Establishing a Rhythm

Rhythm brings a sense of continuity. Rhythm provides a relaxed, calm basis for our life. In this talk from 2016, Phakchok Rinpoche introduces us to the rhythm of happiness. In this video, he teaches several exercises to help us bring that rhythm with us into our daily life.

Exercise One

The first exercise, one that he teaches frequently, is creating space. Rinpoche leads us through this simple exercise. It is very easy and takes very little time to learn, but it doesn’t mean that we need to sit down and “meditate.” We can keep it simple. We should keep coming back to this open feeling where our chests and our hearts actually feel more open. Then we learn that maintaining a feeling of spaciousness allows us to see our problems, and we can then handle problems more successfully in our lives.

Exercise Two

The second part of creating space exercise is simply paying very light attention to our breathing. Rinpoche suggests that we alternate creating space with this gentle awareness of breathing.

Exercise Three

The third exercise involves a little more thinking. Here, we need to learn to reflect on our own life. This means honestly looking at our own mind and our own behavior. Don’t worry about feeling uncomfortable. Always remember that we are trying to improve. So if we start that way, we won’t be afraid of getting discouraged or upset with ourselves. Usually, we have the habit of reflecting on others and judging others. Rinpoche encourages us to reflect on our own behavior instead. We tend to see problems or issues as being external or being someone else’s fault. That is true in our family, our relationships, business or whatever we do. We have many different kinds of mistakes. How do we behave? Always go forward thinking that we need to improve.

Alternating Training

Rinpoche reminds us that the rhythm of happiness comes from alternating these practices. First create space, secondly focus on the breath gently, and then remember the wish to improve and reflect on how we can improve. It is just like exercise. We can stretch, lift weights, and run, but it is best if we can alternate these practices. Similarly, it is the same with these practices. Move gently from one to another.

In the second part of this talk, Rinpoche explains another exercise we can use to monitor our progress.