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Meditation at Aro Ling Cardiff

Aro Ling Cardiff is hosted by ordained practitioners of Tibetan Nyingma Vajrayana Buddhism. It is not necessary to be a Buddhist to join us for meditation practice. Beginners and experienced practitioners are welcomed.

Aro Ling Cardiff specifically engages in practices of the Aro gTér Lineage which is based in Dzogchen. The primary meditation practice is the Four Naljors Dzogchen Sem-dé: shi-né, lhatong, nyi-mèd, and lhundrüp. Below is an article that introduces shi-né which is where the practice begins.

Discovering Spaciousness of Mind

Have you had your 10 a day?

In the UK we are encouraged to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables to benefit our health.
Have you had your 5 a day?
The physical body however, is only one aspect of ourselves and our emotional and mental health is often left unaddressed. Meditation can address this imbalance. A session of meditation for at least ten minutes every day, can benefit our mental state and help us discover a healthy mind.
Have you had your 10 a day?

Our usual experience of mind is a continual stream of thought, each tumbling one over another. We fill our lives with conceptual stimuli and are also constantly bombarded by intellectual input. Even when we do have quiet times in our lives we tend to fill them up – we take our radio with us on a picnic; we listen to music while we walk through the park; we switch on the television when we have nothing else to do; we text, twitter, network on social media, and explore the internet on our mobile phones.

If we do have quiet times in our lives we may find that it makes us feels strangely uneasy. We find just being alone with ourselves without any external distraction oddly unsettling. Somehow we feel insecure with nothing to think about, or look at, or listen to. We continually reach out for entertainment, distraction and familiar territory to help us feel safe in the world. Unfortunately there are inevitably times in our lives when there is nothing to entertain us, and when the circumstances of our lives seem to threaten our sense of security – such as times of loss, unsought change, and confusing or conflicting interpersonal interaction. Our response to these circumstances is usually self-protective and often aggressive.

Through meditation we can learn to become comfortable with not-doing. We can learn to simply be alone and quiet with ourselves without the need to grasp at the entertainment of our mind or our environment. Through not-doing we can learn to let go of the impulse to continually seek relationship with people and things to support our view of ourselves. We can learn to let go of the need to try and organise our lives to be how we want or expect them to be, in order to be comfortable. We discover that we can in fact be comfortable with things exactly as they are – whatever that might be.

The method: Letting Go (shi-nè)
Sit for ten minutes every day and let go of whatever arises in the mind. Allow the mind to become empty. Discover the spaciousness of mind. The breath can be used as a focus – particularly the out-breath. Notice the natural empty pause at the end of an out-breath before breathing in begins. Dissolve any thought arising in the mind into that space at the end of the out-breath and remain in that emptiness. If it seems too difficult to remain focused on the out-breath, then count them. Count each out-breath. Breath in, breathe out, count 1; breathe in, breathe out, count 2; and so on up to 21. Then reverse the count, counting each out-breath back down to 1. If you lose the count, start again at 1. Continue to let go of whatever arises in the mind on the out-breath.

Practise this every day for ten minutes and gradually it will become easier to let go of thought. Gradually it will become easier to feel comfortable in the space of not-doing. Eventually the emptiness of mind—discovered through dwelling in not-doing—will sparkle through into everyday life. Then, when life hiccoughs in some unexpected way—as it inevitably will—we will not be thrown into panic or dismay so easily. The unwished-for eventualities of life will not feel so threatening and will not be so likely to upset our sense of balance. Once not-doing has become a comfortable space, the doings of our lives can be more easily recognised as merely the ebb and flow of desired and undesired occurrences, pleasurable and less pleasurable experiences, enriching and challenging events. Through knowing not-doing, we become less invested in the need to control and predict the form of our lives, and more engaged with appreciating and enjoying the dance of its unpredictability.

Everyone having 10 a day—ten minutes of meditation—could slowly change the world, creating a more peaceful and appreciative society. Letting go of thought is not an easy practice – it is frustrating, sometimes dull, and often challenging. It requires long-term application to reap results, but a daily commitment to the attempt will eventually allow the discovery of not-doing—of mind without thought—and then our relationship with mind can become more spacious and creative.

Colophon: Various versions of this article have appeared in magazines and newspapers, such as The Western Mail, and the Holland & Barrett magazine. It was written by Ngakma Nor’dzin Pamo, author of Relaxing into Meditation (Aro Books worldwide, 2010), who is one of the main teachers at Aro Ling Cardiff. Other books by Ngakma Nor’dzin: Spacious Passion (2008), and Illusory Advice (2016 co-author her husband, Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin)

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Saturday Events - 2nd Saturday of month July 10, 2018 1:34 PM Aro Ling C.
Meditation at Aro Ling Cardiff January 9, 2017 12:23 PM Aro Ling C.
About Aro Ling Cardiff July 10, 2018 1:26 PM Aro Ling C.

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