Enjoy the Space Between Your Thoughts
David Paul Boaz Dechen Wangdu
1. Happiness and Unhappiness Arise From Your Present Mind State! So train your mind in peace, free of self-ego-I with its fear, anger, greed and pride. It’s not as hard as you think. Begin by sitting in a chair, your back straight, hands in your lap, legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor. Or sit on a cushion, legs crossed. Now feel your good will intention to benefit all beings. Experience deep thanks for the great gift of your life, just as it is now. Accept yourself as you are. Lower your gaze so that your neck is straight. Relax your eyes, tongue, jaw, neck, gut. Feel the breath in your belly. Close your eyes, raise your eyebrows. This will produce alpha brain rhythm, the peace response, replacing stressful “fight or flight” beta rhythm. Feel a subtle focused fullness in the forebrain.
Now experience the crown of your head opening. Allow life-force energy to inter in from above, pervade your body-mind. Let your mantra prayer begin: OM AH HUM.
Now, gather the “wild horse of the mind” by placement of attention on your breath. Be present to your breath as it arises in your belly. Begin your “alpha belly breath”: 5 seconds in; 7 seconds out through pursed lips (12 seconds). Do it 3 to 9 times (36 to 108 seconds).
Each breath feel your mind settle into its natural state of wakefulness; bright, basic love- wisdom space of mind; peace; your safe place, beyond concepts and beliefs; free of judgment, fear, anger, greed, pride; free of self-clinging. Stillness. Peace. No need to think about it. Open, feel it.
Thoughts, questions, feelings naturally arise. Briefly greet them. Negative or positive, thinking, planning, wandering, worry, anger—label whatever arises “distraction”. Then surrender it all on the out-breath, again and again. After 3 to 9 breaths open your eyes slightly and breathe normally. Continue if you wish. As you settle into your selfless Wisdom Mind Presence your breath will naturally be slow and short. Feel the blissful sense of well being and connectedness to everything. Don’t fabricate it; or grasp at it. It’s already present. “Supreme identity”. Who Am I? That I Am!
2. In-Breath. Open to receive luminous purifying “life-force energy”, sustainer of all life. In the East this energy is prana or ch’i (spirit/breath). For the West it is pneuma/Holy Spirit, the very “breath of life”, “bio energy”, the subtle face/voice of gross physical light/energy/form (E=mc²) arising from formless, trans-conceptual, spacious unbounded whole; vast primordial awareness-consciousness ground itself in whom this all arises. Inhale and receive prana-life-energy into every space of your body-mind.
3. Out-Breath. Release thoughts, feelings, past, future, all self-ego-I clinging. Feel your stability deep in our Mother Earth. Whatever arises—happy or not—release it on the out breath. Surrender it all. Let It Be in this peaceful space between your thoughts.
Absent thoughts you are now selfless, natural clear light Wisdom Mind in all its natural peace, clarity and bliss. Let it be. From this natural state the kind, compassionate activity of love spontaneously arises in your mind-stream—the very secret and primary cause of human happiness. That which you desire rides the breath. Remain close to the breath. Now say to the busy mind, “Peace, be still”. Say to the grasping self, “Peace, I Am”.
4. Presence. Feel your indwelling open Presence of this vast unbounded whole in whom you and everything else arises. That you are! That Wisdom Mind Presence may be directly experienced, prior to thinking, as luminous white clear light energy essence. Feel this energy at the crown of your head, then open to receive. Feel it pervade your entire body-mind. Let life energy flow downward throughout your head, throat, chest, hara center in the belly, pelvis; then deep into Mother Earth. Feel your stability in earth.
Now let life-force prana energy penetrate any discomfort—that self-contraction from your natural life-energy flow: physical tension and pain, grief, doubt, guilt, fear/anxiety, anger/hostility, self-other judgment. Be for a moment with whatever arises. Then surrender it all on the out-breath. Know now you are free of it. Let this light penetrate and pervade your entire body-mind: brain and nervous systems, heart, organs, cells, the very atomic structure of your physical/emotional/spiritual being.
With each breath let healing life energy Presence fill and overflow into your subtle energy field, this light of you that embraces and pervades your body-mind. Awaken to this “basic goodness” that you are, prior to skeptical “web of belief”. But don’t believe this. Open and feel it. Now self-ego-I is tamed, at peace. Rest fearlessly in That.
