Formless Meditation seems to mean anything from basic Shamata to deepest levels of vipashyana, Mahamudra and/or Dzogchen. Formless Meditation is a term coined by Trungpa Rinpoche which is clearly meant to include far more than simply a Shamata practice without a particular focus or object. Continue reading What does the term Formless Meditation mean & where did it come from?
The Vipashyana aspect of the Formless Meditation practice comes in as we begin to wonder what our experience actually is in itself. We do this by wondering what is the mind, what is a thought or a feeling, what is a sensation, what is the space of awareness in which all this happens. Continue reading What is Vipashyana Meditation?
This is Mara at work – it is almost a gut reaction. Something in us is so deeply entrenched we don’t want to disturb it – or rather it doesn’t want to be disturbed. This can often account for why sometimes we find ourselves drifting off instead of really focusing in an awake and alive way when we are meditating. We really have to look closely to see what that is all about. Continue reading Noticing ways we delude ourselves: noticing Avidya and Mara
When we talk about meditation in terms of letting go of thoughts, it can seem as if it is a matter of setting oneself up as an observer of one’s mind and to root out thinking. This is a misunderstanding of the whole process. Setting up a watcher in this way perpetuates our false sense of what we are and what our experience is. The observer might well be well intentioned, but the problem is that it is heavy-handed and believes too much in itself. Continue reading Meditation: Recognising ‘the watcher’ as thinking too
Formless meditation takes time to learn, Often people get discouraged along the way and think that they would rather have something more definite to do. Formless meditation produces shamatha but in a way that opens itself up to vipashyana (insight). It is the insight that brings about liberation at a very deep and complete level. Continue reading Why Formless Meditation can be difficult to relate to at first and why we should keep going
“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 … Continue reading Getting the right touch with meditation: welcoming thoughts as guests
Don’t think it should be any other way than how it is. But notice, as if you were listening for something coming from deep inside you, so be awake, attentive and relaxed. Just notice what is going on. Continue reading What to do when you feel like you’ve hit a wall with your meditation practice