Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Been busy.

Got to attend a 3-day meditation workshop with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, which is yet another example of my life moving in these complete circles, because it was his Joyful Wisdom that I listened to in my car as I drove to Minnesota last year with all of my belongings, taking deep breaths the whole way and promising myself it was a good move.

Oh, it was.

And so it was really an honor to get to sit with Rinpoche, who is hilarious and silly and awake. I’ve been meditating for a long time, and I’ve read countless books and attended retreats and workshops in a variety of traditions, but his instructions really unlocked something inside me.

He put a flower behind his head and asked us to look at the flower for a few moments. Then, he said, “Close your eyes but hold the image of the flower in front of you.”

We did.

He said, “That is seeing with your mind, but without your eyes.

“Now,” he continued, “Open your eyes. Look at the flower. But think about something that is bothering you–something that will distract your mind easily.”

We did.

He said, “That is seeing with your eyes, but without your mind.

“Meditation is seeing with both your eyes and your mind.”

And just like that, this wonderful teacher whose English is still fairly spotty was able to sum up the condition of the meditative act in a way that I’ve never heard before. Other teachers will say: “As you take a breath in, think to yourself ‘I am taking a breath in.'” Etc. Which is the same idea, but that instruction has always encouraged my inner narrator to cling to language as a way of being aware of my experience.

But all you have to do is see. Such loveliness all around.

*Those pictures are not from this retreat. They are from a seminar in 2009; I stole them from the Rinpoche’s facebook fan page.

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