Let It Be: Brief Course in Basic Mindfulness Meditation

Enjoy the clear bright space between your thoughts.


Awareness Management


          “Happiness Arises From Your Present Mind State” [Adzom Paylo Rinpoche] Therefore, train your mind in happiness: peace, free of the habitual thinking of self-ego-I with its unhappy fear, anger, hatred, random desire, greed and pride. “Mindfulness of breathing” is after all a conscious finite portal into infinite basic space—peace and happiness of the vast boundless primordial awareness whole itself, original ground of everything arising therein—bright love-wisdom mind Presence of That, always already present within you now. Train your mind in placement of awareness/attention upon that aspect, or imprint, or Presence that you actually are, in this present moment now. You do have this choice.

          ‘Mindfulness of breathing’ is ‘the meditation’ that begins the accomplishment of this open secret of human happiness. Below are Ten Steps that will make you happy, not in some glorious future mind state, but here and now. Good news! It’s easier than you think. Indeed, correct mindfulness practice is effortless! It requires little more than conscious breathing. So begin now by feeling the prana spirit life energy breath deep in your belly.

          Now sit in a chair, your back straight, hands in your lap or on your thighs, legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor. Or sit on a cushion, legs crossed. After sitting practice try consciously walking in the peaceful meadow of your mind. That is known as ‘walking meditation’. And now the ten steps of ”mindfulness meditation”.


1. Thank You!

          Experience deep thanks for the great gift of your life, just as it is now. Accept yourself—all your positive and negative experience—exactly as you are, here and now. Feel your selfless good will intention to benefit living beings. That is the open secret of your own human happiness.

          Sitting Meditation: slightly lower your gaze so that your neck is straight. Relax jaw, neck, gut, anus. Feel for a minute the life giving prana spirit wind upon the breath in your belly. Breathe normally. Now place your attention/awareness behind your forehead, in the forebrain. Close your eyes, and raise your eyebrows. This ‘posture’ will produce alpha and ‘waking theta’ brain rhythm, the ‘peace response’, replacing habitual stressful ‘fight or flight’ beta rhythm. Feel the gentle stirring here, a subtle focused fullness in the forebrain.

          Let the crown of your head open as light of your indwelling love-wisdom Presence streams in from above and instantly pervades your entire body and mind, and deep down into our precious Mother Earth. Now return to the prana life energy rising upon each conscious breath. Rest here for a few moments in that quiet peaceful space of the lovely Presence of the primordial awareness ground in whom everything arises. That Presence you are now—your ‘supreme identity’ of the ‘supreme source’—whole spirit ground of all.


2. Attention!

          Once again gather the scattered ‘wild horse of the mind’ by placement of attention/awareness upon your breath. Be present to your breath as it rises and falls in your belly. No need to block your thoughts. No need to follow your thoughts. Simply observe whatever arises, positive or negative. In this safe bright space it’s all good.

          Let your basic mantra prayer begin. Softly recite OM AH HUM (see below). That is your ‘alpha mantra breath’: about 5 seconds in; 7 seconds out through pursed lips (12 seconds). That is your stress reducing “polyvagal breath”. Do it 3 to 9 times (36 to 108 seconds). Count them or not, as you wish. Let this, or other mantra prayer (e.g. Lama Khyen) continue, either consciously, or in your awareness background, day and night.

          Each mindful breath feel your busy mind settle into its quiet natural state of wakefulness; beyond your concepts and beliefs about it. Here rests your clear light love-wisdom mind Presence—that aspect of you that is utterly connected with the great spirit ground of everything— your safe place, beyond all thoughts, concepts, beliefs; free of judgment, fear, anger, hatred, grasping desire, greed, pride; just for a moment utterly free of self-ego-I. No need to think about it. Open and feel it! Be that stillness. Now say to the busy mind, “Peace, be still”. Say to the frightened grasping self, “Peace, I Am”. Take refuge in your bright selfless “noself” (anatman) Spirit source ground.

          Thoughts, questions, feelings naturally arise. Briefly greet whatever arises in your busy mind. Negative or positive thinking, planning, mind-wandering, worry/anxiety, doubt, anger: label whatever arises “distraction”, or “thinking”. Then surrender it all on the out-breath. Or let it flow by in the vast empty space of sky, like a cloud, leaving no trace.Again and again return your attention to the breath. After three or four minutes open your eyes and breathe normally, mouth closed, tongue on the roof of your mouth, behind your front teeth. Feel for just this eternal moment now that indwelling naturally arising happiness that is always already present deep within you.

