Be Here Now

Be Here Now

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

It Doesn't Have To Be This Way!

The world is awash with pain, suffering and frustration. We witness its results daily when we turn on our TV, go on line, or open a newspaper

We are sick! Our minds deformed and tortured by self created delusion. We can see the extremes of this sickness filling the wards of our psychiatric institutions, but the disease is everywhere, an epidemic of fear and confusion, crawling onto our streets, our homes and our places of leisure. It does not stop there, a great black hand of ignorance and self loathing, claws the  face of our lovely planet.Delusion, greed and hatred rule the day as brother and sister injure and destroy one another and our animal brethren also, with the glazed indifference of automation's.

Indeed we are sick, Worse, we are fast asleep, creating nightmares for ourselves in the Biblical Darkness, the Maya of the Hindus, the Samsara of the Buddhist. So, how do we break out of this terminal tragedy, this groaning wheel of suffering? How do we wake up to what we really are? Simple, we do this by abandoning paths of darkness and placing our feet upon spiritual paths.

Let there be no misunderstanding, we can wake up. it is perfectly possible to become enlightened, to realise our proper status as totally fulfilled, universally integrated men and women, and, it is possible in this lifetime.

we have become too busy, trying to cram more and more experiences into our lives, to even begin to contemplate such a way out.
The one, simple main cause of our suffering, our strife and conflict, is simply our deep-seated sense of a personal ‘self,’ a ‘Me!’ -what we commonly refer to as ‘ego.’

Most people on this planet are firmly of the notion, that ‘self,’ this ‘I,’ we carry about, is a solid, ongoing entity. They never ever question this belief; it is simply set in stone, unbreachable! ‘Of course I am real! What else thinks, breathes, exists?’ From our first waking moment, our lives have been filled with seemingly hard confirmation, that what we call the self, is real; we are given a name, nurtured, taught to read, to distinguish objects outside of this self. We learn to see ourselves as different from other beings. All of our life, this sense of identity is breed into us.

Yet it is just this sense of self that is the cause of all of the conflicts, wars and crime in the world, the reason, why the oceans are running out of fish, why the oil is running out, and why we cannot really get down to doing anything serious to alleviate the effects of climate change. It is also the cause of most of our illnesses, sufferings and frustrations, throughout our life.

So, how then does belief in an “I” and the whole neurotic process begin? According to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, whenever a perception of form (i.e. another person, a house a tree etc) appears, there is an immediate reaction of fascination and uncertainty on the part of an implied perceiver of the form. This reaction is almost instantaneous. It takes only a fraction of a fraction of a second. And, as soon as we have established recognition of what the thing is, our next response is to give it a name. With the name of course comes concept. We tend to conceptualise the object, which means that, at this point, we are no longer able to perceive things as they actually are. We have created a kind of padding, a filter, or veil, between ourselves and the object. This is exactly what prevents the maintenance of continual awareness. We feel compelled to name, to think discursively, which all the while, takes us further from direct perception. And what keeps us all tapped in the continuous round of pain and disillusionment is desire.

Desire is the thread that weaves the constant sense of self, into what we misunderstand as a solid and fixed state of being. 'self,' is nothing but a collection of the above stated tendencies, such as form, feeling, and perception. Self needs something to keep up the illusion of separateness, and solidness. That something is ‘desire,’ our constant inner drive that feeds constant images, to delight our senses.

Sogyal Rinpoche writes so clearly of this grasping, but deluded idea of a ‘self,’ in his book, ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Ego is defined as "incessant movements of grasping at a delusory notion of  I."

Friday, 25 February 2011

Tolerance and Compassion

Recently I have watched a film produced by Wade Davis, an anthropological who made a spiritual journey to Nepal, seeking solace to calm his hectic mind. The resulting documentary Light at the Edge of the world is one of the most accessible and vibrant portraits of the essence of Buddhism I have ever seen. As he says in the film, "There’s something about the inherent tolerance of Buddhism that is inherently attractive. It’s totally non-judgmental. There’s no notion of sin, there’s no notion of good and evil, there’s only ignorance and suffering. And this is the most important thing, it places all emphasis on compassion; you do not embrace negativity. Buddhism asks the fundamental question: What is life and what is the point of existence?”

