Here, there is nothing to remove and nothing to add.
The one who sees the truth of being, as it is,
By seeing the truth, is liberated.
In our group meditation sessions at the Awakened Heart Sangha, this verse is read out by the person leading the session (the Omzay), about five minutes before the end of each session. It is a verse from the Ratnagotravibhaga and encapsulates the essence of its message as a simple and direct meditation instruction.
During our meditation we will have been struggling with distractions, strong emotions, sleepiness, restlessness, boredom, tension, aches and pains and so on. This verse reminds us that all this is fine, all this is the meditation. We are sitting here in order to see all this properly. We just need to be confident and relax.
All our experience is the expression of the Openness, Clarity and Sensitivity of our essential nature. We do not have to get rid of it, it is fine as it is; but we do need to see it differently, with profound confidence in our true nature, and relax into that. When we can do this, the true wonder and glory of Openness, Clarity and Sensitivity will gradually be revealed.
It is not that we will get something new that we did not have before. We do not have to think of ourselves as poor unfortunate beings who have got nothing going for us. We are not somehow fundamentally flawed and hopeless cases. We can afford to relax and have confidence in who and what we truly are. It is just a matter of seeing in the right way. Hearing these words should wake us and give us lots of inspiration for carrying the meditation experience into daily life.
As we continue to sit with our practice, the next five minutes give space for the message to sink in. This is an opportunity to notice all the struggles of trying to meditate, concentrate, let go of persistent annoying thoughts and feelings, imagining how the practice should really be if we could only do it properly.
We may have been having lots of doubts about this, about where it was all leading and whether it was worth all the effort. This verse says there is nothing to do, nothing to attain, nothing to get rid of. It’s just about learning to let go of all that manipulative effort, to ‘see’ experience directly and simply. Just reminding ourselves of this can sometimes be a tremendous relief and very inspiring.
Lama Shenpen Hookham
This is an excerpt from Lama Shenpen Hookham’s book Mandala of Sacred Space: Setting up your Practice at Home’’. Available here or buy direct from the Sangha’s Student Support for existing members of the AHS.
Find out more here about how to become of student of Lama Shenpen and join the training in Formless Meditation, reflection and insight, with the Living the Awakened Heart Training from the Awakened Heart Sangha.
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