Teaching: Alan draws parallels between settling the mind and mindfulness of breathing.
In settling the mind, in principle, being present with all mental arisings sufficient for the mind to undo its knots and heal itself. Don’t be the agent of thoughts! Sustain flow of mindfulness without distraction, without grasping. In reality, we grasp, and there are knots we cannot seem to undo on our own. In such instances, we may benefit from the counsel of spiritual friends and putting them into practice. The mind’s ability to heal itself remains the substantial cause.
In mindfulness of breathing, being present with the space of the body, truly letting the breath settle in its natural rhythm without preference, should be sufficient for the prana system to sort itself out. Don’t be the agent of the breath! We must release rumination at every out breath. In reality, we may encounter blockages which are not releasing themselves. Similarly, we may benefit from the help of spiritual friends. In the end, the body and mind have capacities to heal themselves if we get out of the way.
Meditation: mindfulness of breathing. Let the healing agent awareness illuminate the space of the body. Settle the respiration in its natural rhythm. Relax deeply with every out breath, neither retaining nor expelling the breath. Utterly release rumination with each out breath. Release all concerns about the past and future, and let the present suffice. Let awareness come to stillness. When the breath is long, know that it is long. When the breath is short, know that it is short.
In post-meditation, maintain an ongoing flow of mindfulness of breathing to keep rumination from throwing the whole system out of balance.
Meditation starts at 28:26