The dharma (Path), is a perfectly sound approach to achieving liberation from our the woes and frustrations, that beset us daily, but and here is the crux, we cannot ever hope to achieve such freedom from worries unless we forget all about our own personal desires, and instead, dedicate ourselves to the opening up our compassionate heart first, our real nature, our bodhi mind.

Only by opening ourselves to the sufferings of other beings can realisation dawn within us. That is why Buddhists place so much emphasis upon compassion. This is a religion that does not demand some act of blind faith. But says, here is a path, a set of practices that you can do, which has 2,500 years documented and empirical, scientific evidence, to back it. If you follow these practices, you will achieve a transformation of the human heart and gain a lasting serenity.

Everyone has the potential for inner transformation of the mind. We all have our own perfect jewel, buried deep in the earth. All we need are the tools to find it. The dharma is designed to remove everything that obscures our own Buddha nature.

As one of the Lamas said in the documentary, "We spend some 15 years going through education, maybe too, a number of years to train for a professional career. We spend a great amount of time, jogging, or at the gym to get healthy, then spend more time on our appearance, hair, clothes and make up. Now, why don't we spend a few moments each day to see how our mind works? Which, in the end determines our quality of life."  

May all beings have happiness.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The chariot of Will

My late master Karma Tashi Thunrup wrote a book entitled 'Into The Wind.'  This is still awaiting publication.

I thought it would be beneficial however to extract the following pieces from its pages, which give a flavour of the unique and compassionate approach, Tashi always brought to discussing aspects of dharma. 

Here he writes of the enormous benefits that may be obtained for both ones health as well as for reaching out to others who may be need of our help, by anyone who is able to untilise fully, the power of his will. 


"The Yogic adept has an advantage over the likes of us in that he has 

penetrated his consciousness down to its very source and he is 
aware not only of the everyday world of sense consciousness but 
also different dimensions of consciousness containing higher 
energy levels of which the layman is ignorant.

It is in order to heal and revitalise our jaded bodies


It is impossible for a Master to describe Reality in words, but we can symbolise, in a manner of speaking, the spiritual forces galvanising this physical body through the spinal vortices or chakras where mind reacts with a self-created universe.

The Yogi supplements his compassion with the practice 
of Pranayama. Pran is basic energy, the universal principle of 
movement, which upholds the tangible world. Pranayama is the 
Science of realising the Pran streams in our own bodies through the 
Contemplation and control of breath. Activating the Heart chakra 
through Pranayama, the Yogi learns to direct Pran at will to heal 
and revitalise his tissues.


All energies directed consciously from the Heart chakra stem 
from a higher dimension of mind and a higher wave-band than we 
have hitherto been able to utilise. Naturally we shall be making use 
of these in our studies.

The higher chakras are properly the province of the spiritual 
seeker. A most profound explanation of their properties can be 
found in the works of Lama Govinda and Swami Sri Yukteswar to 
name but two.



Most of the diseases we encounter on our way are due to imbalances

which are the natural result of the limited individual mind and
consciousness field, which accompanies an "unawakened" perception
of reality.

Most "normal" people are fundamentally out of balance, therefore
these layers of psycho/physical energy are manifested at a much
coarser wave-band than could be the case.

By utilising the energising and rejuvenating principles of Raja Yoga 
we can reverse the breakdown of voluntary and involuntary 
neuro-muscular processes which, with the exception of sexually 
transmitted infections, are the result of degenerate mental and
physical habits and a careless diet.

Raja Yoga is the science of physical and mental awareness pursued by many devotees in their search for Spiritual Enlightenment. The meditative forms of this and allied Tibetan Yoga's are very effective to that end.

"What we think we become".

