So the first step is “ལུས་རྣམ་སྣང་ཆོས་བདུན།” “lü nam nang chö dün”. “ ལུས་རྣམ་སྣང་ཆོས་བདུན།” “lü nam nang chö dün” means the posture, the seven posture of Bodhisattva.
So it is fairly simple, you know? You keep your legs crossed. You keep your legs crossed like that, if you can. And if you can’t, then just simply, keep your left leg in, right leg out. And then everybody is sitting on the chair, it is fine. The most important is, whatever the posture may be, make sure that it is helping your mind to be more calm and clear. That’s the most important, okay? Obviously if you sit like that, it’s not a good idea.
So just make sure that your back, your all body posture is straight, but not too extreme, not like a military, straight, straight, gentle, soft. So that’s that.
And keep your eyes opened and faced towards the front.
And then either keep your hands like a Amitabha hand posture or you keep your hands on the kneecaps, either doesn’t matter. The most important is, whatever the posture may be, make sure that posture is supplementing your mind to be more calm, to be more clear and not to be in this cloudy state of mind, you know? So that’s that.
So the number one is that you have to breathe out through your nose, gently, three times. So I will demonstrate and then I will explain as well.
So when you are sitting in this posture, then you breathe out, breathe in again.
So by the third time, when you breathe out, keep your mind with a sense of detachment along with it, you understand?
So when you are breathing out, when you are breathing in, don’t keep your mind into the direction of “Where my air is going? How is it going? Where it is supposed to go? Where it should go?”, none of that concern. Just keep your mind along with the breath. Not before the breath, not after the breath, just along with the breath, when you’re breathing out. Just like that when you’re breathing in, and keep your mind on that, you know? So that’s important. Okay?
If you worry too much about “How the breath should go? and where it should go? and how long it should be? What is the strength? Should I increase more or breathe less?” and then your mind is travelling. If your mind is travelling, then you are distracted. So don’t worry too much about it, just simply keep your mind on the sensation of the breath when you’re breathing out. Just simply, your mind, just simply focusing on that. The strength of the air, the sensation, keeping your mind on that. And then when you are breathing in, keeping your mind like that.
And then the second time, just like that. Right? The third time, as you breathe in, you breathe out. And then in that very moment, along with the breath, let go with the sense of detachment. You know? Then you meditate. You understand? So that’s the first cycle. Okay?
So when you’re breathing in, breathing out, so the way to breathe out is to keep your hands like this on your kneecaps. And then when you breathe out, you stretch your fingers. And then, so you keep your hands like that on the kneecaps, right? Like this, when you are sitting as a meditation posture. And then when you breathe in, when you breathe in, then you are bringing the fingers back. And you breathe out, stretching the fingers out. Right? So everybody understood, right? Okay.
So, and then, no need to go too fast! No need to go too slow! Just find your rhythm. And when you’re breathing out, I will show it to you.
First breathe in, you know, all the way, yeah? [Rinpoche demonstrating breathing instruction]
Again breathe out, at the end of the second round of breathing out, then hit little bit, with some sort of a little strength at the end, not at the beginning, at the end of the breath. And then you breathe in, in the third round, breathe in and breathe out with the nose, and then at the end push little bit along with the pushing little bit, and then with the attitude of your mind has to be in the state, in the sense of detachment. We call it, in Tibetan, we call it “དམིགས་པ་མེད་པ།” “mik pa mé pa”, “དམིགས་པ་མེད་པ།” “mik pa mé pa” means “no grasping”.
So you train your mind not to be, not to have a grasping sensation, when you are breathing in and out, right? So when you’re finally breathing out on the third time, and then you’re being in the state of mind with a non-grasping state of mind. Understand?
So that’s the, if you are absent from the non-grasping, then you are in the state of the, almost in the state of the calm state of mind, almost. But that is defined by whether your mind is distracted or in a cloudy state of mind or not, that is also defined by that. So if it is the absence of the cloudy state of mind, if it’s absent from the distraction, if it’s absent from the grasping or fixation, and then that is the real definition of meditation.
