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Buddhadharma : Summer 2008
HADlEYHOOPER relationship based on acceptance and genuine care rather than expectation. Imagine feeling completely satisfied and content with your life just as it is. Who wouldn’t want this? This is the enjoyment of nonattachment. The phenomenal world is much more fascinating and juicy when we stop grasping, wanting, craving. This is because the mind is present, the senses wide open, and the conceptual mind relaxed. We make tremendous space in our mind when we let go of this “can’t live without it” desperation. And, when we discover the richness and contentment within our own mind, we find an answer to our lifelong question, “Where do I find satisfaction and contentment?” From light Comes through, by Dzigar Kongtrul rinpoche. publisheD by shambhala publications, July 2008 sleePing WiTh BodhichiTTa A good night’s sleep begins with generating compassion for all sentient beings, says Lama Zopa Rinpoche. There are many different kinds of meditation you can do before going to sleep. There are the profound meditations of tantra, but generally, you can generate the motivation of bodhicitta by thinking, “The purpose of my life is to free all sentient beings from suffering and lead them to happi- ness, especially the peerless happiness of enlightenment. I have this universal responsibility. To succeed in this, I must first attain enlightenment myself, therefore, I am going to practice the yoga of sleeping.” With this bodhichitta moti- vation, go to sleep. Another common motivation is to visualize your guru on your pillow, and when you lie down, your head rests in his lap. Then, in the presence of your guru, who with devotion you visualize as one with the Buddha, gener- ate compassion for all sentient beings and go to sleep. If you do this, your entire night’s sleep will be virtuous, the cause of happiness. Thus, you can go to bed with devo- tion to your guru, with devotion to the Buddha, and with compassion for all the sentient beings by reflecting on their suffering. You can also think that as you go to sleep you are in the pure land of the deity you practice. This leaves positive imprints on your mind and you create the karma to be re- born in that pure land when you die. You can also go to sleep with the thought of renuncia- tion, reflecting on the suffering nature of samsara, im- permanence and death and so forth, or by meditating on emptiness or dependent arising, looking at everything as a dream or an illusion, as merely labeled by the mind. If you go to bed mindful that everything that appears to you as not merely labeled by the mind is a dream, an halluci- nation, it can help you recognize your dreams as dreams and to practice virtue while you are dreaming. No matter which of these techniques you practice, your sleep becomes dharma, virtue. From making life meaningful, by lama zopa rinpoche. publisheD by lama yeshe WisDom archiVe, 2008 Walking ToWard enlighTenmenT Ajahn Brahm explains why walking meditation is such a useful and powerful practice. Walking meditation is wonderful, especially in the early morning. Often when you get up early in the morning, in particular when you’re not used to getting up so early, you’re quite tired and the mind isn’t bright. One of the advantages of walking meditation is that you can’t nod off while you’re walking. So if you’re tired, walking medita- tion is very good to do. It brings up some energy, and also you can get very peaceful. Walking meditation was both praised and prac- ticed by the Buddha. If you read the suttas, you find that the Buddha would usually do walking medita- tion in the early morning. He wouldn’t be sitting; he’d be walking. Many monks and nuns have become enlight- ened on the walking meditation path. It’s a very effective way of developing both calm and insight. For some monks that I know in Thai- land, their main practice is walking medita- tion. They do very little sitting. They do a lot of walking, and many get tremendously powerful insights while they’re walking. Another benefit of walking meditation is that it is especially suitable for those who have physical discomfort when sit- ting for long periods. If you find it dif- ficult to sit in meditation because of pains in the body, walking meditation can be a very effective alternative. Don’t consider walking medita- tion a “second-class” meditation. If you want to spend most of your meditation time this way, please do so. But do it well and do it carefully. See if you can develop the happiness born of serenity as you’re walking back and forth. From Walking meditation, publisheD by buDDhist publication society, 2007 first thoughts 13