Thought dominated by desire and aversion is in constant turmoil, and it is not surprising therefore to find this confusion and alienation ultimately presenting itself as physical ailments of various kinds. On the other hand it is possible to train our thoughts to be calm and single pointed.

In that condition they are the chariot of Will and the unconscious
hierarchy of the three bodies can be gradually transformed into a
conscious creative process. Thus Will descends into Energy, finally
to manifest as positive awakened being.

The Yogi sees matter as a vibrating continuum in constant flux.
The different states of matter i.e. solid, liquid and gaseous, he
perceives as wave-bands of energy dancing in counterpoint to the
vibrations of his own spinal centres. His mind is in perfect accord
with the world of matter and for him it is a case of No Mind, No Matter.

Thus the accomplished Yogi applies his mind to matter and moves

in spacious harmony with it.

No doubt due to the way we regard our food, many of us in the
west regard our bodies and the bodies of other sentient beings as
mere meat to which modern physiology has added a grand theatre
of electro/chemical demand and response to our perceptions.

Good health starts in the mind and is maintained primarily by a
healthy will and a plentiful supply of air. We are Psycho/Physical
organisms and Mind, the psyche, has the dominant role to play 
in our everyday health.

The initiated Yogi can perform specific exercises to direct Pran energy to all parts of the body. By the contemplation and control of his breath he is able to bring previously unconscious bodily processes to conscious awareness thereby raising his otherwise vegetable reactions to purposeful healthy function.

Will is what it is all about. Practically speaking, unless we 
consciously inject a good dose of old fashioned will into our bodily
functions, they will inevitably decline. Athough the sympathetic 
and para-sympathentic nervous systems are superb examples 
of biological programming, they will eventually become moribund 
unless constantly reinforced by the use of concentrated attention 
and will.

I can alter my heartbeat at will, without the use of feedback 
machines or the like. If will can overcome the natural reflexes of the ‘Bundle of his’ which
is the heart's neuro/muscular pacemaker then it follows that all the
automatic nervous functions can be brought under some conscious 
control, for that is how they came about in the first place.

It is generally supposed that the unconscious mind is somewhat 
subordinate and inferior in a primitive bestial way to the stream of 
conscious thought which embroiders our sensual experience of 
the world.

This view is wrong. 

The unconscious is not a mere rubbish tip of repressed desires 
and emotions.

To those skilled in meditative and contemplative practices it reveals 
itself as a cornucopia of inspiration and creative energy. Admittedly,
 it is necessary to penetrate beyond the clutter of pre-conscious 
desire, fear, and guilt which are the conditioned responses of a deluded self, 
but if we had the ability to dive, or to be more accurate, soar 
beyond the mere pre-conscious and dream realms we would discover 
a Superconscious containing the keys to ultimate Self Realisation.

Everything that happens in our bodies unconsciously i.e. through 
the media of sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems 
and associated endocrine glands originally happened some time in 
the past aeons of our evolution as the result of a conscious act of 
will or effort.

These conscious acts repeated time and time again cut a recorded 

groove into the depths of our being, each intelligent response 
becoming memorised and habituated on a deep unconscious level, 
creating in fact the automatic reflexes of the automatic nervous systems and associated glands and adding new unconscious "bits" of information to the DNA codes of each living cell with every adaptive act or thought

We are the manifestations of Mind. All the biological processes 

are the result of mind action at every level, and where mind has 
been, memory remains, unconscious perhaps but memory 
nevertheless going right back to the year dot and earlier.

Everything that happens in the preconscious areas of our mind is 
the result of all past actions, thoughts and emotional responses,
and at a deep level to which the unregenerative individual ego has 
little access, spreads a store consciousness or as Jung put it, a
Universal Unconscious in which all states of being are contained 
and infinitely expanded. On another level, so near and yet so far
from our usual impedimented outlook shines the pure intelligence 
of Enlightenment known to Northern Buddhists as the Dharma Kaya 
or Body of Truth.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The notion of doing no thing

If we were honest, we would admit that we are never truly content, never really at peace with ourselves and the world around us. We strive, fidget, organise and fantasise for more things to occupy our lives, for more distractions, in our endless seeking after happiness and fulfilment.

