Arriving Home :: Relaxing, Being & The Inner Garden
Relaxing, Being & The Inner Garden
When Trungpa Rinpoche, a Shambala lineage buddhist teacher, first began teaching in the West, he would tell his students to just come back to that open, relaxed state of mind in their meditation practice. He later refined his meditation instructions to include an object for the mind to focus upon, the exhalation part of the breath, because many students were finding the first teaching confusing and unattainable. They needed an anchor in the present moment, so that their minds weren't completely lost in all of the forgotten stories, realizations, plans and memories that seem to pop up "right on time" when meditating.
This original teaching about the relaxed mind is an important reminder that the true nature of mind is one of openness, sparkling clarity, flexibility and restful agility. In meditation, you embark on the process of soothing your system enough to find this sense of relaxed mind. You begin with allowing the body to relax and let go of tension. Next, the nervous system starts to release. Then with the help of some focused attention on the breath, the mind uncoils itself and starts to open up again.
Meditation guides you back to your natural state of mind and your natural state of being.
Our natural state of "being" is one of complete homeostasis - the experience of inner equilibrium in the mind, body and heart. Each time you sit down to practice meditation, essentially you are taking a step towards homeostasis. During, or at the end of a meditation sit, I often encourage my students to relax and just simply be - to not even try to meditate. In this very moment, there is the opportunity to experience your natural "being" state - the opposite of the energy of "doing". Being is both a bi-product of meditation and a cultivated state. The more you meditate, the more you will learn what it means to allow yourself to be.
Relaxing your mind and letting yourself move into being mode through practice, life simply becomes clearer. Emotions are more easily identifiable and less overwhelming. Thoughts aren't the emcee of each and every moment of your life. You become more connected and in-sync with your heart. Awareness turns into the predominant experience, and soon you can begin to be intentional about what it is you are planting, sowing and growing in your own inner-garden of awareness. Today, will you plant wholesome qualities like patience, humility, kindness and love? Will you sow determination, dedication and discipline to your hopes, goals and desires? Will you grow your intentions and watch the fruits of your practice bloom?