Meditation practice is well-known in all cultures, but I would like to repeat a little vital point to use right when you have sat down, which many of the great masters of the past have mentioned as the important starting point. It is to find your own seat.

Finding one’s seat is done this way: First, make a gentle wish, as kind and noble as you can. Then notice that your body is sitting on the cushion or in a chair, notice that your mind, this present attention, is in this body, and notice that this mind has the willingness to embrace the sitting with kindness.

After appreciating this, remain for a little while. According to your own familiarity with being natural, this “remaining” could be a simple form of quietude, a gentle kindness, a relaxed and curious intelligence, or an awake and yet unattached open state of awareness. It’s a very individual matter.

You can connect with this simple foundation of being in a very normal way. If you for instance feel stressed or uneasy, physically or mentally, my meditation master gave a little trick for returning to your natural seat that has immediate effect. This doesn’t mean becoming a buddha, enlightened, or the naked knowing in Dzogchen, not at all. It just means returning to a very simple way of being yourself.

The simple and direct approach to a task is very popular these days when sometimes even instant is not fast enough. The most profound method, though, is the one that works for you right now by freeing your mind, even to a small degree.

But when this restless mind find it hard to simply be, what do you do?

Luckily Buddha Sakyamuni, Padmasambhava and many realized teachers have given an ocean of methods so that we and all others can make progress and realize sublime qualities. The style and depth, and whether they are simple or complex, depends entirely upon you: the mind to be trained, freed and realized.

To begin meditation, make a kind wish, as unselfish and large as you can. Then find your natural seat. The meditation is a training in returning to your natural seat. Each time you wander off, simply return, gently and repeatedly. At the end, make the wish that your training becomes useful for everyone. This is the simple foundation for being alive in this body and world. A true sanctuary within your being that is for real.

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Erik Pema Kunsang

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