We’ve read so much, listened to so many people talking about letting go, and living in the here and now, We think we know all about mindfulness, we persuade ourselves that we do actually live in this moment, or we try to kid ourselves that we do.

Yet… still, here we are still not content, still grasping after the elusive butterfly. As Chogyam Trunpa puts it, ‘when are we really going to wake up?’

I think the key to really making any sort of headway on this path, is that we really have to take note of the teachings when they advise us to just let go of our strivings, something many of us find extremely difficult to do! Conditioned as we are to always doing something. How preposterous then to be told, that really, there is nothing to do! But,  as the old Zen master once remarked, ‘when you have finished your breakfast, wash out you bowl!’

Our problem lies in the fact that we have been too busy trying to secure ourselves, reassure ourselves that we are all right. We remain trapped in the desire to improve ourselves.

The whole point here, is that our constant desire to achieve nirvana, enlightenment, whatever we wish to call it, is the main reason why we can’t achieve it. Our search has become the main stumbling block to actually waking up from the dream.

Until we finally wear ourselves out in the struggle and give up our search out of sheer exhaustion. We come to realise that struggle is irrelevant to opening. Only when we give up the struggle, does the problem take care of itself.

You see, it is in this situation we find ourselves in at this precise moment, whatever it may be, that is where enlightenment is, no where else, just right here. And, this precise moment is full of the most wonderful energy. What a golden opportunity awaits us, when we at last come to really grasp this. Then all we can do is laugh the cosmic laugh of the Buddha, the amazing sense of relief fianlly dawns and we come to rest, after so many struggles and much turmoil. It’s finally sinks in; we don’t have to go any other place. We are at home!

All then we have to do, is do nothing! Quite so!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Eight Fold Path

This simple path incorporating eight imperitives, if followed, will surely lead to ones liberation from all human suffering 

1) Right View  
View is a matter of concepts. Someone is walking towards us, suddenly we freeze. Not only do we freeze ourselves, but we freeze the situation as well, the space in which the person is walking towards us. We try to conceptionalise the situation, is he a ‘friend,’ or an ‘enemy?’ We have therefore created a frozen space of fixed ideas – this, as opposed to that – the person is walking through a frozen situation. This view, is a conceptionalised view, which is imperfect, because we don’t see the situation, as it is. So right view is openness, where we don’t freeze any situation, we encounter in life, there is just open space, free from concepts. It is the ever present awareness of impermanence that life is constantly changing.
Right view is the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to understand things as they really are and to realise the Four Noble Truth. As such, right view is the cognitive aspect of wisdom. It means to see things through, to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas, and to understand the law of karma and karmic conditioning

2) Right Intention
Of body, speech and mind. Ordinary intention is based on the situation, described above. We conceptually fix the person, coming towards us, we are now ready to either grasp onto, or ignore him. It is an automatic response, a thought process that relates to action. When you encounter a situation, you think, and thinking inclines towards action. In our constant alertness, we constantly relate the situation to our security. And security is concerned with pain and pleasure.
Yet there is also Right Intention, we do not need to be in control of the situation, we can afford to relax.
We don’t mean right, as opposed to wrong, but ‘right.’ Meaning ‘what is.’ Being right without a concept of what is right - complete. Completeness needs no relative help; it is self-sufficient, precise, and direct. Life without clutches, straightforward. Life is pleasure, life is pain.
Giving up wanting to be in control of situations.

3) Right Speech
Words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace
Perfect communication, it is so, not “I think it is so.” Direct precision, not delusion. No games, just right to the point. Without gossip, lying or condemnations of others. No need for idle words. There is no self, for no one knows, what self is! There’s no I, because fundamentally, nobody uttered the word “am.” 

