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  1. Hello, This is a summary of "How to" notes that I have compiled from various books/sources on meditation. Most specifically the "Natural State" or "Ordinary Mind" form the Tibetan Mahamudra practice. While it is based on the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism it is also identical to the Japanese Zen tradition of Soto where the state of Shikantaza is practiced. Shikantaza is also known as "Serene Reflection" or "Silent Illumination" from the Caodong (Chinese version of soto zen) School. Essentially Mahamudra and Shikantaza are paths of enlightenment in and of themselves. Enlightened states of non-attaining, and non-thought, uncontrived states of mind. Sometimes they are known as the culmination of Shamatha and Vispashyana, but from the Buddhist world they are their own entity and beast. As Tibetans refer to this state as the The true nature of the mind, original face, natural state, etc. These act as mindfulness guides that can be implemented in sitting, walking, or activity through out the day to help stabilize one in the natural state of Mahamudra or Shikantaza: Attention Revolution (Alan Wallace) Let your mind be like the sky The sky never reacts It doesn't stop anything from moving through it It doesn't hold onto anything that's present nor does it control anything Whatever thoughts or mental images arise, you simply observe them Without distraction and without grasping Without being either attracted or repulsed by them Just let them be Instead of letting thoughts go, you let them be Don't prefer one kind of thought to another Don't even prefer the absence of thoughts to the presence of thoughts They are not the problem Being distracted by and grasping onto thoughts is the problem Let the space of awareness remain as expansive as possible When thoughts arise, let them play out their course Regardless of their nature or duration It is crucial to observe the movement of thoughts without intervention Mahamudra Teaching (Garchen Rinpoche) Stay just with your thought as it rises, so as to not give it form, or side with the thought as good, bad, or any reference. When mindful of giving form to thought or mental happening, just let your mind relax. Don't investigate further (This is to not attach to it). We establish this view of "nothing to see, nothing to objectify, nothing to project. We imbue this view with certainty Don't get discouraged Simply do not follow after the thoughts Don't make any commentary on the thought, let it rise then dissolve As any thought arises, you just see it Any conceptual thought that arises has no any essence No essence at all There is nothing to follow Not rejecting the suffering, not attaching to the happiness Whatever comes let it come, just sustain the Mahamudra Clarifying the Natural State: Dakpo Tashi Namgyal Undistractedly maintain the natural state of your mind with a naturally aware presence, no matter how it is or what is perceived or felt. Continue the practice with unbound ease without pinpointing whatever is experienced Take care not to stray into intellectual analysis, thoughtless calm, savoring a meditative experience or hankering after the ensuing certainty. Do not entertain any ambitions about what should or should not be cultivated by meditating. Do not be happy when calm or unhappy when thoughts move; rather, relax your attention loosely. Do not inhibit one thing while promoting another. Leave your attention as it naturally is – relaxed and free. Zazen Instructions (Global soto-zen.net) Do not concentrate on any particular object or control your thought. When various thoughts arise in your mind, do not become caught up by them or struggle with them; Neither pursue nor try to escape from them. Just leave your thoughts alone, allowing them to come up and go away freely. The essential thing in doing zazen is to awaken from distraction and dullness and return to the right posture moment by moment. Rules for Meditation from Dogen (FUKANZAZENGI) Cut all ties, give up everything Think of neither good nor evil, consider neither right nor wrong Control mind function, will, consciousness, memory, perception and understanding You must not strive thus to become Buddha