Progressive Meditation

Sit in your usual meditation posture.

Attend to the body. Do not focus on any particular part of the body, but simply be aware of the sensation of the body, especially the tactile sense. Simply be aware of the body as body.

When you are firmly established in that, “flip” your attention from the body as body to your awareness of the being of the body – not the body itself, but the general quality of awareness of the body that is the precondition of bodily sensation. Note that the awareness of the body is not the same as the body itself. For example, when you attend to the body itself you are aware of skin, breathing, perhaps the bones and internal organs, the eyes, tongue, etc., but the awareness itself is not skin, breathing, bones, organs, eyes, tongue, etc. Reflect on the non-reducibility of the awareness of the body to the body itself.

Now turn your attention to the breathing and the breath itself. Do not attempt to control or count the breaths, but simply be aware of the physical sensations associated with breathing. Simply be aware of the breath as breathing. As you do this, the breathing will deepen and slow naturally.

originalWhen you are firmly established in that, “flip” your attention from the breath as breathing to your awareness of the breath – not the breath as such, but the awareness of the breath. Note that the awareness of the breath is not the same as the breathing itself. Reflect on the non-reducibility of the awareness of breathing to breathing itself.

Now turn your attention to the mind, including passing thoughts, feelings, perceptions, impulsive tendencies, etc. Do not try to control the mind. Simply be aware of the mind without judgement or involvement. Simply be aware of the mind as mind.

When you are firmly established in that, “flip” your attention from the mind to your awareness of the mind – not the mind as such, but the awareness of the mind. Note that the awareness of the mind is not the same as the mind itself. Reflect on the non-reducibility of the awareness of mind to mind itself. In particular, reflect on the essential quality of emptiness of this awareness in itself.

Now, resting in this essential quality of emptiness, reflect that this quality is not passive but active. As the essential precondition of awareness of the body, it is also its cause, or there would be no mental or physical activity, not even the illusion thereof. Therefore, this emptiness is the essential precondition and source of life, will, and volition itself. Be aware of the intrinsically dynamic or kinetic quality of this essential quality of empty mind and abide in this.

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