4 )Right Morality/Discipline
There is no one to impose discipline and no one to impose discipline on; there’s is no need for discipline, in the ordinary sense at all. This leads to the understanding of Right Discipline, complete discipline, which cannot exist on the basis of ego. Discipline exists only on the level of relative decisions, so, if there’s no ego, a whole range of projections becomes unnecessary. Right Discipline is a sort of giving up process. It allows complete simplicity. We lead a direct life, acting with compassion and honesty.
To abstain from harming sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including suicide) and doing harm intentionally or delinquently, 2. to abstain from taking what is not given, which includes stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty, and 3. to abstain from sexual misconduct. Positively formulated, right action means to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual relationships harmless to others.

5) Right Livelihood
Giving up harmful occupations, having nothing to do with hope, fear, or clingings. In order to live, we need to survive. We can’t live without jobs. We need a roof over our heads, food and warm clothes, the rest is just desire. Work arises naturally out of our relative situation, it’s just organic.
Right Livelihood simply means earning your money, living your life. We have to relate to the whole process, as the energy of making a living, involves us in so many situations, that we have to relate to the whole thing, the whole life situation. The more we put in, so the more we get out.

6) Right Effort
Right Effort means energy, endurance, exertion. If you enjoy your situation, take delight in it. Being present fully, with delight, with a grin. There is something very creative, humorous and constantly enjoyable, about this whole situation. It’s beautiful. Direct and simple, natural openness. We see the situation in that moment. Right Effort, is providing space, beyond discursive thought. Don’t get sidetracked, just do what you do, without allowing seductive thoughts to sidetrack us.
Mental energy is the force behind right effort; it can occur in either wholesome or unwholesome states. The same type of energy that fuels desire, envy, aggression, and violence can on the other side fuel self-discipline, honesty, benevolence, and kindness

7) Right Awareness/Mindfulness
Right Awareness/Mindfulness is concerned with meditation, working on your breathing.
Mindfulness, is not the same as concentration. With concentration, there is a ‘you,’ and ‘other,’ another thing, which is being concentrated on. You are trying to hang onto, or grasp something. A duality is developing, a ‘self,’ who is concentrating on a ‘thing.’ ‘You,’ are trying to do it. You’re relating to something, you’re trying to get to something separate. Your body is set up, as somehow separate from your mind, and so, you are trying to relate to it. Right Mindfulness means being with the mindfulness of who you are, at every given moment, being with the situation.

8) Right Samadi/Absorption
This takes place, when one is in the situation of being completely there. Total awareness, ‘As it is.’ Relating to the space of ones living situation, in a non - dualistic way. This pertains to ones living situation as well as to sitting meditation. Right Absorption is being completely involved. In sitting meditation, the technique and you are one. In a life situation, the phenomenal world is also a part of you. Therefore, you don’t have to meditate, as such, as a separate entity. If you are one, with the living situation, your meditation just automatically happens,

Friday, 14 January 2011

The way to a quiet mind.

Here are some useful practices, as written by my late master Karma Tashi Thundrup. So sorry for the layout presentation of the writing; it was transcribed straight from a CD

We shall begin by creating a quiet place to sit, cross-legged if we can or on a low stool or straight-backed chair if we cannot. A firm cushion will help to provide a comfortable and stable seat. We sit completely relaxed with our back and neck straight, the spine balanced nicely on the pelvis. A straight back is necessary for the unobstructed passage of spinal energies when they arise.

The hands can be placed in the lap, palms upward, the right hand resting in the left and the tips of the thumbs touching. We can meditate with our eyes shut or open but outer distractions are more easily avoided with the eyes closed. The eyeballs should be perfectly relaxed as in sleep, just gazing, to the mind's eye down the length of the nose.

Some teachers insist that one should focus the closed eyes sharply upon the point between the eyebrows where the Ajna chakra manifests but I should warn against this. The muscular strain of such a procedure creates the nervous illusion of flashing lights before the eyes which can easily lead one into a fantasy of meditational success. If you wish to put this sort of thing to the test, sit quietly in a darkened room, close your eyes and watch the fireworks as you push your eyeballs back and forth with your fingers.