          As you settle into, and rest in your selfless love-wisdom mind Presence, your breath will naturally be uncontrived, slow and gentle. Enjoy this feeling of delight within you. Feel your connectedness to everything. No need to try to create it; or grasp at it; or seek it. Mindful Presence upon the breath is always present—your “Supreme Source Identity”. That is the “Fruitional View”. Who Am I? That I Am! Rest here for as long as you like.


3. In-Breath

          Open to receive luminous purifying ‘life-force energy’, sustainer of all life. It has many names. In the East this energy is prana or lung, or ch’i (spirit/breath). For the West it is pneuma/Holy Spirit, the very ‘breath of life’. For neuroscience it is ‘bio energy’, the subtle presence of gross physical light/energy/form (E=mc2) arising from formless, timeless, selfless, non-conceptual, spacious unbounded whole itself; vast nondual primordial awareness-consciousness ‘groundless ground’ in whom this all arises. Breathe, you are alive! Open and receive. Feel it pervade every space of your body-mind. Rest and enjoy.


4. Out-Breath

          Surrender on the out-breath all negative and positive thoughts, feelings, past, future, all self-ego-I grasping and clinging. Feel your stability deep in our precious Mother Earth. Whatever arises—thoughts, feelings, doubts, happy or not—release it all on the out- breath. Let it all go. Witness it all dissolve as you return to your mindful mantra breath, again and again. Let it be just as it is in this great natural gift of peaceful luminous sky-like space of your mind—abiding here among the stars. That happy embodied mind is you!

          As Buddha told so long ago: “Now I am breathing in; I am happy and at peace. Now I am breathing out; I am happy and at peace.” No need to complicate it. Recite that a few times, even count your breaths, or both, if it helps you to calm the ‘wild horse of the mind’. Give up counting and reciting when you no longer need it. If you are new to “mindfulness of breathing” you will be astounded at your ‘addiction’ to constant self- referential thinking (‘selfing’)—I, me, mine. It shall pass in due course and by grace.

          Please consider this well: Thoughts are only thoughts. They come and they go in dependence upon your present mind state choices. Your thoughts are not a solid reality! You are now learning to choose your realities by choosing your present mind state. All of the love-wisdom Masters of our great Primordial Wisdom Tradition have taught this liberating freedom to be happy right here now. You accomplish that through conscious mindful “placement of attention/awareness” upon your life force prana spirit wind of the mindful breath in the belly. Your bright spirit Presence of That!

          So, as thoughts and feelings begin to retreat, feel your selfless, natural clear light love-wisdom mind Presence—peace, clarity, subtle ‘yogi’s bliss’. From this natural spacious mind state the kind, compassionate activity of love spontaneously arises in your mind stream—the very open secret and primary cause of human happiness. That is known as bodhicitta, the thought, intention, and engaged action/conduct for the benefit of all living beings. Now, place your attention on that. Let it be always present in your mindstream.

          So it is, that deep blissful peace you desire rides the breath. Remain close to the breath. When distracted by fear/anxiety, anger, hatred, or self-doubt simply return to already present Presence of the nondual primordial ground upon your conscious mindful mantra breath, again and again. When your mind is filled with this light of love-wisdom mind Presence, there is little room for the negative stuff. Practice that and be happy. Now, rest naturally in That for as long as you wish. Practice being here now while working, loving, running endless errands, arguing with the kids, sleeping. Practice begets peace.


5. Presence

          Now simply breathe peacefully and naturally. Open your heart and mind and feel your always already present indwelling love-wisdom mind Presence of vast open primordial awareness whole in whom this all so naturally and spontaneously arises. It’s right here! That you are now! Subtle Presence of That (tathata) may be directly experienced, prior to thinking, even during thinking, as luminous clear-light mind essence—the essential Buddha-Christ-Tao-Brahman-Ein Sof Nature of Mind, utterly beyond name, concept, or belief. It is yours for the doing.

          Your Full Body Scan. While sitting, or prone on your back, now once again experience this prana spirit light-life energy in the belly, heart, throat, forebrain, and at the crown of your head. Feel the Presence of the Buddha, the Guru, or the Christ in the ‘upper room’ about three feet above your crown center. Feel that subtle Presence stream in from above upon each mindful breath. Open your heart to receive. Feel the prana spirit energy instantly pervade your entire body-mind—like a purifying flash of light energy. Relax into it, and observe as it spontaneously flows downward from your ‘upper room’ through your crown center throughout your head, throat, heart center in your chest, upper and lower back, hara center in the belly, pelvic area, and deep into Earth. Feel your natural fearless stability deep in our Mother Earth. Let any obstructions to your prana spirit life energy that you are ready to release flow out and away through the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. Yes. Release any negative thoughts and emotions that are ready to go, whether or not you as a self-ego-I are aware of that readiness. Trust this ancient process.

