Sometimes our mindfulness becomes too focused, too squeezed. Squeezed attention, right? When you focus too much on mindfulness, actually that can sometimes be counterproductive.

When you think too much about not making a mistake, that’s when you make more mistakes, right? Do you remember writing with pen and paper in the old days? Or on the typewriter? Now we can just hit Delete on our keyboard and it’s easy, but back then it was a lot of trouble to correct your handwritten, or typed, mistake.

The more we think, “Oh, I need to be mindful!” the more we focus narrowly and tightly. And when you squeeze your attention and try so hard, sometimes that is counterproductive.

Mindfulness calls for a sense of relaxation. There needs to be some sense of balance in our mindfulness practice.

Some meditation traditions, such as the Tibetan tradition, even say that the one and only thing you really need is relaxation. They say that if you can relax, that’s enough. But can you imagine totally relaxing? Relaxing 100% is almost not possible, right?

Read the full article on Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s website  

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The Paramita of Prajñā — with Mitra Karl Brunnhölzl

Prajñā does not refer to passive knowledge, such as knowing stuff on Wikipedia or knowing how to get from Vancouver to Halifax. Prajñā is the active inquisitiveness of our mind, its basic curiosity of wanting to find out how things really are. If we look at the Buddha’s own career, this is exactly how he started. He did not start with the answers or by following some religion, tradition, or code of behaviour. He started with questions. As Prince Siddhārtha he lived in his sheltered existence in the palace of his parents, who wished to protect him from the bad world (as most parents do). However, eventually he got out with his charioteer and saw things he had never seen before, such as an old person. He asked his charioteer, “What is that?” “This is an old person.” “Does this happen to everyone?” “Yes, even to you.” The same exchange took place when Siddhārtha saw a dying person and a sick person. When he finally saw a meditator under a tree, the charioteer explained, “This guy tries to overcome all the problems that you saw before.” Every time, Siddhārtha realized, “I do not really know what is going on here,” so he tried to find out, which is now known as the Buddhist path.

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