Welcome to our forty fourth online suggested practise for the week. We are now broadcasting a live teaching each Monday evening. If you would like to participate please contact us using the contact form on the homepage.
1.0) If you feel so inclined, begin by reciting the usual prayers (please follow below links for text). Alternatively, try to think or articulate a wish for all beings to achieve liberation from suffering, etc .
Four Thoughts: contemplating each in turn – https://northantsbuddhists.com/the-four-thoughts/
Refuge Prayer: twice in Tibetan, once in English – https://northantsbuddhists.com/the-refuge-prayer/
2.0) Doing Nothing by Bob Pollak
Blaise Pascal wrote: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
The art of doing nothing is not a passive state; the Taoist term for the art of doing nothing is ‘wei wu wei,’ which means: the ‘action of no action,’ a way of acting without trying to act.
Lau Tzeu in the ‘I Ching’ writes: “I do nothing, yet nothing is left undone.”
During formal sitting meditation, doing nothing with your thoughts is the main component of a powerful technique at the core of Buddhist practice. Tranquillity meditation involves detachment from thoughts, not following thoughts and also not pushing them away. Just letting thoughts be, the skill of doing nothing with thoughts and being able to rest naturally. ‘Zazen,’ the core Zen Meditation practice, literally means ‘just sitting,’ which is pretty close to just doing nothing. This just sitting is not a means to an end like creating a cause to achieve enlightenment, but as Zen Master Dogen implies: just sitting is the expression of the realisation that enlightenment is already here and there is no ‘there’ to get to.
“If you cannot find enlightenment right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
According to Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, “Meditation is one of the rare occasions when we’re not doing anything. Otherwise, we’re always doing something, we’re always thinking something, and we’re always occupied. We get lost in millions of obsessions and fixations. But by meditating – by not doing anything – all these fixations are revealed and our obsessions will naturally undo themselves like a snake uncoiling itself.”
Doing nothing is also a way to become intimately connected with all that is because there is no resistance to anything you experience. There is no agenda, nothing to be changed and nothing to be done, simply open receptivity to the now. Not having to get anything to achieve peace is the radical and powerful way of meditation. Tilopa advised that the best action is free of action, that the highest of all types of conduct is no-action. In the same way that action can exist within ‘no-action,’ stillness can exist within movement as the balance point out of which movement occurs.
There is nothing to do because we are already that which we seek. Chogyam Trungpa calls this discovering our ‘basic goodness.’ As such, the art of doing nothing is the art of letting go into the flow of basic goodness.
2.1) Chenrezig ( Alvalokiteshvara ) Visualisation & Mantra – Presented by Geoff Warren
We visualise at our crowns a white lotus & moon seat.
Upon these. From HRIH, arises Arya Avalokiteshvara.
He has a white translucent body that radiates 5 coloured lights.
He has a smiling expression & gazes upon us with eyes of compassion
He has 4 hands, the 1st two pressed together at his heart, & the lower 2 holding a chrystal mala & a white lotus flower.
He is adorned with silks & jewelled ornaments & wears an upper garment of an antelope skin.
His crown is adorned with Amitabha.
He sits with his legs crossed in the Vajra posture, supported from behind by a stainless moon.
He is the synthesis of all objects of refuge.
Om Mane Peme Hum (repeat 21 times)
Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus Flower