Having found a posture that is stable and comfortable. Again with your eyes either gently closed, or relaxed and slightly open, but not looking around.
Begin to pay attention to your body.
Allowing it to relax.
And noticing the sensations that are here — as you pay attention.
If you notice any obvious areas of tightness you can soften them.
Let the eyes and ears be soft.
The shoulders drop.
The hands rest easily.
Let the belly be soft and the breath natural.
Let yourself just rest for a moment. being aware of what you notice here.
As you feel your body, as you rest on the earth.
As you sit quietly, you’ll notice that there are different thoughts, feelings, and sounds that arise and pass — including these words.
Let the sounds and thoughts arise and pass easily. Like waves in the ocean. And let your mind and heart be soft, and open, and at peace.
Notice the waves as they come and go.
And simply be present with the feelings and the experiences that pass each moment as you sit.
In this space of a kind and relaxed attention:
Now let yourself become aware of the fact of your breathing.
In the midst of the thoughts, sounds, and feelings that come and go.
You can sense your life breath.
You can sense the feeling or the sensation of this rhythm of breath.
It might be coolness in the nose, tingling in the back of the throat.
Or you might feel the breath as a movement of the chest or the rise and fall of the belly.
Let the breath have its natural rhythm. And as you feel it — rest your attention in the breathing.
Sense the breath carefully.
Focusing on the breath is our beginning. It is our way of connecting the mind, heart, and body together in the present.
If it’s helpful to you you can take 1 or 2 deeper breaths — and feel what place in the body the breath is most apparent to you.
And even if the breath is quite soft, see if you can let your attention become careful and notice the coolness, the tingling, the movement or vibration, the expansion of the belly.
Notice whatever you can of the breath and rest your attention in it.
As you feel each breath, let there be a sense of relaxation.
Both a presence or alertness, and at the same time an ease — relaxing in the sensation of breath.
After several breathes, you will probably notice that your mind wanders.
After several breaths, often a wave of thought, or feeling, or sound will come and carry you.
As soon as you notice this wave, you can acknowledge it very simply, “theres’ been thinking” “imagining” or “sound”…and release it — let it go when you notice it.
Coming back gently and directly to feel the breath again.
You might do this meditation at the end of the day.
Although it can be done at almost any other time as well.
And one that involves a lying down meditation.
So, making yourself comfortable lying down on your bed, or on the floor, or wherever you can be comfortable.
Maybe putting a pillow of some sort under your knees.
Allowing your eyes to close and your body to just melt into the floor or the bed.
And allowing your attention to gently come into the body and to the flowing of the breath.
And experiencing this sense of the body as a whole.
Simply lying here. Extended. Breathing.
And when you feel ready, picturing in your mind’s eye, the image of a lake.
Perhaps a lake that you know well and frequent, or one that you’ve seen in a photograph, or an imaginary lake for that matter.
And just seeing if you can bring that image into vivid focus in your mind’s eye.
Noticing how it’s an extended body of water.
Held in a depression in the earth’s surface.
And perhaps fed by a spring or a stream.
And if you watch and observe the lake carefully you’ll notice that it’s always changing.
And yet it’s also always itself.
It changes as the sun moves across the sky.
The light is reflected on the water in different ways.
It changes depending on the weather.
Sometimes on very calm days the surface might be like glass and reflect virtually everything with great precision that comes by.
Clouds. Birds. The trees that might surround the lake.
The sun as it makes its journey across the sky.
And for that matter, the moon and the stars at night.
So there are times when the lake is extremely reflective and contains in a certain way everything that comes by or over it.
And in different periods of time, the surface might be choppy or royal.
And sometimes quite pronounced in the waves — i which times the light might sparkle off the waves in different ways.
Like a myriad of jewels.
And of course the lake changes through the seasons — in the winter — depending on its location it might actually be frozen over. At least on the surface.
So through day and night and through the seasons, and through the years, the lake is constantly changing.
But always is its own essential nature.
Let’s see if we can’t invite the lake to become co-extensive with our own body lying here so that our own body becomes the lake itself.
And we also feel held and embraced as we lie here.
Aware of the many ways in which our own mind is like the surface of the lake.
Sometimes highly reflective, sometimes choppy.
Getting in touch with the entirety of the lake.
The full body of the water.
Not only on the surface but down below.
And as we lie here, just experiencing the fullness of our own being.
Choppy or upset or reactive or dealign with difficult things, we can drop down beneath the surface of our own mind’s waves.
And find a stillness and a calmness that’s always here.
And always available to us.
With each moment, with each breath, and certainly when we come to lie down in this way.
