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  • Daniel Rodman

Sky Meditation

Updated: Jun 27, 2019

The sky can be so profound and beautiful that it can be the basis of deep meditation. I would like to describe different ways we can meditate on the sky. The first is when the sky is somewhat clear of all clouds. This great vastness is used in Tibetan Buddhist practice to help us recognize the vastness of our own minds. Just like our minds, the sky can be full of dark clouds or light clouds, of negative or positive thoughts. However, the sky itself is always pure and spacious allowing anything to arise in it without bias. So too is our minds. The very nature of our minds is clear and pure and vast like the clear sky, completely non-judgmental to anything that comes and goes in it. Like this should be our understanding of our own minds. When we look at the clear sky we reflect on its limitless, vast, pure, and unbiased nature, thereby knowing our own limitless, vast, pure, and unbiased nature.

The second way to meditate on the sky is to notice how the clouds are all in a constant state of flow and change. This state of constant flux teaches us impermanence, not just on a long-term level like we are aware of for most solid things, but on a short term, moment to moment level. This is called momentary impermanence. The clouds show this nature but through them we can realize that literally everything has momentary impermanence. We believe ourselves to be a stuck, unchanging entity and that things around us are stuck and unchanging, when in reality everything is changing even on the atomic level. Even our experience is always taking in new information every new moment. All things have momentary impermanence, which allows us to let go of them as being permanent, but also appreciate them while they're here. The clouds infuse their teaching of impermanence in us when we meditate on them, and we are better for it.

The final way I will describe how to meditate on the clouds is to reflect on their divine nature. Especially on nice days and/or at sunset, the clouds are the brushstrokes of a divine work of art, with every part and movement echoing the divine nature and teaching us the meaning of the divine. By divine I mean the transcendent intelligence and meaning that we are able to know deep within us, and in the things we recognize in the world as having the same meaning. The clouds may be in repeating patterns, long and enormous shapes, or cute and sweet. They all inspire only virtue in our minds, that the meaning of the clouds could be the purity and vastness and boldness of our own thoughts and feelings. From them I am eternally inspired, and always find the beauty of the clouds to be a refuge in difficult times. Through them I am always a reminder of the divine inspiration of all things. This type of appreciation and meditation can be applied to other natural beauties like the wind, the ocean, the mountains, the forests, animals, and then people. May you come to know what the sky has to offer us, with all its richness and beauty, that you may come to take the sky as your teacher, always telling stories of the meaning of life, here and in the beyond.

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