If you wish to cultivate absolute stillness and clarity of mind, right here and now, sit down and imagine yourself on a peaceful shore or by a tranquil lake. If the mind is a snow globe whirling with thoughts, images, memories, and inchoate feelings, then the winds of internal energy and self-seeking—analyzing, evaluating, pushing and pulling, based on likes and dislikes—are what keep it stirred up and the snowstorm in motion, obscuring the inner landscape. Let the snow globe of your heart and mind settle by relaxing, breathing deeply a few times, and releasing all the tension, preoccupations, and concerns you’ve been carrying—at least for the moment. Let the gentle tide of breath carry it all away like the ocean’s waves, like a waterfall washing your heart, mind, and spirit clean, pure, and bright.

Now turn the spotlight, the searchlight, inward. Rest loosely and naturally in the innate state of ease and natural being. Notice the space between thoughts, beneath thoughts—the preconceptual—as everything settles and slows down, and inner clarity and peace emerge from within. Rest at the origin of all things, the dawn of creation, prior to, yet ready for, whatever wishes, wants, and needs spring into being. Suppressing nothing, indulging in nothing, free from being carried away by chains of discursive thinking. Rest in it, become it, be it. Nothing more is needed.

It may take a while for you to reach this inner place of utter calm and quietude, the still center of the turning wheel of your universe, but let me assure you it is right there, right here, now and always.

From Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now by Lama Surya Das © 2011. Reprinted with permission of HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers.

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