This slogan directs us to a path of discovery and interestingly from the outset to a meditation goal - awareness.
This slogan is referring to the vipassanā side of the samatha vipassanā meditation training. As I have explained previously, the Western mindfulness movement if fueled by the discipline of psychology. An as an academic subject that needs and indeed reinforces the need of the intellect, it tends to shy away from this type of 'insight' type practice. They tend to focus on samatha and calm abiding and stress reduction rather than ego reduction which would reduce a lot of stress.
What is interesting to note is why the meditation masters of old put this slogan in this tradition of awakening so soon. The thinking mind needs time to slow down. Stop hopping all over the place. But yet they have put this profound truth as number three?
At some point in your meditation practice you are going to start seeing that as your thinking mind slows down the flow of thoughts will too. This can be a huge psychological shock to people who self-identify as 'thinking beings'. Meditation, successful meditation process is quite frankly the antithesis to their self-concept.
Now don't get me wrong or get frightened but there is a lot more to our mind than just thinking. You will learn the more you delve into regular deep meditation practice that thoughts actually come from our mind. That it is mind that we need to get an understanding of not our thoughts so much. They eventually subside. Not to the point you become a zombie but you chose when to think and not your thinking mind being in complete control of you.
As Ram Dass says, 'the intellect is a great friend but a lousy master.'
Too much thinking is a way of people dissociating. Disconnecting and is the major basis for 'dualisitic fixation' in other words 'self and other'
Why do the mediation masters instruct us to examine the nature of unborn awareness? And why do they specify 'unborn'? What do they mean?
Mediation is a journey to become more sane. Psychologically anyways. The masters are directing our focus inwards and to search and find this elephant in the forest. Meditation is not just about chillin' out. Its deeper. Much deeper.
We are to search for the fundamental mind the awareness mind. This is not a concept but an experience and don't worry it eventually comes. As the thinking slows down and when the last thought goes and before the next thought arises there is a ...GAP!!!! Mind the gap and the gap will mind you.
This gap is free and unbounded awareness and we need a training to get to this level of meditation, more training to stay in it and more training again to start to value and identify with this experientially speaking.
Once we get to the gap, which will take a few weeks of daily meditation, how do we deal with awareness? The lojong masters tell us to examine it. And examine its 'unborn' aspect.
This is because awareness has never died and therefore is never born and is unborn. We need to stabilise this practice and this understanding.
When we do, we find the stable aspect of our minds.
Lady Gaga advises people to look after your career as your career won't leave you and I say the same for awareness. Invest in it as it will never ever leave you
As you will always be with your own spirit you better love is and better have a good relationship with it.
Bestselling author Ralph Quinlan Forde BSc (Hons) MA is the writer and editor of the Mindful Beauty blog. His first book The Book of Tibetan Medicine went into 11 languages. His second Nutriwine has