5. Wisdom Mind is a Choice. In this bright space upon the breath abides natural wakefulness—primordial Wisdom Mind Presence. Feel That now, beyond ego grasping: no past nor future; no attraction nor aversion; no true nor false; no judgment at all. Be that space. No need to think, or try, or do anything. Know that your clear light mind is already awake, skillful, kind and wise. Rest in That. Let it be as it is; calm and clear. Such love-wisdom practice is the Path to liberation from ignorance (avidya, sin), root cause of human suffering. This choice is Happiness Itself, the happiness that cannot be lost.
So, happiness is a skill set! No belief, no leap of faith, no authority but your own is required. Simply settle your mind, open your heart, and be fully present to your breath. No time means low priority. Breathe: 5 seconds in, 7 out, 3 times = 36 seconds of bliss.
6. Refuge. Now you know this precious space of your Wisdom Mind. Take refuge in it often. Breath by breath purify, pacify, stabilize, beautify your mind; a most courageous act; your most urgent activity. Make mindful breathing a priority—“brief moments; many times”. In due course and by grace it becomes a conscious continuity of awareness. Who am I? This Presence of that vast whole—”Tat Tvam Asi; That I Am“, without a single exception. You are not separate from That! Feel That, breath by breath. That is the View. That is the Teaching. That is the Practice. It’s like coming home.
7. Post-Practice Dedication. By this good generated by each mindful breath make the aspiration for the benefit of all beings: “May I and all beings be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering. May I and all beings have happiness, and the causes of happiness“. This powerful mantra prayer is as well, your Compassion Meditation when practiced for three minutes, or more. “Come and see” what it does for your present heart-mind state.
Is not your happiness inherently linked to the happiness of others? We’re all in this together. So now arise, and do some good. This will make you happy. Let it be so.
About Your Practice. Practice 10+ minutes upon rising, 5 on retiring, and several “36 seconds of bliss” alpha mantra breaths during the day. Peace is always here, between your thoughts, each breath. Take refuge in your Wisdom Mind Presence each conscious breath. Feel it at your heart before sleep. Let it be all night long; now again upon rising. Be present while eating, walking, working, loving. No time? Take three conscious Alpha Breaths now! Belly breaths. Five seconds in; seven seconds out. Purse your lips on the out-breath. Anxious or angry? Breathe now! Your goal is not peace and happiness in some future mind state. Make your practice your goal, right now—each mindful breath!
The Five Benefits of Mindfulness Are Always Already Present
1) Body-mind relaxation experienced as profound inner peace and healing.
2) Non-conceptuality: beyond self-ego-I thinking, concept, belief, fear/anger.
3) Clarity: mental and perceptual acuity, luminosity, vividness, wakefulness.
4) Deep appreciation and acceptance of your life, and yourself, just as you are.
5) Wisdom Mind, Happiness Itself: bliss manifest as kind, compassionate action.
The Power of Voice. Use the ancient mantra prayer OM AH HUM, a touchstone, during practice—it’s all practice—to connect to your Wisdom Mind Presence. Keep it going in your cognitive foreground, or background more or less always. To quickly free your mind recite 108 mantras while sitting or walking. Get a 108 bead mala.
Sleep trouble? OM AH HUM on your back until you fall asleep. Rest in this light of innermost peace, all night long. Now you know the antidote to anxiety. So, “Rest your weary mind and let it be as it is” (Buddha). “That which you seek is already present within you” (Christ). In the mind filled with light of mantra there is no space for negativity.
These three OM AH HUM reality dimensions are one prior and present unity. OM is formless primordial ground, unbounded whole itself. AH is selfless clear light Wisdom Mind, always present Presence of That—light bridge into form. HUM is spacetime light-form gift, E = mc² arising as prana life-force energy; spontaneously expressing itself as kind loving bodhicitta—thought, intention and action to benefit all beings. This great primordial mantra prayer is the body, voice/speech and mind sof all of earth’s wisdom masters. It purifies negative thought, intention and action—cause and effect karma. The benefit of mindful breathing is immeasurable. Thus it is. So let it be as it is.
David Paul Boaz Dechen Wangdu coppermount.org; davidpaulboaz.org 6.14.19