We just got back from the meditation session conducted by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. Rinpoche started by saying that he was asked to lead a 40-minute meditation. But he said if he meditated that long he might fall sleepy. Instead he preferred to say something about meditation, sit with the participants for some time, and take questions.
He said meditation was not the only way of Dharma practice. Others include proper view and right conduct – the way we look at things, the way we live our life and do our work, etc. Like learning to ride a bicycle or driving a car, meditation needs an experiential approach. But this experience has to be conducted properly with the right attitude. Rinpoche emphasized that there are many different ways of meditating and all are equally good. We choose the one we find most appropriate. All can lead to the nature of mind which is calm, lucid, luminous, peaceful, joyful and omniscient.
Yet, meditating in order to attain that level of mind is not easy because of our tendency to be affected by feelings and emotions. As soon as we want to sit and meditate, our mind becomes agitated. The problem is due to distractions or sometimes dullness (being sleepy or feeling unclear). In fact, the main obstacle is not so much on distraction itself as on being unaware. We are not aware of what is happening while we are meditating. If thoughts arise, we are aware that we are thinking. If there are noises, we are aware of sounds. We let things go on without being disturbed. We don’t get upset when meditating doesn’t turn out to be the way we want. We are alert, aware and relaxed. We live in the present moment. We are aware of the nowness. We can count our breath 1, 2, 3… or do other techniques. The main thing is we are a little bit aware and are very relaxed. We don’t control our mind.
In this way, it is wise to do short meditations, rather than do long ones. We should have a lot of breaks even in a single session. Rinpoche said sometimes during the break our meditation is better because we get a chance to be truly relaxed.