So, then -- a few words.
Nothing you can do, in the context of implementing spiritual instruction, is more important than ordinary relaxation.
Seems like a surprising, or incomplete statement, but this is something I want you to think about.
What I call "ordinary" comes after dissolving the tension of expectation that seems to trouble so many practitioners. Often, one is practicing "for" or "about" something. All sorts of back and forth reflection. Way, too much busy business. Nothing natural about this at all.
What is ordinary, is uncontrived.
One day you are staring out a window. You are not thinking about anything at all. It is an effortless, unplanned pause in your life. There is silence, and stillness. Maybe, you could even get up and walk outside, no purpose in mind. The interlude would stay with you.
Then, suddenly, on an errant sun ray, all of the books, the lectures, the pujas blend with ear-whispered instruction, and a lotus blooms in unmolested silence, according to its nature.
Things come to a complete stop.
Maybe, it was a line you read. Maybe, it was something somebody said. Maybe, it was something your teacher told you. Maybe, it was all of these, disposed of at last.
That instant has nothing to do with Buddhism. You might even laugh. You are no longer doing something in order to do something.
There is considerable clarity.
So, that is what I mean by ordinary relaxation.
Any relaxation short of that is artificial.
So, that is one thing I want to say. The other thing I want to say is about beginning where you are right this minute.
Let's go back to you staring out a window.
This has to be accompanied by an immense, truly all-encompassing comfort with where you happen to be at the moment. Even this is a concrete jail cell, you can still have this. Or, maybe a hotel room somewhere, in a different kind of custody.
Being wholesomely in tune with where you find yourself therefore becomes a vital step toward the natural arising of ordinary relaxation.
The message in both cases is, "Stop." Stop striving, stop arguing with your own space, and give yourself enough time to let things naturally unfold.
Neither ordinary relaxation nor being adept with immediacy are "acquired" states of being in that once achieved, one suddenly occupies a continuous status. Normally, they are experienced in samples. In spontaneously arising slices.
In moments, and you know, every moment holds every possibility.
Consider well, then, the very last moment of breath, and remember Padmasambhava.
May it be auspicious