meditation basics


ALL CAPS here indicates a title, or the text is a link, I'm not YELLING

when you begin MEDITATION it can be confusing where to start

avoid the information overload and focus on making meditation a habit and lifetime learning

think of it like tending a garden, remove bad stuff, add good stuff and above all pay attention

NOTHING TO DO - Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

There is actually nothing to do because the mind’s true nature already is perfect just as it is. If you are still fiddling about trying to manipulate your mind or experience in any way, then you have not got this . . . If there is no effort or contrivance in your meditation, if you are able to rest relaxed without clinging or fixation no matter what happens, then it is true mahamudra meditation.

JUST LET EVERYTHING BE — Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche

Although meditation is actually very simple, it is easy to get confused by the many different descriptions of meditation practices. Forget them all and just sit quietly. Be very still and relaxed, and do not try to do anything. Let everything—thoughts, feelings, and concepts—go through your mind unheeded. Do not grasp at ideas or thoughts as they come and go or try to manipulate them. When you feel you have to do something in your meditation, you only make it harder. Let meditation do itself.

After you learn to let thoughts slip by, the thoughts will slow down and nearly disappear. Then, behind the flow of thoughts, you will sense a feeling that is the foundation of meditation. When you contact this quiet place behind your inner dialogues, let your awareness of it grow stronger. You can then simply rest in the silence. For in that silence there is nothing to do; there is no reason to produce anything or to stop anything. Just let everything be.

MEDITATION HAS NO PURPOSE - Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Meditation has no object, no purpose, no reference point. It is simply individuals willing to take a discipline upon themselves, not to please God or the Buddha or their teacher or themselves. Rather one just sits. One just simply sits without aim, object, purpose, without anything at all. Nothing whatsoever. One just sits. Sitting is just being there like a piece of rock or a disused coffee cup sitting on the table. So meditation is just sitting and being, simply.

meditation guides

  • you are training your heart and mind
  • you learn to transform suffering
  • you are learning samsara (going in circles)
  • you are learning nirvana (cessation of notions)

using the BREATH

  • the breath centers the mind on the present moment effortlessly
  • the breath unites the mind and body
  • the breath and the awareness are always happening naturally
  • we're often ignorant to what is actually happening

things that cause samsara

  • dualistic thought
  • clinging, rejecting, or looking away
  • three poisons - greed, hate, delusion
  • twofold ignorance


  • our mind is like a garden with seeds
  • you have to work at it
  • you have to remove weeds
  • you have to PROVIDE NUTRIMENTS


  • you're learning how to transform dualistic thought to unity
  • you're learning how to transform samsara to nirvana
  • you're learning how to transform greed to generosity
  • you're learning how to transform hate to love
  • you're learning how to transform delusion to awareness
  • you're learning how to transform distractions to concentration

basic buddhism

five hindrances

  1. desire, clingling, craving
  2. aversion, anger, hatred
  3. sleepiness, sloth
  4. restlessness
  5. doubt

  • loving kindness
  • compassion
  • sympathetic joy
  • equanimity

  • refrain from killing
  • refrain from stealing
  • refrain from sexual misconduct
  • refrain from false, harsh or idle speech
  • refrain from intoxicants


  • right view
  • right intention
  • right speech
  • right action
  • right livellihood
  • right effort
  • right mindfulness
  • right concentration

four metta phrases

  • may i be free from danger
  • may i be happy
  • may i be healthy
  • may i live with ease

six wholesome and unwholesome roots of the mind

  • generosity
  • love
  • wisdom

  • greed
  • hatred
  • delusion

six stages of metta

  • yourself
  • a benefactor
  • a good friend
  • a neutral person
  • a difficult person
  • all beings
  • suffering of pain
  • suffering of change
  • suffering of conditionality

eight vissitudes

  • pleasure and pain
  • gain and loss
  • praise and blame
  • fame and disrepute


