“Heaven & Earth” Meditation

One of the often-stated goals of meditation is to feel ourselves as one with the universe, rather than our usual, illusory image of ourselves as a closed body-system. Unfortunately, standard meditation postures only serve to strengthen this illusion: we sit with legs crossed, arms folded across our bodies, bodies bent at the waist.

Try this as an occasional supplement to your usual meditation routine: on a nice day, find a grassy hillside, lie down on your back, and open up. Spread your legs apart, open your arms wide with palms up, open your mouth slightly, and let your whole body relax into the ground. Breathe in through your nose and out through your relaxed mouth. Feel the sun’s rays entering the palms of your hands, the earth’s energy entering your body from below. Let the false boundaries that your mind and ego have placed around you melt away……….. You are one with the earth and all on it, one with the universe.

As a variation, try a nighttime meditation. Wait for a clear night (make sure you’re dressed warmly) and find a nice spot to lie and just relax, looking up at the stars and feeling the energies of all those countless suns entering you. There are no false boundaries – you realize that the heavens are within you; you are within them. This is the experience of Thusness. You are one with infinity.

Try these meditations out and see what you think. Let me know your reactions; you can e-mail me at xiaobaiyun@whitecloudbuddhism.org.