          That is your healing ‘full body scan’. “Just like that it is.” So simple. But not always easy due to endless distractions and excuses. Practice it upon retiring, just before sleep. Rest in it all through the night. Rekindle it immediately upon waking.

          Now let this energy of Presence penetrate any discomfort—that self-contraction from your natural life-energy flow: physical tension and pain, sense desire, grief, self- doubt, guilt, fear/anxiety, anger/hostility, harsh judgments about self and others. Patient love and wisdom heal fear and anger. Be a little patient. So now, wonder of wonders, you know what to do! “Instant Presence” of your ‘polyvagal’ alpha mantra breath is your touchstone to being happy now. And for truly restful, apnea free sleep through the night.

          Now experience the emotional lift as any and all presently activated ‘attachment and aversion’ are pervaded by loving Presence of clear light life energy. Be for a moment with whatever arises—attractive or aversive. Then surrender it all on the out-breath. Know now you are free of it. Tomorrow you shall once again free yourself of it upon the breath.

          Now once again feel this light penetrate and pervade the space of your entire emotional and physical body-mind: brain, nervous systems, heart, organs, cells, the very atomic structure of your physical/emotional/spiritual being. Now, rest in this feeling of delight within you. Told Buddha, “Let it be as it is, and rest your weary mind, all things are perfect exactly as they are…Wonder of wonders all beings are Buddha.” “That which you seek…the Kingdom of God…is already present within you…and it is spread upon the face of the Earth, but you do not see it.” [Jesus the Christ, Luke 17]

          With each breath feel your healing life energy Presence fill and overflow into your subtle energy field, this light of you that embraces and pervades your whole body-mind and fills your spacious non-physical nonlocal akashic energy field. Awaken to this ‘basic goodness’ that you are, prior to your deep background cultural skeptical ‘global web of belief’. But don’t believe it. It’s beyond belief. Feel it. Self-ego-I is now at peace. Now that you can feel it, rest fearlessly in that Presence. Now arise and do some good. It will make you happy, not in some glorious future mind state, but right here and now.


6. Wisdom Mind is a Choice

          “What you are is what you have been; what you will be is what you do now.” [Gautama the Buddha] As good a definition of cause and effect karma as ever there was. This bright basic space upon the breath is your spacious natural wakefulness—your primordial love- wisdom mind Presence. Choose to be that space/peace, here and now, beyond ego: no past nor future; no attachment nor aversion; no true nor false; no judgment at all—just for this eternal moment now. No need to think, try, or do anything. Know that your clear-light mind is always already awake, kind and wise. Rest in That, each breath. Let it be as it is; calm and clear. When you forget, you remember again. The OM AH HUM mantra is your gentle conscious constant connection to your primordial love-wisdom mind. Those who know have told it: that always already present Presence has a subtle scent of roses. Stop and smell the roses.

          Your choice of this love-wisdom mind Presence is your relative Path to ultimate liberation from egocentric ignorance and delusion, root cause of our human suffering. And of your suffering. Stay with it! Remain close to your conscious breath. Your self-ego-I may resist. After all, you have for many years established a rather uncomfortable ‘comfort zone’ that defends against healing and deep emotional/spiritual growth. Notice the bogus excuses. It may be useful here to suggest that the emotional and psychological ‘disorders’ that obstruct human growth and happiness are disorders of the self, with its mostly unconscious ego defenses of that ultimately illusory self-ego-I. So, please don’t take your ‘self’ too seriously. As you begin to see the foolish comedy of your obsessive reactions to any disrespect of your wonderful self, you discover and share the refreshment of self-effacing humor         

          That said, this courageous compassionate awareness choice of yours to heal the ancient atavistic wounds visited upon our humankind is gentle, karma free relative human flourishing; and ultimate happiness-liberation from suffering; the harmless happiness that cannot be lost. As Zen Master Suzuki Roshi told, “The only mistake you can make in your practice is to quit.” Discover again and again your mostly hidden patience.