  • existence of suffering
  • origin of suffering
  • cessation of suffering
  • path to the cessation of suffering
  • eye / seeing - ear / hearing - nose / smelling
  • tongue / tasting - body / touching - mind

three feeling tones

  • pleasant unpleasant neutral

seven points of posture

  • lets - arms - back - eyes - jaw - tongue - head and shoulders

the path

If you pay close attention as the universe unfolds meditation is inevitable

Buddha created 84,000 paths to accomodate various personality types

many other people have made similar paths, they almost all lead to the same place

you can find a guru to help guide you, or do your own research

dedication and intention

  • meditate for the welfare of all sentient beings
  • may they be freed from the sufferings of samsara


I will cultivate openness, nondiscrimination, and nonattachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

  • the following 3 seals are the keys to the 3 doors
  • impermanence in terms of time
  • no self in terms of space
  • the two are inseparable

dharma seals

  • impermanence (anitya)
  • nonself (anatman)
  • Nirvana

doors of liberation

  • emptiness (shunyata)
  • signlessness (animitta)
  • aimlessness (apranihita)

factors of awakening

  • mindfulness
  • investigation of phenomena
  • diligence
  • joy
  • ease
  • concentration
  • letting go


Concentration means you keep the insight alive for a long time.

It’s not just a flash; that’s not enough to liberate you.

So in your daily life, you keep that insight of nonself, of emptiness, of impermanence alive.

When you see a person, a bird, a tree, or a rock, you see its nature of emptiness.

finding insight

five aggregates of clinging

  • Form – rupa
  • Feeling – vedana
  • Perception – samjna
  • Mind objects – samskara
  • Consciousness – vijnana

five remembrances

  1. I am of the nature to age I cannot escape aging
  2. I am of the nature to become ill I cannot escapte illness
  3. I am of the nature to die I cannot escape death
  4. everything will change, people and objects
  5. I inherit the results of my actions, body, speech and mind

breathing exercises

these are from the book FEAR


  • I breath in and I know this is an in breath
  • I breath out and I know this is an out breath

  • I breath in/out and I follow the in breath all the way through from beginning to end

  • breathing in/out I’m aware of the whole body

  • breathing in I’m aware of pain or tension
  • breathing out I release the pain or tension…


  • breathing in/out I’m aware of my mind
  • breathing in/out I'm aware of the mental formation fear
  • breathing in/out I make my mind happy
  • breathing in/out I concentrate my mind
  • breathign in/out I liberate my mind


  • breathing in I feel joy, breathing out I know joy is there
  • same as above with hapiness
  • breathing in, I know there is a painful feeling, breathing out I calm the painful feeling
  • breathing in, I calm my mental formations…


  • breathing in/out I observe the impermanent nature of all Dharmas
  • breathing in/out I observe the disappearance of desire
  • breathing in/out I observe cessation (of notions)
  • breathing in/out I observe letting go

absolute truth

  • intention & dedication - bodhisattva & merit
  • hold no views & dwell nowhere
  • do not cling to existence & non existence
  • let be as it is and review the slidesow from rigpa


the traditional phrase is: cultivate shamatha; train in vipashyana.


calm abiding (Skt.: shamata) Refers to a mind that abides in its own steadiness, independent of external circumstances; cultivated through meditative awareness.

The genuine shamatha is to not create anything artificial whatsoever, but to simply remain in the experience of emptiness. Vipashyana means not to deviate from that state.


vipashyana (Skt.) Insight; clear seeing. Vipashyana meditation emphasizes that the recognition of all that appears arises from emptiness; it is inseparable from emptiness, and it dissolves into emptiness.

Vipashyana is the direct, experiential insight that all experience does indeed appear, yet cannot be captured by words and concepts, and so is fundamentally as ungraspable and groundless as space.

In Tibetan teachings, wisdom specifically relates to the recognition of one’s buddha nature, the union of emptiness and clarity

Pursuing the insight of vipashyana means to try to find who the meditator is; trying to identify what it is that remains quiet.


great completion great perfection

Dzogchen, the ultimate view is to relax into nondual awareness

there are two stages called trekco and togal


this article is amazing

Trekcho is to simply acknowledge that one's innate essence is empty. Togal is to recognize that the natural display is spontaneously present. They are not our creation; they are not produced by practice. There is no imagining of anything in either trekcho or togal


direct crossing over the dualistic gap between subject and object


nangjang training "training in refining experience"