So lying here under the canopy of our own vast awareness.
Experiencing the moment-to-moment changes in the body, in sensations, thoughts, feelings, impulses, sounds.
And all the while lake-like, just simply laying here, watching the play of the weather of the mind and body.
And allowing the awareness to hold it all.
In our own fullness.
In our own completeness.
With tonight’s sitting, I’d like us to start with the object of the meditation being the breath going out and the breath coming in.
So attention on the in and out breath.
And, if your mind wanders off, just coming back.
We’ll practice that way for a while — and near the end we’ll shift to awareness just of the breath going out.
And if the mind wanders off, acknowledging that as “thinking” and coming back to the breath going out.
So starting with the more tight form of the śamatha practice.
The practice of being fully present.
Starting with a more tight form.
And then at the end moving into a more relaxed form of the same practice.
So starting with awareness, attention to the breath in and out
And then near the end I’ll say, “Let’s now give the attention just to the breath going out.”
More of a relaxing outward.
More of a letting go.
And if the mind wanders off, acknowledging that as thinking.
So hopefully that’s clear.
And we’ll start with a gaze that’s slightly lower…
It can be quite a tight gaze actually.
And awareness of the breath as it goes in and out.
And this is a support for staying fully present.
And whenever we wander off, we just simply, in a very relaxed and non-judgmental way, we turn again to the breath of going in and out.
Let’s begin with the four limitless ones chant:
“May all sentient beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.”
“May they be free from suffering and the root of suffering.”
“May they not be separated from the great happiness, devoid of suffering.”
“May they dwell in the great equanimity — free from passion, aggression and prejudice.”
I’m very happy to share you some meditation instructions.
Ok, now first is, it’s very simple, please keep your spine straight. Just straight but don’t worry too much about perfect.
Just keep straight.
And please close your eyes.
Just you closeyour eyes like you’re sleeping.
You don’t have to close too tightly or any special way.
And relax your muscles in your body.
Relax muscles in your head…face…ears….cheeks…throat…upper body…arms and hands…lower body…and the legs and feet.
Just totally relax.
And little bit your, bend your neck forward…little bit….it’s almost like the weight of your head rests on your neck.
You can effortlessly rest.
Each part of the body on the one below.
And this way you feel like resting but ther’es something distinctive.
So you can find balance on the part of your body that is resting…on top of the ea…on top of the others.
But at the same time, there is some sort of strenght within you.
Your spine straight.
Sometimes you feel a bit like gravirty…like gravity…
And just feel sometime, some sensations,..just let it be. Whatever feeling in your body just aware and let it be.
When I was young, my father used to tell me that.
“Let your body on the cushion and let your mind in the body.” This way — join body and mind together.
Your mind come to the body— just aware of your body and aware of any sensations.
Feelings in your body.
Or Netural feelings. Maybe tingling.
Or no feeling.
So any type of feelings.
And let it be.
Ok for a few seconds…jsut aware.
Now…you can expand your awareness into out of your body.
Surround of you.
Maybe there is some sound…any smell…or any sensations
Like your room temperature
A little bit hot a little bit cold.
People are chatting
A car, train, or airplanes moving around.
Or your navels making noise.
Anything — just aware.
Just recognize there are sounds.
And your awareness becomes more open and more vast.
Stay there ….and aware of any phenomenas…for a few seconds.
Now you can expand your awareness even more further beyond your immediate surrounding.
Feel the space around you.
And aware of that space.
More further down.
All of the phenomenas are occur in the space.
Changing in the space.
Dissolving bcak into the space.
They come into space.
Reamain in the space.
They disolve in the space.
And now you can even more expand your awareness.
Go beyond the clouds.
Space which is boundless
Space which is open for all durations.
Don’t worry you’re not going to get lost.
Stay there for a few seconds.
Ok now — please slowly open your eyes.
And be present here.
Just rest your mind also.
Not only the body.
How to rest your mind.
For example, if you like to do physical exercise.
In that garden or park.
Or hiking to the hills or mountains.
Maybe for af few minutes or hours.
Let’s say 1 hour.
And when you finish your job.
You may use a nice seat or rock or grass field.
Sit on the grass fireld.
And with big sigh — – HAAA — just resting.
You don’t have to meditate. Just let your mind rest as it is.
And the body also.
For a few seconds.
Maybe you feel like — oh there are so many thoughts. So many emotions — occuring in my mind.
What should i do with those emotions, those thoughts?
Same? Same as before..
You’re just aware.
If there are thoughts and emtoins – – just aware.
