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Consciousness Is Not a Particular State

Streamed reside on Mar 24, 2022

Guided Nondual Meditation with Michael Taft


Good day all people! Welcome to tonight’s guided meditation, guided nondual meditation. Tonight we’re actually going to work on the nonduality with me, Michael Taft, coming to you reside from the Bay space of California, until you’re watching this at another time by which case I’m not reside anymore, however welcome everybody. Let’s see, did I minimize myself? Yeah, that’s what occurs once you shave. All proper, we’re going to dive in as standard. Why goof round? As an alternative, we’re going to simply start meditating and tonight goes to be, I believe, a extremely highly effective one, fairly a robust meditation and hopefully, you’re prepared.


So let’s start, what I need you to do is take your seat and as standard, which means you’re sitting together with your again upright. The highest of your head is kind of being gently pulled upwards. Your backbone feels tremendous straight and excellent, like balanced in that spot the place you’re not placing in an excessive amount of effort to maintain it upright. The truth is, in case your again is balanced in simply the best spot it would really feel virtually prefer it’s simply floating up. It actually helps to have your knees decrease than your hips when you’re sitting down. You is also standing or laying down. All of those postures work. And you already know some individuals wish to put their chins out like that once they meditate. So we need to have our chin mildly tucked in order that the again of your neck is sweet and open, high of the pinnacle form of being, virtually elevated upwards. And this could really feel very nice. 

From there what we need to do is start with our opening visualization. This can be a means of sitting and tonight we’re going to take a seat like a mountain, okay. We’re going to take a seat like a mountain. We haven’t completed that shortly. What do I imply once I say we’re going to take a seat like a mountain? I imply we’re going to tune into our sense of groundedness, our sense of stability and in reality a stability so full, that it’s, we name it immovability. The concept is that this mountain is so huge and so historic, it’s immovable. It can’t transfer in any means. So I need you to tune in to sitting like a mountain. Think about in entrance of you proper now a common mountain, a mountain that’s unbelievably excessive we will’t even say how excessive, and that slopes down so vast that it’s simply extremely huge. 

This mountain is cosmic in scale and this mountain has been right here since earlier than the start of time and it’s grounded. As I say it can’t, it doesn’t really feel knocked round by the winds of destiny. It doesn’t really feel prefer it’s some form of paper bag blown round by the breeze. It’s the alternative sensation. It feels rooted and steady and it has the sense like I say of cosmic vastness, but additionally of immovability. So I really need you to see that mountain now and also you would possibly see it virtually like a form of an excellent Mount Fuji, proper? The place there’s a kind of, this lovely slope to this, volcanic sides of the mountain. The cone has a beautiful slope to it, a gradual slope, and the perimeters are kind of shimmering blue and the highest is that this sensible white shining within the excessive ambiance. So lovely, lovely mountain granting you this sense of stability, of immovability granting you boons, granting you a way of your individual cosmic immovability, your individual groundedness, your individual rootedness, your individual stability. 

Image that very clearly. And now on an in-breath, I need you to simply take that mountain inside or to place it one other means, you dissolve and turn out to be the cosmic mountain of excellent immobility or immovability and that feels good to take a seat that means. It feels completely balanced as I say it feels rooted and steady. Your roots go right down to the core of the universe. Your high goes as much as the highest of the universe and your sides regularly swoop out to the far boundless, non-edges of the universe. So that is sitting like a mountain and so now from right here what I need you to do is start to do sluggish, deep respiration if that’s snug for you. If it’s not that’s okay, breathe nonetheless you need. 

However if you wish to you are able to do sluggish deep respiration and with the sluggish deep respiration, you’re doing lengthy exhales. The exhales are longer than the inhales. So we breathe in good and deep. I’m inhaling. I’m inhaling. My stomach’s increasing. After which on the exhale, respiration out, respiration out a really lengthy exhale until it feels prefer it desires to breathe in once more. After which good large in-breath after which exhale, exhale, exhale actually lengthy sluggish out-breath, out-breath. Possibly, you already know, twice so long as the in-breath. One thing like that. Once more make this be just right for you. Don’t make it uncomfortable. Make it an extremely good feeling, snug, feeling in-breaths and out-breaths. 

