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'Meditation'

By Jessica Bellofatto, May 2009

One could say that Spring is the season of change, growth, and movement, and for many of us that seems to hold very true, more so than ever. Everywhere I look it appears to me that people are re-defining many things in their lives. We are being asked to examine not only what is necessary and what is not, but what makes life meaningful?

The moment ANYTHING is born, it begins to die. That is the truth of existence in this realm. A metaphor for this reality, our asana practice reminds us to let go and let be. Better yet, let BECOME.

The body as it moves through space, the coming and going of the breath, the thoughts that wander in and out...constant reminders that all things come...and then they go, without exception. Instead of resisting change, a futile, exhausting and idiotic venture, what if we instead recognized fully the present moment, in all of it’s momentary glory? What if we rejoiced in impermanence, instead of fearing it, hating it, dreading it and ignoring it?

One way to learn how to do this is through our practice of meditation. Not just the repetitive and, if done exclusively, mind-numbing practice of watching the breath. But the higher, more profound methods of meditation, handed lovingly down to us, from teacher to student, for over 2500 years. The practices of mahamudra, tonglen and lojong.

When Wendell Berry says "what we need is here," perhaps he is suggesting that we have the very special tools we need to end suffering forever, if we only know where to look for them.

The Tibetan Book of Meditation is just such a tool: precious, complete and uncorrupted. A synthesis of all the great Tibetan commentaries on meditation, starting from Master Kamalashila and continuing up to modern day Lamas, as it was passed down to Lama Christie McNally by her Teachers, click the following link to download the first 4 chapters of this wonderful book, The Tibetan Book Of Meditation (PDF).

Enjoy and Best Wishes.

 

 

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