After School

During my first few years of elementary school, I certainly enjoyed the playful company of the other children, and found them all fascinating, unique, and dear, but the time I really cherished the most was after school.

After school I could retreat to my back yard lawn and there, lying with my face pressed against the sky, I could drift along leisurely with cloud companions, lost in the endlessness of blue.

Melting effortlessly into the verdant earthiness of the grassy garden fragrances, permeated by an omnidirectional light of blissful shine, I could swoon with attention as it swiftly dissolved into the perfect peace of no mind, no body, no limitation on consciousness, no dividing line between what I felt myself to be, this matrix of vivid perception, and the panorama of vast airiness that lifted me into the heart of itself, beyond all words and meanings, or any sense of separation.

In retrospect, my reveries were not unlike the meditative practices I was drawn to much later in the life story, particularly the Zen practice of Shikantaza, or “just sitting”. Rather than an effort to attain “enlightenment”, this practice is simply one of whole-bodily expressing That which we already are, prior even to our birth – aware space itself — manifesting in the natural posture of lucid harmony and serene joy.

After completing my career in the “world”, I eventually retired with my True Love to a charming forested community situated in the Northern California Sierra Nevada foothills. Thankfully, in this relaxed stage of life, I have been graced with the same spaciousness and contemplative circumstance as I once enjoyed during those “after school” moments of my early life.

For example, I was sitting in our garden near midnight, and the moon had not yet reached our yard, so it was pitch black. I was entering into my usual meditation, and my thoughts were drifting back and forth between projections about the future and remembrances of the past, mixed with the various bodily sensations and so forth.

Rather than attempting to impose some artificial state, however, I just adopted the non-dwelling practice I am so fond of, and allowed all to be just as it was, without grasping or turning any of it away.

Momentarily, it was as if the stage was swept clear for the featured performer of the evening. The cricket melodies, initially just a soft and barely noticed background, grew louder and louder, obliterating any other sound, thought, or sensation.

As I fell into their harmonies, any sense of self-consciousness just dropped away, leaving only the blissful choir to have its way, for the pure enjoyment of Source.

This body/mind organism is simply a vehicle for that enjoyment, and when not clouded by the mush of fixations, becomes a clear prism through which the unspeakable beauty of creation can shine through unobstructed. We need not strive to go to some “higher” elsewhere — this is the heaven world right here!

 

 

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About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have several other sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: http://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Poetry and Prosetry: http://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: https://westernmystics.wordpress.com/ Free Transliterations of Spiritual Texts: http://freetransliterations1.blogspot.com/ Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
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One Response to After School

  1. Bob OHearn says:

    Sky Gazing
    Jackson Peterson

    A standard practice in Dzogchen is called “sky gazing”. It’s a type of “direct introduction” not unlike the Four Da of Longde Dorje Zampa.

    We do this practice in Dzogchen in lieu of ordinary shamatha/vipassana as both are contained in this single practice.

    This is also an excellent preparation for thogal practice as well as it draws the clear light upward into the eye’s light channels from the heart.

    We sit in a chair or in the meditation posture and look slightly upward into the sky above the horizon high enough where only empty space/sky is the view. The sun should be behind one not in front.

    Keep the spine straight.

    We lock the eyes into a position of a fixed stare, but not with intensity. Relaxed seeing, but eyes unmoving. The less blinking the better, but not to the point of intending not to blink. The non-movement of the eyes helps suspend thinking.

    The mouth is just slightly open with the tongue suspended not touching above or below.

    Breathing is slow and natural.

    The mind is free of all topics without daydreaming or wandering. Eventually the mind becomes completely free of all thoughts. The space of the mind becomes as empty as the space of the sky and they are seen to be non-dual and inseparable vastness.

    Rest in this clear state while vividly alert and attentive for longer and longer sessions.

    You can do the same indoors but you don’t get quite the same sense of vastness. But it is still excellent practice.

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