In Tibetan Buddhism, there are three simple instructions which are used as a guide when beginning to meditate. The first is “Mal Na Lue Ghoe,”(མལ་ན་ལུས་དགོས།) which translates as “Find a quiet place”. It’s essential to try to find a place free from distractions.
The second instruction is ” Lue Na Sem Ghoe”, (ལུས་ན་སེམས་དགོས།) which means “Make sure your mind is present”. It sounds simple, but many of us can be sitting on a cushion in a temple and our minds are writing a shopping list! Tibetans like to say “Your body is in a mountain cave for retreat but your mind is traveling the world.”
So, how do we make our minds present? The quickest way to do this is to focus on our breath. It helps to take three deep breaths in and out.
The third and final instruction is “Sem Na Lhod Ghoe”, (སེམས་ན་ལྷོད་དགོས།) which means “Relax your mind”.
It makes sense really, when our bodies are comfortable, our minds will follow and feel relaxed. The instructions on the seven postures, includes advice on how to sit for a long time and remain comfortable and stable.
This makes it easier to focus on your object, such as breathing, sound or visualisation.
While all of these instructions are based on serious foundations and are of equal importance, it’s just as critical to remember to relax, be in the moment, and to understand that meditation is a practice. That means it’s okay to try, try and try again…
Good luck on your journey.