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Resting in our true nature.

Resting in our true nature.

Modern life insulates us from the natural world. Despite the comfort and luxury of our current lifestyle, we often find ourselves boarded up in houses, caged to our responsibilities, secured in a life of isolation. Like caged animals, we long for the feeling of aliveness and to experience the rawness of nature.

Our true nature is our natural mode of being. Strip away the obfuscations of habitual tendencies, cultural conditioning, and the confusion of the ego, and you will recover the raw, alert, genuine ground of your being. Our practice fosters this process of going back to our nature, or a sort of rewilding, to discover the qualities and features of our true nature.

One of the meditation practices that I teach for resting in the natural state is called the Three Immovables: immovable body, immovable gaze, immovable awareness.

Immovable Body

Body like a mountain.

In an effort to reclaim our true nature, first we must head out into the wilderness. Mountains have long been a destination for spiritual practice, and "body like a mountain" captures the significance of our intention.

Mountains are unwavering, steadfast, awe inspiring. Their presence engenders a natural dignity and timelessness. Our own body in meditation posture has these same qualities. Our posture in unmoving, steady, and beautiful. There is a natural grace and dignity to sitting in equipoise.

Sitting in this way, even the smallest movement can seem like a seismic shift in our being. Moving a finger might send a ripple of thought or feelings reverberating through your mind. Relaxing your shoulders might signify a profound letting go and relaxing into the immediacy of your experience.

The breath, naturally inhaling and exhaling, is experienced like a subtle breeze or the gentle sway of trees or grass. Stagnating energy or tightness can be moved with the breath, breathing in and letting go, relaxing further into the natural mode of being.

Body, immovable like a mountain, we become alert and aware of the unceasing play of sensations and perceptions of our body and the world around us. We reclaim the aliveness and vividness of our lived experience.

Immovable Gaze

Gaze like a lion.

The lion is the king of its world. The lion's gaze steady and unwavering. It is one of presence, confidence, mastery.

It is said that the gaze of a dog follows the stick, whereas the gaze of the lion stays with the thrower. The lion's gaze is perceptive, but not reactive. The focus is not on the variety of appearances, but on their source.

Resting in the natural state, our eyes are open and our gaze steady. The gaze is open, like we are looking out over a mountain valley, and yet steady, resting naturally without an objective focus.

Initially, the gaze can give rise to sensitivity and irritation in the eyes, since we are not used to being so present with the reality of our experience. Gradually, the eyes will become more comfortable and the impulse to blink frequently opens up into unwavering presence.

Immovable Awareness

Awareness like space.

Mind itself is like space, in which the various appearances of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and sense phenomena float through like clouds. Clouds don't obscure the sky, they adorn the sky. We experience the illusory play of reality within the wide-open presence of our awareness, which is like space.

Space has no center or limit. It is accommodating and encompassing. It includes and transcends everything within its sphere. Being no thing, anything at all can arise, and does. Whatever manifests appears in its own place, without being subject to manipulation or fabrication. Like the tracks of a bird through the sky, everything naturally plays itself out in a state of ever-present freedom.

Letting go of all attachment and fixation with the contents of our experience, we rest in the natural state, a spacious field of awareness in which the duality of observer and observed disappears. There is only the single field of genuine presence, in which the abundance of life it expressed as the immediacy of being.

Body like a mountain.
Gaze like a lion.
Awareness like space.
Rest in the natural state of ever-present, spacious awareness, your true nature.