Discovering Magic

 

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The way experience one’s state of being is simply to relax. In this case relaxation is quite different from the setting-sun idea of flopping or taking time off, entertaining yourself with a good vacation. Relaxation here refers to relaxing the mind, letting go of the anxiety and concepts and depression that normally bind you. In meditation you are neither “for” nor “against” your experience. That is, you don’t praise some thoughts and condemn others, but you take an unbiased approach. You let things be as they are, without judgment, and in that way you yourself learn to be, to express your existence, directly, non-conceptually.

If you are able to relax—relax to a cloud by looking at it, relax to a drop of rain and experience its genuineness—you can see the unconditionality of reality, which remains very simply in things as they are, very simply. When you are able to look at things without saying, “This is for me or against me, I can go along with this”, or “I cannot go along with this,” then you are experiencing a state of wisdom.

You may see a fly buzzing: you may see a snowflake; you may see ripples of water; you may see a black widow spider. You may see anything, but you can actually look at all of those things with simple and ordinary, but appreciative, perception.

You experience a vast realm of perceptions unfolding. There is unlimited sound, unlimited sight, unlimited taste, unlimited feeling and so on. The realm of perception is limitless, so limitless that perception itself is primordial, unthinkable, beyond thought. There are so many perceptions that they are beyond imagination. There are a vast number of sounds. There are sounds that you have never heard. There are sights and colors that you have never seen. There are feelings that you have never experienced before. There are endless fields of perception.

Normally, we limit the meaning of perceptions…in other words, we fit what we see into a comfortable or familiar scheme. We shut any vastness or possibilities of deeper perception out of our hearts by fixating on our own interpretation of phenomena. But it is possible to go beyond personal interpretation, to let vastness into our hearts through the medium of perception. We always have a choice: We can limit our perception so that we close off vastness, or we can allow vastness to touch us.

When we draw down the power and depth of vastness into a single perception, then we are discovering and invoking magic. By magic we do not mean unnatural power over the phenomenal world, but rather the discovery of innate or primordial wisdom in the world as it is.

Chögyam Trungpa from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

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