But I go blah blah blah…
Aware and let it be…
Same way your’e aware of your body.
Aware of sound and sesnsations.
Just aware…thoughts and meotions.
Let them come, and let them go.
But if you’re not aware of them.
You’re in non-conceptual state of mind.
But not too long — for a few seconds.
Just aware…for a few seconds.
Anything occurs in your mind, in your body…in your perceptions.
Just aware and let it be.
Ok…now you can apply this awareness, this open, this awareness with any situation in your life with any activities in daily life.
Short time, many times, everywhere, anytimes.
7 days for a week.
365 of the year.
Then you can be be your mind with joyful, feel peaceful experience, and you will develop your inner love compassion wisdom.
So I’m Noah Levine — and I teach buddhist meditation
I’ve been practicing meditation for almost 20 years
I’m teaching for about 10 now.
Give a little introduction to Buddhist meditation practice.
There’s lots of different forms of meditation.
Lots of different teachings of the Buddha.
Perhaps the most useful place to begin is simple present-time awareness.
“Mindfulness meditation practice”
With the acknowledgement that our minds wander…
And that we’re almost constantly thinking about the future or the past.
About just training our attention with the breath to come into the present moment.
To break this habit of planning and remembering constantly.
And not in any way to try and stop the mind but to redirect the attention from thinking to feeling the breath.
So just settling in to just where you’re sitting now.
Allowing your eyes to close.
Allowing your body to relax.
Allowing your breath to be natural.
No need to control it.
And as you breathe in.
Feel the breath at your nostrils.
As you breath out, feel the exhale, feel the breath as it leads — right there at the tip of your nostrils.
Simply breathing in, breathing out.
Directing full attention to the breath.
And of course, the attention doesn’t stay and it wanders back into the mind
Back into thinking, planning remembering.
It doesn’t have to be a problem at all.
Simply catch that process as it happens.
And with as much kindness and patience — simply return the attention back to the breath.
The Buddha’s instructions are simple.
He said, “Breathing in, know that you’re breathing in.”
“Breathing out, know that you’re breathing out.”
It takes discipline to return, again and again, to the breath.
to the present moment.
Letting thoughts be in the background.
Attention focused on your present-time experience of breathing.
From this breathing practice as the foundation of Buddhist Meditation.
Then we would expand to the whole body to emotions and thoughts, feelings
But the beginning is simply just arriving in the present.
Just training the mind to pay attention to the here and now.
To begin the regular practice of meditation, of looking into ourselves.
Let’s arrange to spend this time on a regular basis in a place where we can comfortably still the body in a time when we will not be interrupted.
Allowing this to be a time in which we set aside the usual mode in which we operate — that of more or less constant doing — and switch to a mode of non-doing.
A mode of simply being — of allowing ourselves to be.
Of becoming aware of our being.
This of course will tend to slow time down and is best accomplished by making this time and coming to sit in an erect and dignified posture.
Either on a sit back chair or on a cushion on the floor.
And as we allow the body to become still — just brining our attention to the fact that we’re breathing.
And becoming aware of the movement of the breath — as it comes into your body and as it leaves your body.
Not manipulating the breathing in anyway or trying to change it — simply being aware of it and the feelings associated with breathing.
And if you feel comfortable with it — observe the breathing deep down in your belly.
The abdominal wall as it expands outwards with the in-breath.
As it falls back towards your spine on the out-breath.
And simply being totally here.
In each moment.
With each breath.
Not trying to do anything.
Not trying to get any place.
Simply being with your breathing.
Just giving full care and your full attention to each in-breath.
And to each out-breath.
As they follow one after the other.
In a never-ending cycle and flow.
Now of course you will find that from time-to-time your mind will wander off into thoughts, fantasies, anticipations of the future, worrying, thoughts of the past, memories, whatever.
But when you notice that your attention is no longer here, no longer on your breathing, and without giving yourself a hard time, just intentionally escort your focus and attention back to your breathing and pick up wherever it happens to be.
On an in-breath or on an out-breath.
And just observe.
And keeping your attention here.
As if you were riding the waves of your breathing.
Fully conscious of the duration of the in-breath and the duration of the out-breath from moment to moment.
And as the tape finishes, recognizing that you have spent this time intentionally nourishing yourself by dwelling in this state of non-doing.
This state of being — intentionally making time for yourself to be who you are.
And you might just want to congratulate yourself for taking the time and energy to do this.
And allowing yourself the occasion to do this on a regular basis.
And nourish yourself in a deep way.
And to allow the benefits of this practice to expand into the active expression of your life in every domain as it continues to unfold.