Getting the right touch with meditation: welcoming thoughts as guests

“If you try too hard to let go of thinking, the mind speeds up and more thoughts than ever seem to come up. If you don’t try hard enough it’s business as usual.

Nothing changes and you discover nothing of interest. So it’s a matter of getting the right touch. One way of doing this is to adopt toward thoughts an attitude you would have toward guests at your party.

Put another way, it is a matter of turning toward your experience. You are the good host who acknowledges the presence of each guest in a welcoming way, but you don’t linger too long with any one of them. You move decisively on to the next one without roughly pushing the first guest aside. It is more relaxed than that.

The guest comes, you notice the guest, you respond warmly and with interest, but then before getting sucked into the world of that guest, you let them go or let them be as you move your attention back to the breath or back into that movement of letting go into space.”

Lama Shenpen Hookham

This is an extract from Lama Shenpen’s book ‘Heart of Meditation – An Introduction to Formless Meditation Practice’, which teaches or deepens meditation practice. It is sent to those who join as the first stage of the Living the Awakened Heart Training  and is also available from Amazon.

The Living the Awakened Heart Training is a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. The training, which is open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a Western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at

If you are willing or able to make a donation or offering in appreciation of Lama Shenpen’s teaching and wish to support her activity, please do so here