– excerpts from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche’s book Tibetan Sound Healing
There is a considerable amount of power related to where we focus our attention. Every time we dislike something and struggle with a situation, a person, our own health, or even our own identity, we focus on the negative. The experience is negative. We often continue in this way instead of finding another solution. We are trapped.
“Why am I feeling this?” “Why is this person doing this?” We continue on and on. What’s the point of repeating these thoughts? If we are saying a mantra, we repeat it to accumulate the positive result of the mantra. There is power in the accumulation. But repeating, “Why am I always doing this?” or “Why is this person always acting like this?” is not only asking the wrong questions, but continues to solidify a sense of problem, especially when we repeat them more than three times! Repeating the same question over and over is the result of the restlessness of no awareness and no solution. When we ask the same question again and again, we will find the wrong answer. Even if the question is a good one, if we are asking it from the wrong space, the result will not be good.
In this practice of the Five Warrior Syllables, we are focusing on the space or focusing on the energy or focusing on one of the Four Immeasurable qualities. Focus on anything except the tired, negative pathway of your repetition of a problem. If you are able to do that, then positive changes are possible. A very common problem is not recognizing that we need to change our focus altogether. Perhaps you have heard this familiar advice: “Let go. Just let go.” There is wisdom in it. But perhaps you have not completely discovered that wisdom. When we say, “Let go,” we usually focus on what is going rather than what is revealed when you let something go. By always focusing on the object or problem, the wisdom is not discovered; it is overlooked, and therefore it remains obscured.
So we come back to simply being. What could it mean to be? Don’t think about a problem for the moment. Don’t occupy yourself for this moment. Just get out of the familiar system of worry altogether. Breathe. Feel whatever is in this moment. If the sky is clear and the sun is shining, the only way to have a complete experience of this is if the mind is clear. Otherwise, no matter how beautiful the weather is, our internal experience is cloudy. You sit in the park on a beautiful, clear day with a completely cloudy mind. You are sitting on your karmic cushion, the very familiar, all too comfortable, habitual cushion of your habitual thoughts.
It is quite useful to think of the Four Immeasurables as doorways inward to our deepest essence and also as doorways outward through which we express virtue and goodness in the world. Through them we enter the center of our being, the union of openness and awareness. They support us to recognize and rest in the nature of being. This is the wisdom aspect. It is wisdom that cuts suffering. I often describe wisdom as openness. Openness is the sword that cuts ignorance, the root of suffering. Through the openness of our being, through the inseparable state of openness and awareness, we spontaneously express the qualities of enlightened energy in the world.
Are you happier when you rest in the inseparable state of space and awareness? Absolutely! You will be happier if you abide in this way. You connect with presence, potential, flow. You experience fewer blocks. Most of us would agree that joy is connected with the experience of freedom. The ultimate sense of freedom is a mind unbound by conditions. Most of us do not experience our mind unbound by conditions, or we do not recognize this open state. We usually only recognize freedom when a block we have experienced releases. The experience of feeling free is wonderful, because the flow that was previously blocked is now cleared.
Every time someone blocks your flow you suffer. The beauty of life is in the flow. I am using the word flow to refer to the inseparable state of emptiness and clarity. A traditional word used to describe the experience of the inseparable state is bliss. When openness and awareness are there, we experience bliss; from this bliss, all positive qualities spontaneously manifest. This is referred to as spontaneous perfection: perfection that is already there.
Tibetan Sound Healing, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and edited by Marcy Vaughn, is available online at Ligmincha’s Tibet Shop.