1—Relax and Be Aware
The first instruction I give to a yogi who is new
to this practice is to relax and be aware; to not have
any expectations or to control the experience; and not
to focus, concentrate or penetrate. Instead what
I encourage him or her to do is observe,
watch, and be aware.
YOGI: What exactly does it mean to be relaxed?
SUT: Feeling relaxed is really about being free of expecta-
tion and anxiety. You can only be totally relaxed when
the mind is free of craving or aversion. Wanting to be
relaxed or trying to become relaxed will only
make you even tense.
3—This Heart-Mind Must Be Relaxed
This heart-mind is very important. It
has to be relaxed, at ease, and comfort-
able, then it can do its best.
4—“Am I Relaxed Right Now?”
To be relaxed and in the right frame of mind is of
prime importance. Everything else comes later. To
recognize whether or not you are in the right frame
of mind is more important than experiencing
peaceful states or having a "good sit."
5—Observe in a Relaxed Way
Meditating is acknowledging and observing
whatever happens—whether pleasant or un-
pleasant—in a relaxed way.
6—Relax. Observe. Learn.
Relax. Observe. Learn.
7—Why Relaxation Must Come First
Once you know how to relax, you become
sensitive to your own needs. You will then
know when you are using energy unnec-
essarily, and also learn to conserve
8—How to Practice in a Relaxed Way
In order to be able to practice continuous-
ly, you just need to keep reminding yourself
to be aware. This right effort will allow you
to practice in a relaxed way, free of tension.
9—If You Are Tense, Watch the Tension
It is important that you regularly check whether
you are relaxed or tense. If you don't, you will not
be aware whether you are relaxed or getting tense.
When you find yourself tense, watch the tension.
You cannot practice when the mind is tense.
10—Any Tension Indicates a Defilement
Any tension is an indication that you are developing
some defilement. Either you are wanting something,
disliking something, or you are feeling confused about
something. Fear, anxiety, or any kind of defilement
brings tension to the mind, so check this often.
11—If You Lose the Desire to Meditate
If you lose the desire to meditate or feel you do
not know how to meditate, do not panic. Do not
try to make yourself meditate. Just remind your-
self to relax. The desire to meditate will naturally
come back after a while. Trying hard will
just make things worse.
12—Become Even More Relaxed
If you are continuously aware of your state of
relaxation you will become even more relaxed.
13—Learn How to Be Comfortable
If you can't observe, don't force yourself to do it.
Learn how to relax, how to be comfortable first.
14—Relaxation is Not Wanting
You want to be relaxed. Is the meditating mind
unbiased, open and honest? When the mind doesn't
want anything or is not dissatisfied with anything,
it's cool and has the right view. It sees nature as
nature. Awareness becomes continuous.
15—Practice in a Relaxed Way
When you put in too much effort to be mindful,
you will spend your energy too quickly and there-
fore you will not be able to maintain mindfulness
throughout the day. If you practice in a relaxed
way, you will conserve energy and be able
to practice for long periods of time.
16—Balance Relaxation With Interest
The balance you have to find is the balance between
relaxation and interest. Interest is using wisdom; there
is a wisdom quality to interest. People usually try to find
the balance between effort and relaxation by using more
or less effort. But if the mind is interested in knowing
something, effort is already present.
17—Sit Back, Relax, and Watch
Mindfulness meditation can be compared to
watching a movie. You sit back, relax and watch.
The storyline of what you are watching
will naturally unfold.
18—If There is Resistance, Feel It
In sitting meditation both the mind and body should
be comfortable. Keep checking whether you are relax-
ed or not. If there is tension, first relax, then check
your attitude. If there is resistance, feel the resist-
ance and observe it. Be simple and just watch.
19—A Surefire Check for True Relaxation
If you are aware of your facial sensations you will
will be able to know whether you are relaxed or not.
When you are focusing too much it will show on
your face. When a person is really relaxed, the
face is very clear, soft and calm.
20—To See Things Clearly, Relax
The more you try to see something, the less clear-
ly you can see it. Only when you are relaxed can
you see things as they are. Those who don't try
to look for anything, see more.
21—The Wise Mind Makes Adjustments
Don't be too anxious about your practice. The mind
needs to be able to adjust accordingly, walking the
middle road between too much and too little effort.
The wise mind makes adjustments as needed.
22—Keep Reminding Yourself to Relax
Learn to watch anger or resistance, tension or
discomfort in your mind. If necessary, alternate
between checking your feelings and the attitude
behind your resistance. Keep reminding your-
self to relax the mind and the body.
23—Your Responsibility is Only This
Your only responsibility is only to maintain
awareness moment-to-moment, in a
relaxed way and with interest.
24—Bring Relaxation to your Speech
When you learn to talk with awareness in a relaxed
manner, mindful of your intentions, your way
of talking will become less emotional.
25—To Deal With Pain Skillfully, Try This
To deal with pain skillfully, try this:
From the moment you start feeling
pain, no matter how weak it is,
check your mind and body for
tension, and relax.
26—The Relaxed Mind Feels Less Pain
There is a direct link between your state
of mind and pain. The more relaxed and
calm the observing mind, the less intense
you will perceive the pain to be.
27—Is the Mind Relaxed While Eating?
There's a certain high feeling that accompanies
the desire to eat. Awareness is either very weak
or not present in the presence of this strong
eagerness. How is the mind while you are eat-
ing? Is it relaxed? Check regularly that you
are not eating with eagerness.
28—Don’t Try Hard to Look for Awareness
Don't try hard to look for awareness; relax
and see that is is already there.
29—Is the Mind Relaxed? Keep Checking.
Start with awareness of any object. As you maintain
awareness, keep checking the mind. What is the mind
aware of? When it is aware, is the mind at ease or
not? Is it relaxed? What is the attitude in
the mind? Keep checking.
30—Right Now, Can You Feel Your Feet?
Right now, are you aware of your posture? Are
you aware of your hands? Can you feel your feet?
Notice how little energy or effort you need to know
any of this. That is all the energy you need to remain
aware. But remember, you need to do this all day.
31—Practice in a Relaxed Way, But Don't Stop
Practice in a relaxed way, but don't stop practicing.