          Thus is human happiness very much an awareness management skill set! Happiness arises, not so much from desirable stuff, but from the choice of your placement of awareness/attention upon your eternal spirit breath, in this present moment now! Bright Presence of That. 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 mantra breath now. OM AH HUM. That is your choice of instant connection to peace and happiness already present within you. That is the foundation of your love-wisdom mind practice of the spirit Path. That is your awakening to indwelling Presence of That. Who am I? That I Am. What is my mind? That is my mind. Feel that now, beyond your thoughts about it. Rest now in That (tathata).


7. Refuge

          Now you know this precious dharmakaya basic space primordial ground—peace of your love-wisdom mind Presence. Take refuge in it often. Breath by mindful breath purify, pacify, stabilize, beautify your mind; a most courageous act; your most urgent activity. Find a qualified meditation mentor. Let him or her guide you. Make mindful breathing a priority, ‘brief moments; many times’, all day, all night. Soon it becomes a quiet conscious continuity of foreground or background awareness. Who am I? Feeling Presence of that vast primordial whole—’Tat Tvam Asi; That I AM’, without a single exception. You have never been separate from That! Feel it upon each conscious mindful breath. That is your ‘supreme identity’ of the ‘supreme source’ ground of everything arising in time. Take Refuge in That. That is the View. That is the Teaching. That is the Practice. It’s like coming home.


8. Compassion Meditation

          By this good virtue generated by each conscious mindful breath make this aspiration for the benefit of all living beings: “May all beings be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering. May all beings have happiness, and the causes of happiness”. That powerful mantra prayer is your Compassion Meditation when practiced for a few minutes at a time. It moves your attention/awareness from self to others. It frees a potentially narcissistic mindful spiritual practice from the burden of self-ego-I. As Buddha told, “Come and see for yourself” what it does for your present state of innermost peace and happiness. Is not your happiness already linked to the happiness of others? We’re all in this reality boat together. Accomplish your own happiness through compassionate thought, intention, and engaged action to benefit living beings. It’s called altruism. In the East it’s bodhicitta. It’s the immeasurable magic metric for a good life. So arise from your mostly self-interested spiritual practice and do some good. It will make you happy here and now.


9. Real Practice

          Practice requires patience and courage. Please don’t say that you lack that. You demonstrate them in your life every day. Patience is the antidote to anger and ill will, which arises from fear. It takes courage to face our fear. Practice 10 minutes or more upon rising and retiring; and many ’36 seconds of bliss’ alpha mantra breaths during the day— ‘brief moments many times’. Peace is always here, among your constant thoughts, each mindful breath. As H.H. Dalai Lama told, “Just open the door.” Now enter in.

          Take refuge often in your love-wisdom mind Presence, and in your spiritual mentor. Feel it at your heart before sleep; and all night long. Be present while waking, eating, walking, working, reading, thinking, loving. Lovingly accept yourself as the patient mother accepts her willful child. You are that mother. You are that child. No blame. Pure love.

          Anxious, angry? No time? Take six effortless OM AH HUM mantra belly breaths now! Go ahead and do it now. That’s enough. Your goal is not peace and happiness in some ideal future mind state. Make the practice itself your goal—each mindful breath. “Mindfulness of breathing is the foundation for all wisdom and happiness.” [Buddha]


10. The Five Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation: An Always Present Unity

1) Body-Mind Healing and Relaxation: experienced as profound peace, bliss, forgiveness.

2) Non-Conceptuality: beyond self-ego-I thinking, concept, belief, fear and anger.

3) Clarity: mental and perceptual acuity, luminosity, vividness, wakefulness.

4) Deep Appreciation: acceptance of your life, and yourself, just as you are now— adversity, self doubt, and all the rest.

5) Love Wisdom Mind Presence: authentic deep happiness expressed as your kind, compassionate engaged action for the benefit of living beings.

          Make your own list. Science has ‘scientifically proven’ many benefits of mindfulness meditation: reduced stress; feelings of happiness, goodwill and well-being; body-mind healing; treatment of depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar I and II; and many more.


Good Sleep

          This works! Engage your alpha mantra belly breath for a few minutes near your bed just before sleep. In bed recite OM AH HUM silently, on your back, hands over your solar plexus, or at your side, palms down. Settle into your clear light love-wisdom mind Presence, beyond thinking about it. Feel that peace throughout your entire body-mind.

