This week on the Heart Wisdom Podcast, Jack introduces us to a particularly beautiful practice, known as the Big Sky Meditation, that guides us into a quality of presence that is entered through the doorway of sound.
Enter the Big Sky (Opening) – Meditative practice comes alive through a growing capacity to release our habitual entanglement in the stories and plans, conflicts and worries that make up the small sense of self, and to rest in awareness. In meditation, we do this simply by acknowledging the moment-to-moment changing conditions, the praise, and blame, and the catalog of ideas and expectations that arise. However, we may find ourselves caught in the grip of some repetitive thought pattern or painful situation, or lost in great physical or emotional suffering. Perhaps there is chaos and noise around us. We sit and our heart is tight, our body and mind are neither relaxed nor gracious, and even the witnessing can seem tedious or forced.
In this circumstance, we can open the lens of attention to its widest angle and let our awareness become like space or the sky. As the Buddha instructs in the Majjhima Nikaya, “Develop a mind that is vast like space, where experiences both pleasant and unpleasant can appear and disappear without conflict, struggle or harm. Rest in a mind like the vast sky.”
“Tonight’s meditation will start by opening our attention, our loving-awareness, not to the breath or body but rather to sound itself – to the doorway of the ear. With it you will hear an invitation to sense the open spaciousness of mind itself, within which we can then become aware of body and breath and all that arises.”
“As you listen, let yourself imagine or sense or feel any way you can that your mind is not limited to the size of your head; it is bigger, as big as this whole room and even more vast. Open like the sky, without inside or outside. Let yourself feel like your mind, as open as the sky, allows for the sounds to appear like clouds or bubbles. Rest in the spaciousness, the clear sky of awareness, it is your own true nature – it is home.”
“Sounds come and go, thoughts and images arise like clouds in the vast space and sky of awareness. Moods and emotions appear, like weather, for a time and then pass away. Notice too how the body floats in the vast space of awareness. If you sense directly, there is no solid body. There are areas of pressure and warmth, of tingling and coolness, hardness and softness, a field of energy that is ever changing.”
Listen to a reflection on sky gazing from Lama Surya Das on Ep. 11 of the Awakening Now Podcast
“Floating in the vast space of awareness. Relax and let the energy field of the body float and change slowly. It breaths and the breath moves like a breeze in this space and you are the vast space of awareness itself that contains all things and is yet not limited by them. You are consciousness, loving awareness and as you feel the vastness and connection with all things let there arise a deep sense of compassion for all of those beings who forget who they really are, who are lost in separateness and fear and confusion.”
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