Meditation: sky gazing
There is a Tibetan meditation practice called Sky Gazing that the Dalai Lama is practicing daily regardless of the weather.
It is considered as one of the highest forms of mindfulness meditation because it is helping us to discover our state of pure consciousness or awareness liberated from our conceptual, judgmental thinking, emotional turmoil and the illusion of being just a material entity.
Research done in psychology has also shown that when we are using our 5 senses in communicating with nature, we improve our serenity by reducing stress, removing conceptual thinking and making us more aware of our interconnectedness with everything in the universe.
For example, being one with a clear blue sky, even for few seconds or minutes is the closest experience of what is this natural state of pure awareness or non analytical consciousness looks like.
How to do it?
Sky gazing can be done during the day or night, when the sky is blue or even over casted.
Practice only for few minutes.
Assume a comfortable meditative posture outside either sitting or lying down.
Look outward at the sky w/o staring specifically at something.
Observe it as it is w/o any analytic thinking, w/o judgment, w/o decision. Just let go thoughts and feelings.
To rest your eyes, close them once a while and visualize what you are watching. The effect is the same.
What will be your experience?
You will discover the stillness, quietness, emptiness, limitless and everlasting of the sky.
You will experience the interconnection between the sky as proxy of the universe and you.
This “spiritual experience” will unlock the door in the discovery of your True Self because both – universe and you - are identical forming a single entity.
No more boundaries. No more conceptual mind. Your material self is fading away at least temporally.
How can it be?
As Zen said, you realize that your mind-body is part of the universe and the universe is part of your
mind-body. You are not anymore a perceived transient material self-entity, unique, independent and separate.
Some technical points.
Blue sky during the day and sky full of stars at night are obviously the optimal scrivener but....
...even when the sky is cloudy or even over casted, sky gazing will always be beneficial despite being more challenging.
Clouds are also to good metaphor. They move and change shape all the time.
Everything is transient.