If you are grasping then you have this false idea of where your mind should be and what you desire, what you hope, what you expect. That creates the illusion, then illusion creates your false reality, the false reality pollutes your mind. So therefore, it is important to understand, to at least to train ourselves, how to be in a state of non-grasping. Okay?
Don’t think too much about “Oh I think I recognize the nature of the mind”, it is none of that, leave that alone.
First, it is important to combine a different instrument, separately and then put together. Then it becomes the real good meditation. If you don’t know your own instrument, and then you don’t know how to put things together.
So the first step is “how to be in a state of mind of non-grasping”, first step. Once you know “how to be in a state of non-grasping” then you know naturally you have more capacity to recognize the “projection of thoughts” and also to dissolve the “projection of thoughts”, and also to dissolve the strength of the “projection of thoughts” as well.
“Projection of thoughts”: number one is recognizing it, number two is dissolving it and eventually having the strength enough in the mind to more or less dissolve it, not to be influenced by it. Especially when you are doing a meditation. You understand? So that’s that.
So the first step is “how to be in a state of non-grasping”, “non-grasping”, “non-grasping”, “non-grasping”, “non-grasping”. And when you are stable, established that foundation, then you have the space in your mind to recognize what is distraction, what is not, and have space to … it. Otherwise if you try to say “I don’t want to be distracted, my Lama told me, my Rinpoche told me, not to get distracted” then you punish yourself. That’s different forms of punishment. But you are not whipping yourself obviously, but you are torturing your mind. You say “I should not be distracted” then you kind of go through the guilt trip, which is not really helpful. I did that this many time so that’s why I’m saying it. I’m not saying “Hey, look at me, I am Kalu Rinpoche, I never made a mistake”. I’m not saying that. I made that mistake, everybody makes that mistake.
So the first step is “how to be in the state of non-grasping”. Okay? It is quite far from “recognizing the nature of the mind”. It sounds very beautiful, I know. It’s quite a distance. Okay? So don’t mix things together, don’t assume “Oh I think it’s the nature of the mind”. It’s not. It’s quite far away. You know? So that’s that.
So that’s number one, how to create a foundation of your mind to be in the state of non-grasping.
You don’t need to give yourself excuse “Oh I think I have a bad karma”, don’t do that, then you will never start. So don’t tell yourself “Oh I think I have a bad karma, I have a terrible karmic connection, I think I said this to her, I said that to him, now therefore I having this karmic reaction, so therefore my mind is absolutely bizarre”. So don’t tell yourself these things.
So the most important is to breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in. Keep you mind, your clarity and your awareness, on the sensation of the breath that is going out, the sensation of the breath that is coming in. By the third time, as you breathe out, and as the breath goes out, with the sensation of the breath that is going out, be in a state of mind of non-attachment and non-grasping. So that’s that.
So that’s the first cycle. So everybody understood quite clearly. Isn’t it, right? Yeah. That’s the first cycle.
The First Meditation
You have left behind as meaningless everything you have done in the past—physically, verbally, or mentally. From now on, until you reach a slight degree of stability in meditation, relax your efforts even toward virtuous acts, let alone unvirtuous or neutral ones. Assume the posture of the seven points of Buddha Illuminator (Vairochana); expel the stale air from your lungs three times and then enter natural repose, even letting go of any attention to breathing practices or the breath, let alone talking. Relax the mind without contrivance.
“phyag chen ga’u ma’am rang babs rnam gsum zhes bya ba’i khrid”
Instructions for Great Seal of the Amulet Box or The Three Facets of Natural Repose
Niguma’s “Amulet Mahamudra” by Kalu Rinpoche (morning session – 42′ 58”)
Kagyu Sukha Chöling – Friday March 11, 2022