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Body Like a Mountain, Heart Like the Ocean, Mind Like the Sky

Drawing on the words of Dogen, a 13th century Buddhist monk, we cultivate stability in the body along with a vast and spacious quality of heart and mind.

Beginning the meditation by adopting as comfortable a position as possible. The key things to look for is relaxation and yet alertness. In the meditation we're going to do today is based on a wonderful saying from a great Zen master called Dogen. And it goes like this. Body like a mountain, heart like the ocean, mind like the sky.

So we'll see if we can get a taste of these qualities during the meditation. To begin with, let's really arrive in the body, in the moment. Taking a deep breath in, and on the out-breath, resting right down into the points of contact between the body and the chair or the floor. And seeing if you can give the whole weight of the body up to gravity, resting and settling. And feeling into a quality of stability like a mountain.

Body like a mountain. Allowing awareness to inhabit the legs and the torso and the arms, the neck, the head. Resting here in each moment. Grounded, steady, strong, like a mountain. And coming inside breathing in the whole body.

Can you get a sense of breathing in the abdomen and the belly? Swelling and subsiding, swelling and subsiding. And the chest and the whole back of the torso. And seeing if we can get a sense of the volume of the whole torso, expanding a little bit in all directions on the in-breath and subsiding a little bit in all directions on the out-breath. A sense of 360 degree breathing, making sure this is natural, we're not forcing or straining. But it's as if we let our awareness drop very deep inside the body and then our awareness rides.

The movements and sensations of breathing. And expanding to have a sense of the whole body participating in this quality of breathing, the whole body opening a little bit in all directions on the in-breath, subsiding a little bit in all directions on the out-breath. And now the next great phrase from Dogen, heartt like the ocean. And of course, oceans are vast and they're deep. Imagining an ocean on a still day where it's vast, it's deep.

a sense of pliability and fluidity. And perhaps coming to rest on the heart center in the body and tuning into our emotions as we sit here, as we lie here. What's your emotional weather? Bright, stormy, cloudy, overcast, clear. Just getting a general sense of what your emotional mood is, if you like that, you're bringing into this meditation. And placing it within this broad, vast ocean of awareness.

Just as the ocean is fluid and changing, allowing your emotions to be fluid and changing. For any point you feel overwhelmed, then broadening awareness to be aware of the whole body, breathing in the whole body. You feel a bit numb and cut off, you don't really know what you're feeling, that's fine. But perhaps being a bit more curious, coming closer, resting in this ocean of your emotional life, seeing what arises. And allowing our emotional life to be fluid and open like the ocean.

Coming into being, passing away, coming into, being, passing away with a sense of vitality, a sense of flow. And seeing if we can be curious about what we're experiencing, letting go of any judgments. Simply arriving inside, the emotional side of our experience, as best we can, moment by moment. Moving on to the next great phrase from Dogen, mind like the sky. Mind like a clear, blue, vast limitless sky, tuning into any thoughts that are flowing through the mind.

We all have thinking going on most of the time, that's really normal. So just noticing what thoughts are present and seeing if we can let them flow across the blue sky of awareness, the blue sky of the mind, just like clouds come into being, pass away, come into being, pass away. Usually what we do is we jump onto our thoughts, we over-identify with our thoughts, we get carried away or else we suppress our thoughts. We think we shouldn't be thinking when we meditate. But instead we can see the practice about changing our perspective on the thinking mind, on our thoughts.

Acknowledge that they're there and neither suppress them nor get carried away, but let them pass across the mind, like a cloud. Can you get a quality of expansiveness in the mind, openness and the mind, like a clear, blue sky. And now let's broaden our awareness to hold these three phrases, these three qualities in our awareness. Body like a mountain, stable, grounded. Heart like the ocean, vast, deep fluid.

Mind like the sky, boundless, clear like a clear, blue sky. And allowing all of our experience to arise and pass away, arise and pass away, moment by moment. So we're resting in a very receptive, broad, open awareness. And as we bring the practice to a close, bringing the weight of the body to the foreground of awareness, breathing in the body to the foreground of awareness. Perhaps forming an intention to take this quality that we've touched into into our day, something we can come back to again and again.

Stability in the body, openness emotionally, clarity in the mind. And when we're ready, we can move the body and gently and quietly re-engaged with whatever's coming next. Thank you so much for practicing with me today.