If you wish to, on that out-breath you are able to do ujjayi breath. So that you tighten that factor in your throat, the factor that makes your voice go from this sort of voice, to this sort of voice. That factor proper there and also you tighten that on the out-breath, so it makes you sound like Darth Vader, but it surely permits you to regulate that out-breath to permit it to be even slower and go even longer. Once more make sure that it’s snug, don’t get to the spot the place you’re yawning and needing extra air, have it be just right for you. Okay so, and whereas we’re doing this on the in-breath you’re saying inhaling, inhaling and also you’re feeling that air increasing the physique, after which on the out-breath you’re saying respiration out, respiration out, respiration out, respiration out and feeling the air leaving the physique within the physique as an alternative of increasing it’s contracting. Okay so, in that contraction of the out-breath and simply actually actually really feel that and I need you to pay particular consideration to the tip of the out-breath. Simply discover it. Okay so let’s try this collectively for some time.

Good, so proceed respiration and meditating on respiration. Throughout this part, we try to calm down. This lengthy sluggish out-breath actually helps to down-regulate in order that we will really feel fairly a bit extra leisure. But in addition the place, moreover stress-free we try to remain collected, keep targeted repeatedly on the sensation of the breath within the physique. And one factor that basically helps us to try this is to ensure we discover the tip of the out-breath as a result of typically that out-breath will cling there for a minute. Such as you get to the tip of the out-breath and earlier than the start of the in-breath, there’s a while there the place the breath simply hangs there. And that’s a very easy spot to lose your focus, to lose your collectedness, to lose your stability. However keep in mind we’re meditating just like the cosmic mountain so we’re very steady. In order a part of that stability, we simply discover significantly the tip of the out-breath. So let’s maintain going with this.

Good, let’s add a mantra in right here, a basic mantra for this sort of work. So on the in-breath, you say to your self “om” like “om” on the in-breath. After which at that spot the place the out-breath ends, or sorry the place the in-breath ends, you say “ah” like “ah what a reduction, ah.” After which for the out-breath “hum.” After which we simply pause between, there’s no mantra between the tip of the out-breath and the start of the in-breath. We’re simply noticing that spot significantly. So in-breath, om, finish of the in-breath, ah, out-breath, hum. Now you’re not singing this out loud like I’m doing, you’re simply doing it mentally. In order that’s a mantra with three seed syllables, three syllables om ah hum. 

Okay, om ah hum, what a lovely mantra. That ah is simply completely good, completely letting go, complete leisure. Okay good, now persevering with, what I need you to do is to start the method known as dropping the ball. If you understand how to do it simply go forward, in any other case I’ll clarify the way to do it. So we’re imagining that the thoughts is sort of a hand and so each time your thoughts grabs on to one thing it’s just like the hand grabbing onto one thing. On this case, the picture is a ball like a rubber ball. And so when your thoughts grabs onto a thought or your thoughts grabs on to a sense, or your thoughts grabs on to one thing that’s taking place in your atmosphere, you’re like grabbing onto it together with your hand. And what I need you to do is when you discover that occuring you simply calm down the hand and let the ball fall okay? In order that’s known as dropping the ball. 

Now you’re not grabbing on objective, you retain the hand relaxed when you can. But when the hand grabs on to one thing, it will get concerned in an argument in your thoughts together with your companion no matter. Oh geez, they mentioned this, and I mentioned that and in order that’s just like the hand grabbing and grabbing onto that ball. And so when you discover that occuring, you simply calm down the hand and let the ball drop time and again and over okay? So we’re going to do that for some time right here. I’ll simply maintain going again and providing you with additional directions, however that’s the entire instruction in a nutshell. Should you discover you’re caught up in a thought, simply calm down and let the thought go okay. Should you discover you’re caught up in something, simply calm down and let it go and are available again to easily resting, merely being. Once I say relaxation I don’t imply sleeping. Simply merely being. Now it’s actually essential that you simply don’t battle with this calm down and let go okay that’s it. Let’s go. 

