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Lions Roar : March 2015
for the sitting practice of meditation. That is essential, absolutely. The practice of mindfulness meditation is beginning from the beginning, using body, breath, and mind as the mediums for our practice. These are the only mediums that are available to us in this world, on this planet. One purpose of meditation is to develop a feeling of stillness and solidity in one’s practice. In order to become more open, one needs to establish the ground from which one will open. From the simplicity of mindfulness we begin to develop clear seeing, and we begin to make a transition to insight meditation. We are attempting to prepare ourselves for a path that is dedi- cated to working with other people as well as ourselves. Everyday Awareness The first step in that direction is to work with our awareness in post-meditation, our everyday awareness or mindfulness in action, as well as in the formal practice of meditation. This term, post-meditation, is used to remind us that meditation is a reference point in everyday life. The sitting practice of meditation is the starting point for developing mindfulness. It establishes a reference point for awareness of yourself as well as a general awareness of your environment and your experi- ence as a whole. From the general pattern of basic awareness in your practice, you step out and expand yourself into everyday life, using the mindfulness you develop in meditation as the starting point for mindfulness throughout life. Meditation is the source or the basic inspiration, and from there, slowly, mindfulness and awareness begin to emerge in your life as a whole. At some point you may begin to realize that there is very little difference between sitting and not sitting. The idea is that the practitioner of meditation should eventually develop a fuzzy boundary between meditation and post-meditation. In that way, there is continuity, which is the continuity of mindful- ness, or the precision of one’s practice, throughout one’s life. NE OF THE EFFECTS of meditation is that you become more open-minded, and this gives rise to an interest in working with others. In that way, meditation practice can transform your lifestyle and your relationships with other people. Then, mindfulness practice becomes a reference point in deal- ing with the rest of the world. So we should look further at how to relate with the experience of everyday life. Sometimes we talk about the “post-meditation” experience, which refers to our experience after we meditate. We could say that it extends to our experience of our work life and our home life—the boardroom and the kitchen sink—when that experi- ence is influenced by mindfulness. Beyond that, by applying mindfulness in post-meditation, or mindfulness in action, you begin to transcend or break down the boundary between meditating and not meditating. The benefits of meditation also begin to help you in your daily life. Daily problems and the pain of daily life may often feel almost poison- ous. However, meditative awareness can help you to convert that poison into medicine, the medicine of cheerfulness. You begin to develop the ability to transform difficulties into delight, some- thing delightfully workable. This transformation comes from appreciating your life, including its irritations and challenges. However, purely working on the mindfulness-in-action situ- ation alone is also not enough without the formal practice of meditation. This may seem somewhat doctrinaire or arbitrary, but I have found that it’s the case. When the practice of medita- tion has a footing in your life and becomes a regular practice, a regular discipline, the contrast between sanity and neurosis in daily life becomes clear and precise. So working with both the formal practice of meditation and the post-meditation practice seems to be the only way to disman- tle the fundamental core of ego’s game. One of the main things that I would like to encourage is our confidence that we can actu- ally do this ourselves. We can’t simply rely upon prescriptions. But the one prescription, the one choiceless choice, is the need Put Your Meditation into Action How to take the fresh and open mind you’ve experienced into the rest of your life. A teaching by CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE. SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 68