Meditation

4.5

Body Like a Mountain, Heart Like the Ocean, Mind Like the Sky

Drawing on the words of Dogen, a 13th century Buddhist monk, we cultivate stability in the body along with a vast and spacious quality of heart and mind.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Beginning the meditation by adopting as comfortable a position as possible. The key things to look for is relaxation and yet alertness. In the meditation we're going to do today is based on a wonderful saying from a great Zen master called Dogen. And it goes like this. Body like a mountain, heart like the ocean, mind like the sky.

So we'll see if we can get a taste of these qualities during the meditation. To begin with, let's really arrive in the body, in the moment. Taking a deep breath in, and on the out-breath, resting right down into the points of contact between the body and the chair or the floor. And seeing if you can give the whole weight of the body up to gravity, resting and settling. And feeling into a quality of stability like a mountain.

Body like a mountain. Allowing awareness to inhabit the legs and the torso and the arms, the neck, the head. Resting here in each moment. Grounded, steady, strong, like a mountain. And coming inside breathing in the whole body.

Can you get a sense of breathing in the abdomen and the belly? Swelling and subsiding, swelling and subsiding. And the chest and the whole back of the torso. And seeing if we can get a sense of the volume of the whole torso, expanding a little bit in all directions on the in-breath and subsiding a little bit in all directions on the out-breath. A sense of 360 degree breathing, making sure this is natural, we're not forcing or straining. But it's as if we let our awareness drop very deep inside the body and then our awareness rides.

The movements and sensations of breathing. And expanding to have a sense of the whole body participating in this quality of breathing, the whole body opening a little bit in all directions on the in-breath, subsiding a little bit in all directions on the out-breath. And now the next great phrase from Dogen, heartt like the ocean. And of course, oceans are vast and they're deep. Imagining an ocean on a still day where it's vast, it's deep.

a sense of pliability and fluidity. And perhaps coming to rest on the heart center in the body and tuning into our emotions as we sit here, as we lie here. What's your emotional weather? Bright, stormy, cloudy, overcast, clear. Just getting a general sense of what your emotional mood is, if you like that, you're bringing into this meditation. And placing it within this broad, vast ocean of awareness.

Just as the ocean is fluid and changing, allowing your emotions to be fluid and changing. For any point you feel overwhelmed, then broadening awareness to be aware of the whole body, breathing in the whole body. You feel a bit numb and cut off, you don't really know what you're feeling, that's fine. But perhaps being a bit more curious, coming closer, resting in this ocean of your emotional life, seeing what arises. And allowing our emotional life to be fluid and open like the ocean.

Coming into being, passing away, coming into, being, passing away with a sense of vitality, a sense of flow. And seeing if we can be curious about what we're experiencing, letting go of any judgments. Simply arriving inside, the emotional side of our experience, as best we can, moment by moment. Moving on to the next great phrase from Dogen, mind like the sky. Mind like a clear, blue, vast limitless sky, tuning into any thoughts that are flowing through the mind.

We all have thinking going on most of the time, that's really normal. So just noticing what thoughts are present and seeing if we can let them flow across the blue sky of awareness, the blue sky of the mind, just like clouds come into being, pass away, come into being, pass away. Usually what we do is we jump onto our thoughts, we over-identify with our thoughts, we get carried away or else we suppress our thoughts. We think we shouldn't be thinking when we meditate. But instead we can see the practice about changing our perspective on the thinking mind, on our thoughts.

Acknowledge that they're there and neither suppress them nor get carried away, but let them pass across the mind, like a cloud. Can you get a quality of expansiveness in the mind, openness and the mind, like a clear, blue sky. And now let's broaden our awareness to hold these three phrases, these three qualities in our awareness. Body like a mountain, stable, grounded. Heart like the ocean, vast, deep fluid.

Mind like the sky, boundless, clear like a clear, blue sky. And allowing all of our experience to arise and pass away, arise and pass away, moment by moment. So we're resting in a very receptive, broad, open awareness. And as we bring the practice to a close, bringing the weight of the body to the foreground of awareness, breathing in the body to the foreground of awareness. Perhaps forming an intention to take this quality that we've touched into into our day, something we can come back to again and again.

Stability in the body, openness emotionally, clarity in the mind. And when we're ready, we can move the body and gently and quietly re-engaged with whatever's coming next. Thank you so much for practicing with me today.

Meditation

4.5

Duration

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