There’s a pair issues I ought to most likely add right here. One is that you are able to do this with eyes open. The truth is, it’s fairly a bit higher to do that together with your eyes open. If that’s actually uncomfortable for you then go forward and do it together with your eyes closed, but it surely’s higher with eyes open. It’s higher to simply sit together with your eyes relaxed, open however relaxed, not specializing in something, particularly, your eyes are gentle, your gaze is gentle, however your eyes are open and also you’re not fixating. You’re not sticking them on some extent, you’re permitting them to maneuver and you may blink. And all that. Don’t do something bizarre together with your eyes. Identical to another time when you might have your eyes open. So we’re not doing something unusual with them. It’s extra like once you gaze on the horizon or the form of factor the place you’re simply form of taking a look at some bushes within the distance in a really common means, very relaxed means, and so they’re very far-off. Your eyes are simply mild and open. in order that’s primary.

The opposite factor is, we’re not doing any particular respiration anymore. Should you’re persevering with to try this ujjayi breath and all that, you’ll be able to simply let all that go now. And every time you discover the thoughts is caught in something, that hand has gripped a ball, then we simply calm down the thoughts, we calm down the hand and permit the ball to drop of its personal accord. We’re not struggling in any respect, we’re simply stress-free and letting issues go on their merry means. We’re not stopping them or controlling them, we’re simply not concerned. Let’s proceed.

As I mentioned I don’t need you to battle with this in any respect. It’s not as if we’re like prying the fingers off the ball, okay. There’s no combat in any respect, zero combat taking place. It’s simply each time you discover you’re caught up, you simply calm down and relaxation. You simply open the hand and the ball falls out naturally. There’s no battle. It is likely to be the case that, let’s say, you’re actually caught up in a thought, the nice hand grabs proper again on, okay, simply calm down once more. If you must calm down 100 instances in a row, you’re simply stress-free. That’s nice. There’s no battle. There’s no sense of it being laborious, okay. Simply every time the thoughts contracts we simply calm down. Don’t combat.

One thing that’s form of fascinating about this meditation, is there’s no focus object. We’re not specializing in something. There’s nothing to focus on. That’s why this will usually be known as shamatha or meditation with out an object. There’s no focus object. Anytime we get caught up in one thing, we’re simply stress-free and permitting that one thing to drift away, so to talk, to hold by itself enterprise. However we aren’t partaking with it anymore. And once we let go we’re not coming again to our breath or coming again to another object that we’re specializing in, we’re simply coming again to sitting there relaxed, sitting there with the thoughts unclenched, with the thoughts relaxed. So don’t suppose that there’s one thing you’re imagined to concentrate on, moderately if you end up specializing in something, calm down and simply open. 

Every time the thoughts grabs onto one thing or will get caught up in one thing or contracts round one thing, we merely calm down and are available again to resting. Once I say resting, keep in mind I don’t imply we come again to being asleep. I imply we come again to doing nothing however we’re vast, unsleeping. However when the thoughts will not be contracted round one thing and it’s relaxed, that’s usually simply known as consciousness or being conscious however not conscious of any explicit factor. Primary we’re not in search of one thing to concentrate on and quantity two when it’s not any particular consciousness, it’s not an altered state, it’s the identical form of consciousness the place you’re simply probably not concerned with something, you’re simply very awake, alert and relaxed. Your thoughts is open and relaxed. It has that huge high quality so don’t make consciousness one thing particular. 

It’s simply everytime you’re not caught up in something, everytime you drop the ball, that’s what’s then left. With out you doing something particular, that’s what’s left. You’re simply conscious now. You’re in fact conscious once you’re caught up within the ball as effectively, however you’ll be able to miss the vastness then, so once we drop the ball we simply come again to the notice that’s at all times current, with out doing something in any respect and it’s very very spacious, very free, very open.

Okay good, now identical to I don’t need you to battle to let go, I additionally don’t need you to hold on to the method of letting go such as you’re in search of one thing to let go of or making an attempt to just be sure you’re dropping the ball. I need you to drop that ball too. So hanging on to the concept you’re meditating, simply drop the ball. Hanging on to the concept you’re imagined to do it in a sure means and making an attempt to remain proper with it, simply drop the ball. Or making an attempt to remain targeted on whether or not you’re caught up in one thing or not, simply calm down, simply drop all that and easily return to the already current consciousness. It’s at all times there and simply relaxation, don’t battle, don’t combat, don’t even meditate. Simply drop the ball after which relaxation. 

