Skillful Means vs. Manipulation

There is a fine line between

  1. skillfully directing the mind and
  2. trying to manipulate the mind toward ‘feeling better.’

Here are a few things I found helpful during my month-long retreat - for a while.  Once I ‘lost the buzz’ I found myself struggling to ‘get back there.’

Eventually I realized that the ‘there’ I was trying to get to is actually 'here.'

That’s when I started to relax.

Tulku Urgyen said the following phrase describes the essence of the practice.  As you reflect on these words, simply feel their effect.  There is no doing here ... Just opening to the sense of things.

“Utterly Awake, Sense Doors Wide Open,

Utterly Open, Non-Fixating Awareness.”

The Tibetans describe consciousness as “Undivided Emptiness Suffused with Knowing.” I found reflecting on that phrase helpful.

As cliché as this may sound, when you are meditating you might ask yourself:

“What would the Buddha do?"  "How would the Buddha meet this moment?"

I found this to be quite effective ... By tuning into what I imagined as the consciousness of the Buddha I could sometimes feel a distinct shift to an expansive sense of presence.