Meditation as becoming accustomed to our sense of Love & Compassion

A student writes:

In your recent teaching you mentioned that “meditation” can mean “becoming accustomed to” –  could this mean becoming accustomed to our sense of Love and Compassion for all beings?

Could this be the basis for meditating on the apramanas, to accustomise ourselves sufficiently to carry this practice into daily life?

Lama Shenpen Responds:

Yes – that is the point of it – and also to have this as the basis for our practice on the Bodhisattva path through all our lifetimes – enlivening the way we make our pranidhanas and set about accomplishing the benefit of all beings.  Accustoming ourselves is a good way of putting it because it’s not as if we have to create love and compassion – it is more like awakening it within us and then aligning with it more and more – accustomise in that sense.

Sometimes meditation is described more as investigative wondering about experience (as in vipashyana). Such investigative meditation feels like a doing, yet meditation is often described  as not-doing, allowing, giving space to what arises. 


How do both ways of meditating relate to “resting in Awareness”? 

Lama Shenpen:

‘Resting in Awareness’ suggests we know what awareness is and how to simply be one with that awareness – which is right but we have a long journey to go before that is how we are able to be – so to find that way of being we have to make some kind of effort to recognise what is blocking us and setting ourselves up to let those blockages dissolve.

Investigation and wondering require a great deal of focused attention to our direct experience – a lot of honesty and openness and than in turn requires confidence and a real wish to be that open and honest – I think you can see where I am going with this – we need to play the one against the other – on the one h ad keeping in mind there is nothing to do ultimately and that to arrive at non-doing sustained reflection and pondering is required – and probably much else as well – there are all sorts of ways we can apply Dharma practices in ways that will help to remove the obstacles blocking us. Hence the whole LAH training programme.

Lama Shenpen Hookham

Read more student’s questions about practising the Apramanas and on Love and Compassion HERE.

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