Advertised as the most advanced of all meditation techniques, Dzogchen meditation is perhaps even more simple than first appears.
I absolutely fell in love with the Dzogchen style of looking at the world — and with the Sky Gazing practice in particular. So much so that I wrote an album entitled Sky Gazing.
Yet, the way of Dzogchen has a simple and very direct and its power is profound and very natural in a sense.
So, let's get into the practice. This practice may be repeated again and again as an effective method of gaining strength, balance, happiness, and other positive feelings.
For those that don’t know, the term Dzogchen is usually translated as “The Great Perfection” or “The Great Completion”.
This sort of implies that this is the last practice you'll ever need to do.
In order to develop the way of seeing correctly, we have to develop concentration and understanding into what we are actually doing.
Dzogchen is about watching all change, inside and out, as one ever-present phenomenon. There is no separation from anything.
The reason then we pick the sky is that it acts as a great metaphor for this insight — as well as it is very helpful for the mind to settle into the practice.
Fixating on the sky really does help quell the mind and bring a sense of open, inner expansion to ourselves.
Take a seat and gaze out onto the sky on a clear day.
Try to align your vision so you really can't see anything else but the sky.
Watch the sky and feel all the phenomena in the mind and body.
Watch it like you are watching the waves of the sea — you see it the very changing form of things in the world, watching the very nature of mind and consciousness. Observe the utter stillness.
Watch the light and color of the sky, watch the wisps of clouds, watch as they chance shape. Keep in sight the sun or the moon, don't focus on them directly but if they are in your field of vision, hold them in your sight.
Observe the song of the birds or the rumble of the thunder.
Observe the sounds of the people talking or children playing. If you are near a road or in a city observe the sounds of that too.
Immerse yourself into the beauty of the sky and feel your mind become as expansive as the sky.
You are the world and are really not separate from what you see. You are the inner vision of many worlds and many minds, and there are hundreds of thousands of such worlds.
This is the mirror of the experience of how it is.
When you are awake in meditation you should look deeply and attentively at the inner vision and then become aware of the content of your mind, and then see the wisdom and truth in all that is.
You can also meditate on your breath. Feel your breath come and go as you watch the sky move.
Feel the sensations in the body as you see the clouds drift around or break apart.
When you are awake in meditation you should also meditate on what you know as “intent.”
Intent is the knowledge of how to abide.
It is the know-how and the gift of the great disciples. They stood still as streams, they walked softly as clouds, they called the wind, they called the seed, they called the tree, and they called the fish. They created an exquisite way of living.
They understood the Dharma and the power of this knowledge. They knew the Dharma perfectly and they used it to liberate all beings. When you meditate on the ten different experiences of abiding, you create your own unique experience of abiding.
Once you get concentrated,your whole universe becomes a bright sphere of light and you can literally visualize everything that you see.
For example, to meditate on a whole tree, we have to imagine all its parts: leaf, stem, roots, bark, branches and leaves, and all its other facets.
It is a continuous process but it can get very intense because your awareness is deeply engaged in this mental process.
Once you are totally absorbed in this process, the whole universe seems to be made out of light and for this reason, meditators are not allowed to look at the surroundings too often because there are elements of stress involved in this situation.
I personally always practice the meditation in the morning or the evening because one needs the sunlight to calm the mind and make it receptive for the meditation process.
After such a meditation, people report feeling light and free from stress.