Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher and "eleventh incarnation of the Trungpa Tulku" (whatever that is), offers a very simple description of his meditative technique: letting be.
There are numerous explanations on proper meditative technique, many of them explicitly contradictory of each other. We, as presumed novices, are often told that meditation is not what we think it to be. It then becomes clear that neither is it what other practioners of millennial-old traditions think it is. It would seem sometimes that in order to actually commit ourselves to any one technique, we would either have to become narrowly sectarian believers or, ironically, so spiritually mature that we could make that commitment while realizing it to be but one among equals, and, truly, merely technique.
I have made clear that I am a dabbler. I have made no commitment to any one technique. Consequentially, I have made little 'progress' in any technique. To do so would, I believe, require such a commitment.
In any event, like the proverbial promiscuous butterfly, I have dabbled with the 'letting be' school of meditative technique and, having found some especially sweet nectar there, thought I would share it with you.
A great deal of the debate on meditative technique has to do with thoughts; since they are the most predominant feature of our mental experience, what are we to do about them? Chogyam Trungpa tells us to let them be. This is in harmony with the spirit of Zen which tells us to neither oppose nor pursue thoughts; the point is to not engage them on their own terms. To do so, is to claim them as our own, to be them.
To let be is to not be. To let thoughts be is to not be thoughts. Thoughts arise. I let them. I do not try to stop them. I am indifferent to them. I do not pursue them. I am not them; they are not me. Who am I? It does not matter. To ask is to pursue a thought. I simply am. Without content. There is freedom here.
The very difficulty of such an exercise is in itself incredibly instructive. To be other than the discursive mind, even for a moment, can seem an impossible goal. And thus we begin to see just how that possibility might be radically transformative.
There is, of course, a contradiction in the idea of letting go. We cannot let go, since to do so, is to do something, and that is not letting go. To do requires a doer, and it is the doer that requires letting go. So we say we must let go of letting go. And, of course, we must let go of that, as well. It's curious how these cognitive constructs always lead to infinite regress. And this brings us right back to that place where only something unimaginable and unthinkable can make a difference.
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