In sitting meditation we aim at a profound relaxation, any internal tension will defeat the object of the exercise. All we have to do is to watch our breath. Breathing through the nose we calmly con­centrate upon our breathing and just watch the breath moving to and fro.
As our concentration deepens we will find our mind, in a manner of speaking becoming one with our breathing.
Our concentration must be absolutely calm and without effort.
Absorbtion is the best word I can find to describe the required state of mind.

Thoughts will constantly arise to distract the attention. We do not try to block them off or shut them out in any way, but we observe them dispassionately from over our shoulder as it were, leading the mind, on a loose rein, gently back to the breath each time.
That is all we have to do.

There is no need here for a lengthy dissertation on the manifold subjective results of our meditations for that would arouse a vicarious anticipation of events which is most undesirable. Suffice it to say that gradually our awareness of being will become more detached from our thoughts.

During our sitting sessions the grasping egotistical nature of our thoughts will become clearer to us irrespective of whether these thoughts be considered good or bad. As our consciousness becomes finely tuned to the movement of the breath we shall in time develop an awareness of the currents of Pran Energy within the body.

This meditation is natural Pranayama (the Way of Pran).
There is quite an astonishing amount of boloney written about Pranayama. Rudolph Steiner for example wrote some fascinating rubbish.

Some Zen teachers recommend counting the breath in medita­tion, counting each in and out cycle of breath as one, two and so on up to twenty and then back to one, repeating the process ad infinitum.
The drawback with this method lies in the progressive nature of the counting. It can induce an awkward element of anticipation into the proceedings. We could become impatient or lose count or develop a record setting mentality, totting up the number of breath cycles accumulated at each sitting.
This kind of thing is not meditation.

From India has come a school of thought which strives through a process of counting to extend the breathing process for as long as possible. Inhaling, for example, to the slow count of thirty, retain­ing the breath for a count of thirty and exhaling in like manner.
The idea of course is to prolong the breathing process as far as you can without asphyxiating yourself. Perhaps there is a world champion lurking somewhere up in the Himalayas.
Nevertheless this is not meditation either.

If the simple Buddhist practice of watching the breath is perse­vered with, we will discover that as our concentration deepens and thoughts fall away, the breath will quieten and slow down quite spontaneously. Then we should begin to experience a true medi­tative state of mind.
If at this stage we should begin to congratulate ourselves our meditation will simply go for a Burton. We shall be exchanging Unconditioned Being for the delusion of achievement. Beware of the "How am I doing?" syndrome. It is a monstrous stumbling block in the path of meditation.
Our approach to meditation is as important as the meditation itself. One Tibetan teacher has this to say:
"Do not be consistent".

To summarise our meditation practice
A comfortable seat, a straight back,
hands in lap palms up, tips of thumbs touching. Eyes closed and relaxed, "gazing down the nose". Breathe through the nose.
Watch the breath.
Calmly concentrate, the reins held loose.
When thoughts arise do not resist them or block them off. Witness them from "over your shoulder",
and gently lead the attention back to the breath.
When you have done enough, rise calmly and slowly and go about your business. There you have it, a simple and very effec­tive meditation technique.

The  Chakras
This exercise is a two-part meditation in which, in the first stage we project mind energy into the chakras. Using the breath as a bellows we can amplify the natural radiance of the Navel centre and direct it upwards to illuminate the higher centres.
In the second stage we shall bring the spiritually activated ener­gies back down the spine finishing at the navel centre to add a very high-frequency component to the radiating energies of this centre and projecting this where we desire to enhance our self ­awareness and heal ourselves.
We begin with the breath and we must, after a little practice, visualise the breath as moving in a large circle in one direction only.

