Book Excerpt

Our Pristine Mind: Cruising Altitude

By Orgyen Chowang

Excerpted From Our Pristine Mind: A Practical Guide to Unconditional Happiness by Orgyen Chowang © 2016 by Orgyen Chowang. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

Cruising Altitude

When we transcend mental events by practicing Pristine Mind meditation, it is like reaching cruising altitude in an airplane. There is no turbulence whatsoever in our mind. We are free from disturbance and distraction, flying in a pristine state, completely serene, tranquil, and majestic. We effortlessly maintain that pristine state that is who we really are when we are not distracted by mental events.

An airplane can sometimes smoothly cruise for hours in the sky. Similarly, we have that same kind of experience when we become proficient in our meditation. For twenty minutes there is no turbulence in our mind, there are no mental events. It is a completely boundless, buoyant, and fulfilling experience. That is what it is like to remain in our natural state, our Pristine Mind.

Remaining in our natural state, remaining present, is not a blank or vacant state of nothingness, nor is it dull. We do not shut down our senses. In fact, we have the opposite experience. When we rest in Pristine Mind, we are much clearer and more present than when we are dwelling on mental events. We feel vibrant.

It is when we are dwelling on mental events that we are not present. They distract us from any deep and vivid experience of the present moment. To some extent we ordinarily do not really know what is going on around us. But while we rest in the present moment, we are aware of everything that goes on in the space we are in. We are not caught up in those things; we are just aware of them.

Meditation is not a dull or trancelike state, not a blank or unconscious state, and it’s definitely not sleep. These are the opposite of the meditation experience. Instead, in Pristine Mind meditation we feel the freedom to be in that moment, free from all entanglements of mind, free from all distortions, elaborations, and contrivances. It creates a very relaxed, open experience. We are more present and able to live very comfortably in the present moment.

Even if we do not seek enlightenment, if we just want to feel happiness and joy and connect well with other people, Pristine Mind meditation is the best method. To connect with ourselves comfortably, or connect with other people with compassion and ease, we must first clean up the distortions of our mind. This is the function of Pristine Mind meditation.

Meditation is the best way we can improve ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If we want to enhance our life, there are many different ways we can try to do it, but the real miracle for transforming our life is meditation.

Without meditation, our mind is always in “ego mode,” and it is never relaxed. If we want to have a beautiful and comfortable mind, if we want to present ourselves beautifully and comfortably to the rest of the world, we need to practice meditation. The more we remain in the meditation experience, the easier it is for us to connect with other people, and the more comfortable other people feel around us. The more disturbed our mind is, the more things we are worried about, the more we dwell on difficulties, then the more uncomfortable we become no matter what the circumstances. All of these problems that result from our undisciplined mental events can be remedied by meditating properly.

Please join Orygen Chowang Rinpoche June 21 – June 23, 2019, at the Garrison Institute “Pristine Mind Meditation: Awakening the Enlightenment Within You,” a guided, experiential meditation retreat. To register, please click here.

Photo by Avery Steadman on Unsplash

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