Day 26

Dear One,

Everyone has a different reason that they are participating on this path and in their practice. Why do you meditate? To create more peace in your life? To find more peace on the planet? To enhance your well being or to be more resilient? To deepen your spirituality or to know God?

Every meditation is informed by your reason or intention. Even when you don't put your attention on your orignal intention in meditation, it's is till there, inherent in your practice. Your intention informs your practice. I'd call it your heart's desire, others call it your resolve, and in Sanskrit it's called your Sankalpa .

There are two other ingredients for any meditation: your non-judgmental, gentle attention, and an object on which to focus your attention. So there's you, the subject, and that which you pay attention to, the object.

I'm curious. Have you ever noticed the phenomenon when, at some point in meditation, the duality disappears? There is a subject, object merge? Spontaneously there is pure wakefulness, or unconditioned awareness. It's a moment of fusion of subject/object.
This is a time of deep practice. I am practicing with you.

Here's to peace on this planet,

Sarah

Sarah McLean
Feast for the Soul, Inc.

Featured Meditation
Feast favorite Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Anam Thubten, offers a variety of beautiful meditations. He uses an invocation to open and close his meditations:

“Buddham sharanam gacchami. Dhammam sharanam gacchami. Sangham sharanam gacchami.”

I go to the Buddha for refuge. I go to the teachings for refuge. I go to the community for refuge.

“Om gate gate paragate. Parasamgate bodhi svaha.”

Gone, Gone, Gone beyond. Gone completely beyond, awake, so be it. Listen here.
Meditation Tip
Attention:

The attention you use in meditation is very gentle and non-judgmental. It might be like watching fireworks. It isn’t intense concentration. Instead, you simply focus your attention toward some idea or thing .

Try this exercise to experience the ease of attention:

For a moment, turn your attention to your breath. Notice the way it naturally moves in and out of your body, notice how it sounds, and how the body responds to each inhale and exhale. Do this for three breaths.

Did you notice how easily you were able to focus your attention? If you did this for a while, you might get distracted and begin thinking of other things—but don’t worry, this is natural. It’s the nature of the mind to think. Your job is to return your attention to the focus of your meditation once you notice you have drifted off.

Okay, now this time bring your attention to your right hand. You don’t have to move or look at it, simply focus your attention on how it feels. Become aware of it and the sensations present. Now, switch your focus to your left hand for a few moments. Now, switch your attention back to the right.

I imagine this was easy, too. That’s the same ease of focus you use in meditation. You don’t have to “let things go.” Instead, you simply focus on purpose. When you notice you are distracted, you’ll easily refocus without judgment back to the focus of your meditation, as you did with the focus on your hands. You don’t need to evaluate, monitor, or examine what experiences are going on in the practice. You simply return to your focus, again and again. This is the practice.
Living the Feast
Listening to mantras being chanted is a wonderful way to purify your heart and mind and can serve as a beautiful adjunct to your meditation practice. Here are three I recommend: