Lama Jigme Gyatso
Casper, the Friendly Meditator - 17feb23
As I child I watched so many episodes of “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” that now, as doddering fifty-seven year-old I can still recall some of the theme song’s lyrics, how about you? But no one wants to feel like an actual ghost: transparent, incorporeal, and utterly unreal. Sadly, this is the daily plight of so many inexperienced contemplatives.
Unqualified and incompetent meditation teachers have instructed their pupils in such a way as to ensure they would over emphasize meditation while neglecting their training in both mindfulness and compassion. Recognizing this problem (even in the second century of this common era) the South Indian Buddhist philosopher Na-gar-ju-na taught of the two truths.
Consider the phrases: appearing yet void, sensual yet void, resounding yet void, and lucid yet void. These exemplify the conventional reality of mindfulness that our sympathetic nervous system perceives most acutely during each inhalation, as well as the ultimate reality accessed by temporarily letting go of the objects of our perceptions AS IF they were as non-graspable AS a vast, empty, void. The latter is most efficiently experienced by our parasympathetic nervous system during each exhalation. This is the foundation of both Dzogchen as well as Mahamudra.
Weather permitting, walk barefoot around your block, silently and mentally reciting the contemplative slogans “Notice this…” and “relaxing!” in harmony with your breathing and very soon, just like Pinocchio, you’ll feel like a real boy.
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