The natural state of consciousness

Meditation is the foundation of teaching at Tiger’s Nest, and its purpose is to become more awake and aware. Meditation is the natural state of consciousness, and all the training, the many years on the meditation cushion, are primarily about removing what stands in the way of consciousness’s natural contact with itself. It is fundamentally very simple, but everyone who has tried knows that it is also a long and demanding journey.

The meditative, awake state does not appear to be anything special, and there is not much to report from there. But there is an intense fullness of life that feels meaningful, and without which the soul cannot thrive once it has tasted it – or has strong inklings of it. Wakefulness is emptiness, silence, presence. Therefore, from the perspective of the self or ego, it feels empty, lonely, boring, meaningless, useless, unproductive, and not at all appealing. And the ego is right because it is the ego’s own life at stake. Therefore, the ego will always recommend other interests and activities. As long as thoughts and emotions are noisy, there is only momentary peace, so one can ask oneself:

  • Where does my ego hold on particularly tightly?
  • What is especially important for me to control?
  • Where does my desire stand in the way?
  • What is my greatest fear?

Having a self or an ego is necessary to navigate our culture and society, and a strong, healthy, viable, and developed ego is a wonderful thing. It is one of the tasks throughout life. But advanced meditation is about minimizing the ego. This does not mean that it becomes a small, withered thing, but that you know when to use it and when it should step aside.

Dew Drop Meditation

At Tiger’s Nest, the advanced meditation is called Dew Drop Meditation. All advanced meditation draws from the same source of consciousness, but the names vary depending on time, culture, and religion. Therefore, one cannot judge a meditation by its name. Instead, one should look at the connection to the source that its practitioners have. Advanced meditation arises from—and is the path to—unity consciousness and emptiness. Dew Drop Meditation is a beautiful name, showing the connection between meditation and nature. Meditation is nature! It is the natural state of consciousness.

At the same time, the name indicates that the glimpses into advanced meditation are fleeting and easy to overlook—like dewdrops on an early autumn morning in nature. To appreciate them, you must pause, be present for a moment, and enjoy nature’s beauty and richness. Dewdrops are like diamonds on even the smallest, crooked bush and a random tuft of grass. They do not only settle in particularly splendid places. No, if given the chance, they will settle on both you and me.

Advanced meditation works on the liberation of consciousness. Your own consciousness’s liberation—and that of all other people. Therefore, the practice involves not only the individual’s learning process and suffering. Collective tasks must have just as much space in your spiritual practice.