          Now begin your full body scan (see above). Again feel prana life force on the breath in your belly. Close your eyes and raise your eyebrows. Feel the ‘relaxation response’ behind your forehead as you produce alpha and ‘waking theta’ brain rhythm. Feel that gentle peace of prana spirit life energy throughout your entire body and mind. With a touch of attentional awareness your crown center opens. Feel Presence of Buddha or Christ or your spirit teacher in the ‘upper room’ three feet above your “great bliss crown wheel”. Breath by mindful breath receive this love, wisdom and peace from above through your crown and into your head, neck, shoulders, chest; belly and back, pelvic area, legs and feet, and deep into our precious Mother Earth. That is your “grounding relation”. Let this life-light prana energy pervade your body-mind all the way down to the subatomic level.

          Quietly relax and into this subtle light. Now gently rest in it. Let any obstruction to energy flow—tension, pain, worry, anger, obsessive thinking—flow away on the out- breath, and out through your hands and feet. “Rest your weary mind and let it be as it is.” Feel gentle life energy prana peace pervade your entire body and mind. Now say quietly, “May all beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings be happy, and have the causes of happiness.” Thus do you go beyond ‘self’ to the quiet peace of Christ-Buddha selfless ‘noself’ Presence of the ultimate primordial ground of everything that arises here in this all too real relative dimension of space and time.

          As your breath naturally becomes slow and regular, let your OM AH HUM mantra prayer (see below) settle into your awareness background as you assume your normal sleeping position. Rest in That. Let this quiet peaceful spirit breath be your love-wisdom mind lullaby and goodnight. Please be patient. Give your new sleep practice a couple of weeks. Make it your own. For a week or two review this ‘Brief Course’ daily.

          Common Sense Sleep Hygiene. Avoid caffeine or stimulants after noon; don’t read or watch TV in bed; consider sleeping alone for a week; taper off or quit sleeping meds and recreational drugs. Remain close to your mindful breath. Relax and rest in Presence.


OM AH HUM: Our Three Reality Dimensions

          Use this powerful mantra prayer as a touchstone in your practice—all that you think and do is practice—to instantly connect to and protect your primordial love-wisdom mind Presence. Let it be always in your awareness foreground or background. Free your mind by reciting it 3-4 times daily—108 repetitions each while walking, or sitting. Use your 108 bead mala. These three ‘Buddha Bodies’ are a prior and present one truth unity.

          OM is nondual noetic (body mind spirit subject-object unity) primordial dharmakaya dimension—formless, timeless, selfless, empty ‘basic space’ (chöying, dharmadhatu). OM is all-pervading, always present primordial awareness ground of all arising spacetime phenomena, infinite vast unbounded whole of Reality Being Itself. That is who we are.

          AH is sambhogakaya dimension, like the sun in empty space; Logos; cognizant, lucid clear light awareness—subtle light-bridge into the gross dimension of spacetime form.

          HUM is luminous Presence of primordial ground of OM. HUM is our essential nature. HUM is dream-like display of nirmanakaya form dimension—Buddha mind acting in space and time as love and wisdom—always already present now within you. HUM is light-form gift naturally expressing itself as skillful loving bodhicitta—thought, intention, prayer, and engaged action for the relative and ultimate benefit of all living beings.

          OM AH HUM. These three dimensions of the vast singular whole of reality itself are always already an indivisible indwelling ultimate one truth unity (dzog). Relax, rest, enjoy.

          What is your mind? That (tathata) is your mind. Who am I? I AM OM AH HUM: body, voice, and mind of all the Buddhas and wisdom masters of the Three Times—past, present, future. That is your Buddha nature Christ mind Presence—instant connection to That! ‘Three Gates’ to peace. Feel it purify your cause and effect karma. Don’t think so much. Feel your way here. The benefit of ‘mindfulness of breathing’ is immeasurable.

          Now you know the open secret of human happiness. Please consider it well. If you desire to be free and happy, then choose to practice it here and now. You do have that choice. You can do this! But don’t believe it. It abides utterly beyond belief and our concepts about it. Gautama Buddha told so long ago, “Ehi Passika; come and see for yourself.”

          Now that you know, arise and do some good. It will make you happy, not in a glorious future mind state, but here and now. It’s like coming home.


Emaho! Mahasukaho!

[For a very brief version of this mindfulness practice please see Chapter VI “Mindful Bright Interlude”.]

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Contact Dr. David Paul Boaz Dechen Wangdu at coppermount.org; academic website davidpaulboaz.org. Preview David’s seven books and read book reviews and translations at amazon.com.


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