Howard Cohn takes us on a Big Mind Meditation. It is a guided meditation where you will bring awareness to the capacity of your mind to be sky-like and panoramic.
Big Mind Meditation, by Howard Cohn:
I’d like to do a guided meditation, and you could call this Taking off the Training Wheels even though hopefully my voice will provide a little bit of support. But for this particular guided meditation, it’s helpful if you can find a posture that you can remain relatively still. A gentle stillness.
And as usual, we will settle in to the felt experience of our body and feel how it’s supported by the earth and how we are oriented to this living present knowing as we’re here that the past is gone. As ___ said, the future is unborn. So there’s just this.
In this morning, the guided meditation will hopefully allow you to recognize and get used to the capacity of your mind to be sky-like and panoramic. We’ve worked a lot with the details and more microscopic, more careful mindfulness and breath, sensations, moods, thoughts and images. This morning, emphasis will slightly be on the nature of awareness itself. As so ___ stated, the purpose of meditation is to awaken us the sky-like nature of the mind. And to introduce us to that which we really are, our unchanging pure awareness, which underlies the whole of life and death.
And the stillness and silence of mediation, we glimpse and return to that deep inner nature that we have so long ago lost sight amidst the busyness and distractions of our mind.
So, once you found an upright, relaxed posture, completely let go of the past and the future. Completely allowing yourself to let be as is, and let your eyes close softly. And imagine or sense, or feel your mind to be a clear, empty sky without limits.
And begin by being aware of the different sounds that occur. The sounds that arise and pass. The sounds in the room…
The sound of my voice. The distant sounds. The sound of silence…
Let all the sounds, loud and soft, arise and pass without naming them, or judging them. Simply listening or hearing…
Sounds come and go. Our mind is like space. The sounds arise in that space and they pass away…
Make no effort to hear the sounds. Let the sounds arise and let listening happen by itself…
And that clear, ___, space of mind, become aware of physical sensations like points of feeling, flickering like stars in an evening sky.
In our immediate and direct experience, there’s no head, no shoulders, no chest, no arms, or legs, only points of feelings, points of sensation, like stars in an evening sky, flickering in that vast openness of mind.
Sounds, sensations, there’s no inside or outside, simply disappearances arising, passing away making no impact in the immaculate sky-like nature of the mind.
Allow the mind to remain perfectly still. Allowing the sounds and the sensations to appear in disappear in the open stillness of mind.
There is no head, no neck, no shoulders, no arms or legs. Just points of feeling, flickering like stars in that limitless sky. ___ still. Not reaching forward or pushing away any experience. The essence of mind is motionless—vast, panoramic, sky-like nature of the mind.
In the sky-like nature of the mind, become aware of thoughts and images. Like clouds floating through that empty sky. Thoughts—like clouds have no roots, no home. Like a footprint of a bird in openness and emptiness. Appearing, vanishing, like mist in the open sky-like nature of the mind.
Keep the mind soft, steady, welcoming. Perfectly still—no reaching for, or pushing aware any experience. Allowing the sounds, the sensations, thoughts and images to arise and pass by themselves within the sky-like nature of the mind.
There is no inside, no outside, only sounds, sensations, thoughts and images—appearing and disappearing making no impact in the limitless nature of the mind.
Look within the nature of the mind, of awareness—it’s invisible like empty space. Look within your own mind.
Look within your own mind. The clear, empty, open, not made of anything, shining, containing all experience, but not limited or bound by it, free, unencumbered, breathless, vast sky-like nature of the mind.
In our immediate, direct perception, there is no solid body, no head, no shoulders, no front, no back, no arms or legs. Only points of sensation flickering, freely, like stars in the sky. No inside, no outside, unshakably still. Be the stillness. The clear, open, balanced sky-like nature of the heart and mind—it’s home.
Rest in the sky-like nature of mind. The clear, open, welcoming, containing all experiences, but not limited by them. Rest in this natural, great peace.
Look within your own mind—clear, invisible like an open space. Look directly to the nature of the mind. It’s free. Not made of anything. Look fully aware.
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