THE SUBTLE ENERGY UNDERLYING THE PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION

In the Tibetan Buddhist traditions the subtle energy is called “lung”, energy-wind, subtle body or vitality and underlies the functioning of all physical, emotional and mental processes. We have three constitutional aspects: the physical body, consciousness,and the energy-wind body which facilitates an interface between the other two. It is instrumental in translating physical experience into consciousness and vice versa. There is a relationship between each energy-wind and consciousness, it’s like a relationship between a horse and its rider, which is why it has been given the name “wind-horse”. Subtle conscious/energy-wind relates to inner subtle feelings and emotional undercurrents in the unconscious. Extreme subtle consciousness/wind-energy relates to the clear light nature of the mind, innate wisdom, Buddha nature empty of dualistic confusion. It is known as the “life supporting wind”, the vehicle of consciousness and life. Therefore when our mind is disturbed the energy wind is gross and agitated by normal daily life events and thought processes, worries, anxieties, emotional turmoil, consciousness will also be agitated. When our mind is cam and stable, soft and smooth, experiencing feelings of love and contentment, the quality of consciousness equally corresponds. If we are emotionally distressed, our nervous system, digestive system, heart rate, breathing, etc… are affected. If we suppress the disturbed nature of these energy winds, they become absorbed in the body and affect our physical health. Blocked, disturbed or polluted energy winds manifest behavior that is unwholesome, and if these energies are freed from defiled states their innate quality is released and deep peace manifests. Being aware of the “wind-horse energy” and working with it, allows us to adopt a view...

Meditation revisited

  Meditation is more that just a relaxation technique, it is a precision tool for exploring consciousness and for centuries has been for contemplative practitioners a practice for discerning and reporting findings on inner reality and it’s connection to outer phenomena. Most practitioners discover that it helps one to attain calm, experience a serene lifestyle and definitely shows positive effects and improvement for mental and physical health. We know that it is for many a means to improve one’s life, a way to achieve deep insights into the nature of the mind, our identity and consciousness, which results in unprecedented well- being and as a primer for genuine altruism and compassion. It brings us close to what it’s like to be a human being in this journey we call life! It is an expedition into the frontiers of the mind. The Latin word expeditio, has the connotation of “coming out,freeing oneself”, extricating ourselves from a place in which our feet are stuck. The expedition is about first recognizing that we are stuck in old schemas which lead nowhere and then taking the steps we need to free ourselves from those habitual patterns. So we sit, find a time out, just sit fully alive in our body and mind and drop into states in which we are actively aware of and focused on the reality of the present moment, accepting and acknowledging it without getting caught up in thoughts or emotional reactions to the situation. When we eventually become aware of being hijacked or lost in the contents of the mind stream and internal mental chatter or self talk, we...

UNCONDITIONAL PRESENCE

  Most of us live in a state of continuous contraction and constricted awareness that forms a nucleus of avoidance, attachment or both. Often we develop an identity and view of ourselves and the world based on rejecting experiences we don’t like or grasping onto others. In order to hold on to this identity we develop stories about the way we are or what reality is, stories which in essence are just mental interpretations of our experience, a way of organizing our beliefs and opinions but not the experience itself. Unfortunately one story tends to reinforce another story which creates an increasingly distortion of reality. How do we move from constriction and partial views of reality? One way is to engage in being present with our experience, with what is, in the moment. We call that beginners mind. Often though we have become experts at being ourselves, in the process loosing our ability to be open in a fresh, open minded fashion. The totality of our present experiencing is much larger and richer than anything we can know or describe about it at any given moment. What we notice in meditation practice sometimes are the islands of thoughts where our mind lands in the stream of consciousness, gaps between our thoughts. These gaps can appear to be scary, because they represent absence of control. However these gaps are entry points into non conceptual awareness that is always present. When we can settle into this awareness we are free to be with what is, open, curious, bearing witness(not having any agenda) to our larger unconditioned nature; this is what is...

What is all that fuss about mindfulness?

  Mindfulness has become a buzz word and for some a movement that has strong reservations or objections against it. Mindfulness classes, events and retreats abound in many circles: in some pre-schools, elementary and higher education, work places, corporate and not for profit agencies, jails and federal prisons, health systems, congress, (well, one took the course), the armed forces and of course on many phone apps. As with anything that draws attention and a certain velocity, praises as well as much criticism are abundant. Many articles have been written lately, not always favorable ones,  by three main factions; some who never took the time to experience classes, some by those who have had long time meditation practices, as well by some Buddhist practitioners, all wondering about the current surge of interest and most of them  challenging the purpose and validity of the practices of mindfulness. The typical critical arguments and negative charges about mindfulness programs from these three groups are as follows: “Mindfulness is another fad. Mindfulness classes only reduce stress marginally. The teachers use scientific research and neuroscience to justify its use but it has very little scientific validity. It is another modality being marketed to vulnerable folks for greed. Some Buddhists, claim that it is and unconscionable practice without the ethical focus as the primary foundation. Meditation can be a dangerous practice for some. Some teachers are not qualified and make unsubstantial benefit claims or use them for marketing benefits. It is a program geared to white middle class people or for those who have money.” I am going to address these comments one by one, but first...

Gratitude

  The word comes from the Latin word “gratus” which means “thankfulness and pleasing”. This is the time of Thanksgiving, the practice and celebration of gratitude for food, gifts, connecting with people and engaging in conversations. Everyday is a time for celebrating gratitude in small measures because it leads us in an experience of being alive, preventing us from exhaustion or killing the mind of compassion. Gratitude enables us to realize that we are part of a larger context in which our personal stories are unfolding. It softens our heart, directs our view towards what is meaningful and builds greater capacity for forgiveness and appreciation for the interdependent nature of our existence. We often tend to focus on the negative aspects of our experiences which can lead to a distorted view of what is actually happening, undermining in the process any attempt of empowerment and literally deadening the realm of possibilities. Gratitude is a powerful antidote for our emotional chaos, occasional despair, depression, self defeating feelings and behaviors. It also gives us strength to be with people who habitually tend to only notice things that go wrong or the abundant deficiencies that occur, maybe for a short time only… Meditating on gratitude helps us drop the feeling of loss, envy, scarcity, even jealousy and releases us from the fear of always wanting more than we have. Reminding ourselves of what we are grateful for doesn’t deny life’s daily difficulties and challenges on our planet, troubled times, uncertainties about the future as well as disappointments and betrayals. However the practice will lift the veil of gloom and doom and shift...