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Thrangu Rinpoche - Visualizations for Getting Back on Track

Thrangu Rinpoche - Visualizations for Getting Back on Track

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Published by: Memento__Mori on Apr 29, 2011
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05/06/2011

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Zoning Out or Ruminating in meditation?
Simple Visualizationsfor Getting Back on Track 
by Thrangu Rinpoche
 
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The first meditation:
In the center of your body, at thelevel of the heart, you visualize a four-petaled whitelotus, and resting on the center of that lotus flower, youvisualize a small sphere of extremely bright white light.It should be no larger than the size of a pea, and itshould be visualized as very bright, even brilliant.Here you hold your breath. Through holding your breath, you think that you cause this tiny brilliant sphereof white light to rise up from the lotus in your heart,upward through your body, from which it emerges, shooting up out of the aperture at thecenter of the top of your head, and continues to rise until it reaches the highest reaches of space above you. While doing this, you also put more exertion into your physical posture,so that your posture is especially strict, involving even a little tension. You also raise your gaze, so that you are looking upward, and attempt to make your mind very bright, clear,and cheerful.This meditation is useful if you find that your mind is unclear, torpid or depressed, or whenyou find yourself uninterested in practice and your mind dull. The
mahabrahma samadhi of stability 
, as it is called, will serve to cheer you up and to clarify, or promote lucidity in, your mind. in the practice of both tranquility and insight, torpor is a problem. But it is especiallya problem for practitioners of tranquility, because the practice of tranquility meditation, byits very nature, emphasizes the achievement of stillness, and stillness can, if you are notattentive, produce a state of torpor.This technique is introduced at this point to enable one to maintaing stillness whiledispelling the torpor that can accompany it. For the proper practice of tranquilitymeditation, the mind’s lucidity needs to be at full strength. It should not be weakened inany way by the stillness one is cultivating. So this practice helps within the context of stillness to promote and even increase the mind’s lucidity.
The second meditation:
In this section of tranquilityinstruction is called the
subterranean samadhi 
. it is similar in away to the previous instruction, except that it is a remedy for exactly the opposite problem. Sometimes we find that our minds are unable to come to rest, that we are excited by thethoughts that pass through our minds and cannot let go of them. generally, this is some kind of pleasant excitement during which you cannot stopyourself from recollecting pleasant things, pleasant memories, and so on. It is like, for example, when you are so excited by something that you cannot go to sleep. Thisobviously disturbs the practice of meditation.A second, and in some ways similar state, is one in which you are disturbed by thoughts of intense regret, regretting things you have done or things that have happened in the pastthat you cannot let go of. In either case, both excitement and regret are equally disturbingto the practice of meditation, because they cause the mind to become unstable. Thismeditation — the
subterranean samadhi 
— is designed to serve as a remedy or antidotefor this problem.In the center of your body, at the level of the heart, you visualize a lotus flower as before,except that here, because you are visualizing the flower in order to pacify or cool down themind, instead of visualizing it as white, you visualize it as black. Also, because you are
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When we meditate, we mayexperience sleepiness or torpor or conversely —agitated thoughts.In this adaptation from
The NinthKarmapas Ocean of DefinitiveMeaning 
, Thrangu Rinpoche offerstwo visualization exercises tocombat these states....when your mind is dull,practice the
mahabhramasamadhi 
, and when youmind is wild, practice the
subterranean samadhi 
.

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