Nothing to do, nothing to vary, every thing already full, every thing excellent, simply the best way it’s. Anytime the thoughts contracts round an object, simply calm down, let it develop again to its pure openness with none effort in any respect. 

Superb. Now what I’d such as you to do is come again to this visualization of, or temper of being a mountain, sitting like a mountain, an immovable mountain. And I need this mountain now to radiate to all of the corners of creation, to all of the corners of the universe, to radiate profound peace and stillness and profound kindness and openness and a profound sense of knowledge and caring. It’s radiating this out in all instructions, effortlessly, simply. Great sense of pleasure, an incredible sense of caring, a sense of openness, a sense of stillness and groundedness and peace. And let’s simply maintain beaming this in all instructions powerfully and superbly and with nice kindness and caring.

The mountain of consciousness can repeatedly radiate love and pleasure and stillness and kindness and knowledge and peace to the complete universe with out ever making any effort. Simply completely natura, open and free. Completely with out boundaries, completely with out obstacles, completely full in itself, completely spontaneous and joyous. 

Let’s let go of that now as we finish the meditation.

I need you to be at liberty to maneuver and stretch. Have a drink of water. Enable your physique to really feel good and simply come again to the room. Come again to the youtube room. Enable your self to simply really feel good in your physique and spot how that meditation has modified your expertise. So there’s a lot to say about this and I’m gonna simply assume you’ve watched and practiced together with many of those movies so I don’t should attempt to say all of it as a result of that will be inconceivable to jam it in right here throughout our little dharma speak. 

Dharma Discuss

However I’ll say just a few issues and one is that you already know I educate this sort of nondual meditation all day lengthy, proper? That’s what I do all day and I do it each day and I’ve been doing it for a protracted very long time, in addition to practising it. And one thing that I discover fairly often is that once I describe what we’re doing, if I say you already know, I need you to simply discover, come again to the notice that’s already there or one thing like that. Simply be consciousness. Or if I say, god forbid, if I say you already know, discover the huge spacious consciousness that’s at all times current, it results in some fascinating confusions. And a part of them is simply, a part of it’s simply linguistic. We’re simply talking English and I’m making an attempt to talk in a really regular means in order that it doesn’t sound all jargony or that I’m utilizing weird language. 

However once we use language like that like you already know, come again to consciousness or discover the notice that’s already there. It’s a extremely humorous means of speaking, actually despite the fact that it appears like regular English. It’s a humorous means of speaking within the sense that it’s not precisely correct, proper? It’s not precisely correct as a result of if I say come again to consciousness the query arises effectively who’s it that was away from consciousness? What was it that was gone from consciousness and what’s it that someway returns, proper? That doesn’t even make sense as a result of if it was gone from consciousness there would simply be a clean, there’d be nothing. 

So as a result of that’s what’s there when there’s no consciousness. There’s simply no expertise. So it will be such as you had been knocked out unconscious till you “got here again to consciousness” and it will be like waking up. However that’s probably not what’s taking place and that’s as a result of we’re by no means truly someway gone from consciousness. It’s simply that we’re constricting down onto an object. We’re constricting our consideration right down to an object or I ought to say, once more language problem, I ought to say a seeming object, one thing that looks as if an object, like a thought or a sense or one thing on the earth round us or no matter. Consciousness will get actually constricted and that’s what involves the fore of our expertise. 