Taking our meditation seat we breathe deeply in and out a few times and then exhale slowly through the nose visualising the twin stream of air as curving outwards and down to enter the body at the base of the spine. The air stream from the left nostril must be visualised as being green in colour and that from the right nostril as being red.
Then, as one inhales visualises the twin stream as rising up the spine to curve over the brain and down to the nostrils.

We visualise the breath in this fashion as moving in a continuous circle with the rhythm of breathing.
Practice this visualisation until it becomes easy.

Now for the meditation.
We sit watching the breath,
visualising its one way orbit for a while.
We then shift our attention to the spine and to the tiny hollow in the centre of the spinal cord, the Susumna.
Our breath entering the base of the spine is now used to enlarge the Susumna.
Each breath rushes up the spine forcing the walls of the tube apart until, after about seven breaths it is seen as a great living pipe wide enough to accomodate a rush of air like the draught of a blast furnace.
With the draught well in hand, we concentrate on the area of the spine just below the navel visualising it as a great ball of fire, which in many ways it is.

We begin by intoning the seed-syllable RAM with each move­ment of the breath, watching the rising blast of air kindle the Navel Centre into an ever widening, white-hot incandescence.
In seven breaths we magnify the area of the Navel Centre into a roaring furnace.

Our attention then moves to the area of the spine behind the breast bone, the Heart Centre, visualising it as a bright star.

In the next seven breaths we lift the fiery blast up the Susumna to swell the Heart Centre as large as we like, intoning the seed­syllable YAM with each breath.

With seven more breaths we raise the flame to the Throat Centre just below and behind the Adam's Apple, expanding its energy all the while whilst breathing the seed-syllable HAM.
For seven more breaths we blast the flame at the flashing opalescence of the Ajna chakra between the eyebrows with the
short syllable A internally resounding with each breath                 .

Then, at its maximum intensity we convert the A into AAUMNG (OM) for three more long breaths as the radiance of the Ajna chakra rises to bathe the brain in golden light.
Relaxed and internally silent we contemplate the result.

Now in the second stage we must bring the high-frequency energy down from the Crown Centre and here we will visualise it falling like a golden shower descending a terraced fountain.
The seed-syllables are now dispensed with.

In three slow breaths the golden shower rains from the head down and around the spine to bathe the Throat Centre.
Spilling over from there it floods the Heart Centre in three more breaths.

Then, in three more breaths the elixir pours down to swell the Navel Centre with a warm golden luminosity, ebbing and flowing with the tide of breath.

To conclude this meditation we can dispense with all counting, and breathing deep and slow we send streams of warm Pran Energy flowing from the Navel Centre, down into the legs and feet and up into the shoulders and arms and hands and fingers. After a little practice of this we can direct streams of life-giving Pran to any part of the anatomy that takes our fancy.

If we are suffering from any internal malady, directing the Pran streams in this fashion to the affected organs is very beneficial to the healing process, for, not only does it bring high vibrational energy to bear upon the disease but it also helps restore the balance of the thought body in the affected area thus providing a sound psychic foundation for normal medical treatment.

Should you be confined to bed and unable to sit up there is no problem. Anyone can practice this meditation lying upon the back or on the side. I have used a variation of this meditation myself when confined to bed and providing the spine is held reasonably straight there is no loss of effectiveness.

The mantric sounds associated with these chakras are thus:
The Navel chakra is RAM
The Heart chakra is YAM
The Throat chakra is HAM

And the Third Eye vibrates with the short A which naturally extends to produce AAAAAUMNG (OM),
thus raising our visualisation to embrace the Crown Centre.
The mantra of Vajrasattva for purification and healing.
We can incorporate this mantra with our breath after first preparing ourselves with a few slow deep breaths, right down to the abdomen; but back straight and shoulders relaxed remember.
Inhaling whilst mentally intoning "Om Vajrasattva", draw in to the throat centre all the suffering in the universe as a dark smoky cloud ... Then breathing out with a slow "Hum" send a stream of enlightened healing from your heart centre out to the world as a golden stream entering into the crown of the head of any sufferer one chooses,(That is how I do it).
Here I introduce some basic Buddhist mantra .. Note, When I am "at it" nobody hears a thing for it is all internal, and very effective that can be.

