Thubten Chodron is a Tibetan Buddhist nun, author, teacher, and the founder of Sravasti Abbey. She is a student of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan masters. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and is the only nun who has co-authored a book with the Dalai Lama.
One of the biggest everyday travesties of the paradigm we’re all fumbling around within is the way we’ve been conditioned to define ourselves. We are taught that we, as individuals, are simply the sum total of our actions, physical body, salary, failures, successes etcetera. But on some level, I think we’ve all felt, or at least considered that our true nature is something more than that.
So what is it?
Considering the phrase “raw, pristine, ever-renewing, universal, conscious nowness” sounds fabulously squishy, I advise that you contact it directly and define it for yourself. In other words, meditate.
(This bonus content contains an introduction to meditation and a guided meditation on self-forgiveness and not dwelling on mistakes)
I think of meditation like an exercise to awaken a dormant, psychic muscle. This muscle has the ability to sense the external forces exerting control over your mind. This recognition allows you to work with those forces and eventually gain more control over them. When you’re more in control, you have more awareness. When you have more awareness, you feel more present and fulfilled.
Of course gaining control of your mind in any situation isn’t easy, but it doesn’t take years to see a benefit from meditation either. In fact, you’ll see a number of physiologically measurable positive results on the first try, along with a number of subjective ones.
When you become more adept at cutting through all of that aforementioned mind pollution, that’s when the fun starts. You might even get a peek at the serine truth, that unshaped emptiness behind your ego that we’re all harboring.
How I meditate –
- Stop Breathe and Think (My personal favorite is mindful breathing meditation)
- The Mindfulness Training App
- I also enhance my meditation using binaural beats