However actually in fact it’s conscious the entire time and moreover, the huge half is there additionally the entire time. It’s simply form of bringing the tight half, the constricted half to the fore. Why is that this essential? As a result of what I don’t need you to do is say, I hear this rather a lot, like I dropped the ball, after which I seemed for consciousness. Nicely, my good friend who’s wanting, or what’s wanting? That’s consciousness, proper? Consciousness is what’s wanting. So it’s probably not the case that you simply’re dropping the ball after which in search of consciousness. Should you’re conscious of a thought i.e a ball, when you’re conscious of a ball, you’re conscious, due to consciousness. So the notice is at all times there. All that’s taking place is once we drop the constriction it’s returning to its already current, naturally huge, open state with out you doing something proper. It’s already conscious. So it’s not like we’ve to, you already know, make consciousness large or come again and someway attempt to see consciousness. All of that may be a confused mind-set and it simply makes it a lot more durable than it’s. 

My good friend Ken McLeod, writing in his ebook, A trackless path, talks about his Tibetan trainer Kalu Rinpoche, whose complete instruction for this meditation was acknowledge and relaxation, or return and relaxation. And you may hear it’s the identical instruction. Simply discover that you simply’re caught up and simply relaxation, proper, let go. Now, nowhere in that instruction does it say make some large consciousness occur, or hunt round for some consciousness, with one thing else that’s not consciousness that’s attempting to find consciousness. I imply all of that simply confuses the problem. It makes you sound loopy once you say it. 

Or as an instruction it will, you already know, it’s like no, there’s no one, there’s by no means anyone someplace outdoors of consciousness taking a look at consciousness. That’s not doable. It’s consciousness noticing itself. It’s not even taking a look at itself as a result of that will indicate it was standing outdoors of itself wanting again. That may’t occur. It’s already conscious of itself. We’re simply letting go of, form of like, these congealed balls, of constricted consideration. Okay, that’s it. You’re simply stress-free the tightness of the thoughts, simply letting it open and the notice is already there. It’s at all times been there. It by no means went away and there’s no one someway outdoors of consciousness who has to search for this particular object known as consciousness. It’s not a particular object. It’s what’s taking place all day lengthy, it’s taking place. It’s how you already know there’s something, it’s how you already know you’re feeling a sure means, it’s how you already know you’re having a thought, it’s how you already know you suppose you’re even you. All that’s simply stuff taking place in consciousness. 

Consciousness is previous to you, it’s previous to ideas, it’s previous to emotions, it’s prior even to the world. It’s simply there and it’s not a particular factor, it’s not a particular object, in fact. It’s empty so it’s not even an object in any respect. But it surely’s not particular, okay, so that you don’t should generate it. It’s at all times there. It’s at all times there. It’s at all times there. So once we’re not all caught up in one thing it simply makes it simpler to relaxation in that. That’s it.

Now one other factor I need to point out, I’m making an attempt to not point out every thing, however one other factor I need to point out, is that, discover no a part of this meditation says you must have any explicit form of ideas. Or that you simply like good ideas, pleased ideas, peaceable ideas. We don’t care what sort of ideas you’re having, besides on the very finish once we ship out love and pleasure and so forth. However within the meditation, it doesn’t matter what the content material of your considering is, since you’re not partaking with the content material of your thought. So it doesn’t matter what arises we’re simply letting go and stress-free and that stuff can maintain taking place, however you’re probably not partaking with it in any means. So don’t suppose you’re imagined to have a sure form of thought in the course of the dropping the ball half.

And quantity two and it is a large one, individuals suppose the considering has to cease. No, the considering can do no matter it desires. It may be considering away so long as you’re not engaged in it, you’re not considering on objective, you’re not in there following a prepare of thought. It’s simply following itself however you’re probably not taking note of it proper. You’re simply coming again to resting and being open and letting go. So that you don’t should have particular classes of thought you already know and neither does thought should cease. 

Now what’s fascinating is when you do that a bunch, you’ll discover that after some time, you already know we sat for an excellent hour, you will have observed that you simply’re considering did decelerate noticeably. And why is that? It’s as a result of considering is sort of a flywheel, a extremely heavy flywheel. It retains going for some time however when you’re not partaking with it, it’s such as you’re not giving power to the flywheel, you’re not ramping it again up, winding it again up, pushing it so it retains going. It is going to begin to wind down. For considering to maintain going on a regular basis you’re always placing power into it, placing power and placing power into it. And once we drop the ball we’re not placing any extra power into it. We don’t care about it. 

