One of my first teachers Lama Sonam while teaching me as we ate breakfast one day said, “Just be natural. Nothing special about you whatsoever.”
We make meditation into an event – either we’re at it, in it, doing it, getting ready to do it, suck at doing it, are really good at doing it, want to be doing more of it – but if we look at all the words we use around the “idea” of meditation we are saying things that create a divide. Keep us trapped in the small mind which wrapped up in dualism.
Times when you are meditating and times when you’re not.
This type of thinking keeps us caught going round in circles. Sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down.
It’s exhausting really.
Just put it all down and rest at ease in the natural expansive freshness of the mind. It’s not something to get to or do. It’s always there in the midst of all your bizzy-ness and planning and fantasies.
It’s the awareness that’s aware that “you’re” reading these words right now.
Did you feel that?
That kind of snapback effect that just happened when your attention was brought back to look at itself?
Utterly still. Even those words don’t do it justice. That’s why in Zen and Atiyoga we go beyond words.
We point directly to mind.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche said, “You need to simply allow the moment of uncontrived naturalness. Instead of meditating upon it, meaning focusing upon it, simply allow it to naturally be. As you train like that – and the words for training and meditating sound the same in Tibetan, so to play on that word – it is more a matter of familiarization than meditation. The more you grow familiar with mind essence, and the less you deliberately meditate upon it, the easier it becomes to recognize and the simpler to sustain.”
The “act” of sitting meditation is the physical gateway or vehicle for the realization, of sitting meditation, which is awakening and the deep knowing of how that awakening functions within everyday life – to bring benefit and awaken all beings.
The Sixth Patariarch of Zen, Hui Neng, described zazen thusly: “To sit means to gain absolute freedom and to be mentally unperturbed in all outward circumstances, be they good or otherwise. To meditate means to realize inwardly the imperturbability of the Essence of Mind.”
Drop your ideas and silly notions of what meditation is and just be your natural self – which is Buddha fully at ease in Buddhaness.
Rest in the natural radiance and expanse of the Mind.
Rest at ease and become familiar with who you truly are.
Zen Master e
(Ian Paul Marshall)

By Ian Marshall

Ian Paul Marshall has been initiated by the Dalai Lama, is trained in Zen as transmitted through the teachings of the Venerable Dr. Thich Thien-An and Seung Sahn Dae Jong Sa and is the founder of based out of Toronto, Canada.