Recently my dear friend Annharriet Buck the longtime resident psychologist, meditation teacher at the Golden Door Spa in Escondido, California recommended a book written by buddhist teacher Orygen Chowang Rinpoche Our Pristine Mind
On her advice, I dove into it. The book teaches a particular form of meditation that essentially helps the mind settle into its natural state of being. He likens it to a snow globe–the way little bits of snow swirl around when you shake the globe, but if you let it sit, slowly the swirling settles into stillness. The mind is like this. This meditative practice is not focused on an object or even the breath, and the eyes are kept softly open, not closed as is the usual practice with meditation. The aim is to be present in a natural state of awareness. As I have tried to follow this practice, I have noticed a sense of being present in the midst of my environment and all that is part of that–the trees, the house, my dog… This book is not a page turner, but is worth it for anyone who is interested in enhancing meditative practice.
One of the results of this practice is that I began to notice more of my surrounding and reflect more deeply about it. I am fortunate to live in a very beautiful spot, high up in the coastal redwood forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
In summer wild daisies pop into bloom, so if you drive to my place, as you come down the single lane road to the house, the edge of the road riots with them.
The meditation of the pristine mind, settling into the natural mind made me feel deeply connected to my environment, not in it or separate from it, but belonging to it just as much as the trees or the daisies. The contemplation of the daisy brought me to the notion that I, and you, are just what we essentially are. You would never hear a daisy saying, “I sure wish I had those nice prickly thorns that the rose over there has.” Or “Gee, how come I’m only yellow and white?” We can’t do better than to settle into the essence of the unique natural being each of us is. The daisy reigns there by the side of the road. It waits for me to cut a few stems to put in a vase and set on my dining room table. It waits to be picked by a lovesick individual who will pluck each petal, “He loves me; he loves me not.” It waits for the gardener who gathers the seeds from the blossom so she can plant daisies in a new location. The daisy can be used in many ways–always in alignment with daisy-hood.
Many of us spend time trying to make something of ourselves, when in truth, coming back to the essence of who we are, and allowing ourselves to unfold from that place is the challenge. We need to be used in ways that are consistent with the essence of who we are and well–in that way we’re not all that different from the daisy.
I’d love to hear from you–
how you’re unfolding from your essence
and how you’re allowing yourself to be used in that wonderful and unique way.