So it’s actually essential to grasp that I don’t need you to think about that you simply’re imagined to cease considering. And I don’t need you to think about that your ideas should be particular. Slightly, I don’t need you to have interaction together with your ideas in any respect. Which means, I don’t care what they’re, I don’t care what number of there are. As a result of to care about that’s to have interaction with them. You’re simply letting go, you’re simply letting go. Should you seize on once more, simply let go once more.

Okay one very last thing, I’ll give up haranguing you, like I mentioned I might most likely speak repeatedly for twenty-four hours about this however and by no means repeat myself, however one other factor is that, gosh there’s so many issues I need to say right here. You’re not gonna attain some particular state. Should you’re reaching a particular state, that’s not like an issue or a problem, however that’s not the purpose. That’s simply an accident. It’ll come and identical to each different particular state, it’ll ultimately go. So that you would possibly end up actually experiencing numerous power like your physique begins actually having numerous power and that may really feel actually good, tremendous blissful, however that’s high-quality. However it would additionally ultimately cease and that’s high-quality too as a result of that’s not what we’re making an attempt to make occur. 

You would possibly end up feeling all of your ideas will cease and your mind will simply really feel prefer it’s stopped. Identical to that. It simply stops. And simply sits there not considering something. And that’s okay. Nice, that’s great however that’s not the purpose, okay? That’s not what we’re making an attempt to make occur. We’re not making an attempt to cease that from taking place both, however that’s simply one other expertise. That’s a particular state. There’s different ones you may get into all types of bizarre altered states however none of that issues.

All that issues is that you simply drop the ball. Even when that occurs, when you get all into this power, simply maintain coming again to consciousness. Consciousness is resting and power’s taking place. Nice. Otherwise you get into like some tremendous, trippy altered notion zone. All the things’s the world appears to be like prefer it’s made from waves or one thing. This occurs on a regular basis, you already know, so what? That’s not the purpose. You simply come again. You drop the ball. Don’t actually give that have any power. However you’re not making an attempt to get away from it both, however you’re simply, okay that’s taking place. Come again to simply resting as the notice you already are and at all times have been, proper? No, we don’t have interaction with particular states. Once we do that dropping the ball meditation, it’s the alternative of a particular state.

What’s a particular state? It’s particular. Which means there’s different states that aren’t particular and so states come and go. They arrive and go, they arrive and go, however consciousness despite the fact that it’s empty, doesn’t come and go. It’s the alternative of particular. It’s probably the most common factor you might ever expertise. It’s expertise, so clearly, because the background, it’s probably the most common doable factor, so it’s the alternative of particular. So that you’re sitting right here dropping the ball and you’re feeling completely depressed and despondent and filled with despair, okay effectively, drop the ball. Relaxation. Consciousness is ok. You’re feeling tremendous pleasure and magic and dancing bunnies are you already know hopping round rainbows in your thoughts. Cool, drop the ball, simply relaxation as consciousness. Right here, as I say, you’re concerned in some form of large combat in your thoughts together with your relationship companion or together with your work colleagues or no matter, okay effectively, simply drop the ball, come again to being consciousness. 

It’s the identical transfer it doesn’t matter what. And I say being consciousness, however I don’t imply it’s an object proper. It’s not an object. I simply imply resting as consciousness, okay. It’s the best factor on the earth. As an alternative of involvement and thought and feeling the place you suppose you’re thought and feeling, we simply calm down out of that involvement, we calm down out of that constriction, we calm down out of the tightness, we let go, we open, we really feel relaxed and comfortable with no matter’s taking place okay.

That is the actual equanimity. The true equanimity is, I’m simply relaxed and conscious it doesn’t matter what frame of mind or state of emotion or state of physique or no matter, okay. Doesn’t imply we don’t know what they’re. It doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t ultimately get in there and work with them and alter them, but it surely’s essential for us to understand that consciousness is ok proper now simply the best way it’s. We’re by no means going to vary consciousness. We’d change our considering. We’d change our feeling. We’d change all types of stuff however we’re not going to vary consciousness. It already is full. It already is ideal. It already is what it’s. Discover that now. Drop in now. Drop the ball now.

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