The mantra of Padmasambhava "the second Buddha", the founding father of Vajrayana "Diamond Path" Tibetan Buddhism.

He is revered by most Northern Buddhists as Jesus is revered by Christians. Devotion to Guru Rinpoche can open us to our Vajrasattva wisdom, the innate intelligence of our own inner (ati) Guru. The shortened powerful mantra OM AH HUM is central to our Guru Yoga.

Here we commence by just watching the breath, and then, when relaxed and alert we can visualise Padmasambhava before us. Slowly we breathe in intoning OM and AH as a stream of white light issuing from between his eyebrows ignite our own Ajna chakra and then red rays from his throat sets our own Visuddha chakra alight. Then, breathing out with a slow HUM a healing blue light shines out from his heart to our own Anahata chackra.

And so we repeat this simple meditational devotion, breathing in, OM(white) AH (red) and then breathing out with a long HUM (blue); our heart centre alive with the blue rays of healing wisdom.

This meditation is the kemel of our tantric devotions and can be repeated at will, even when walking about or doing simple work. This three syllable mantra is most effective for promoting mindfullness, "protecting the mind" as the Tibetans say.

As one becomes accustomed to this routine one can attempt to visualise the Tibetan symbols of Om (white) Ah (red) and Hum(blue) in the Ajna, Visuddha and nahata chakras respectively; should this prove too difficult at first there is no need for concem as the combination of mantric sound and colour rays is more than enough.

In time this practice will result in a deep intuitional relisation of the Trikaya the three bodies, the Trinity of realised mind; The Dharmakaya body of truth (Nirvana, Death) , the Sambhogakaya, the body of inspiration(Speech and ideas) and the Nirmanakaya the body of all accomplishing wisdom where human Buddha activities are seen as joyfull play.
Such simple devotions can completely change our tortured trammelled idea of human existence.
It has been written that meditating upon the syllable'A' is a champion way to realise emptiness, but it also is of great significance in that it is, and must be, the last outpost of meditation conditioned by concentration upon form and internal sound.

Having moved warily into the tantras by way of Zen with no encumbrances whatever, I find it a useful last stepping stone before moving into the natural land of pure contemplation, mindfullness or no mind, which is living Zen or, to be brutal, real meditation. Fortunately we are working with Dzogchen which frankly, is one of the few tantras which impress me, being, in fact, no tantra at all.
This is the end of my road of "method" meditation and a very simple one.
Visualise a green 'A', either Tibetan or English, at the throat centre. A brilliant emerald green the colour of Amogadhisi, the meditational Buddha of All Accomplishing Wisdom and Green Tara his missus, the mother of all Buddhas. Ah is the syllable of Amogasiddhi whom all Kagyu Buddhists aspire to emulate.

Our visualised 'A' is seen against a white lotus and radiates a rainbow nimbus.With our breaths we can expand the 'A' gradually to embrace the whole universe and then slowly diminishing back to nothing and then vanishing. We can do this with our eyes open or shut or if preferred we can visualise the 'A' at arms length in front.

Having vanished the 'A' we can continue with just the inner sound of 'A' in perfect time and at one with the tidal movement of gentle breath. At the same time we make it a musical mantra sounding a note for the inward breath and one a fourth above it for the outward breath, say G to C or 0 to G etc. That is a perfect fourth, a perfect musical resolution, and this sound at one with the breath can point the way to (U' perfect resolution.
If we find ourselves tiring of meditational "effort" we can just give up, forget about breath or anything else and merely rest for a while resting alert and content to BE.
At these times we could find ourselves Mindless, Mindfull and really Meditating.
Whoever is seeing God by ways
is finding ways and losing God, who in ways is hidden, But whoever seeks for God without ways
Will find him as he is in Hmself.
Meister Eckhart