tiger ”says one yogi. Three years pass “No it was a lion” says another. Seven years pass and finally the third yogi speaks “If you two don’t stop arguing I am out of here!”
“One goes to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty room, sits down crosslegged in the lotus position, holds one’s body straight, and establishes mindfulness in front of oneself.
Breathing in, one is aware of breathing in. Breathing out, one is aware of breathing out.”
The Buddha (From the Sati-Patthana Sutra)
Vipasana meditation is the art of stripping away everything that is not you. It is the one the Buddha taught and the core practice from which all meditations arise. You simply sit, with spine erect, in any of the yoga-poses for meditation, and remain alert to the inflow and outflow of the breath, and the gaps between each breath, at the abdomen, or the base of the nose.
The hands rest up-turned, open-palmed upon the knees, or thighs, with the index fingers and thumbs touching to create the wisdom mudra.
The head tilts slightly forward, allowing an alignment of energy from the root of the spine to the crown of the head. The tongue should rest at the roof of the mouth a little way behind the front teeth. Saliva gathers during your meditation. Swallow it. It is a mysterious substance whose chemicals profoundly alter according to your emotional and mental states. It is full of enzymes, antiseptics and hormones and is especially beneficial if swallowed during meditation.
In Vipasana we are simply watching, seeing the stream of the mind – thoughts floating by; reflections, memories, dreams and imaginations.
We are watching, seeing without evaluating or interacting with what is seen; neither saying “this is right” nor “this is wrong” but endeavoring always to guide our attention gently back to the breath. In this way we can begin to unbind the pure essence of who we are, which is beyond our thoughts and emotions.