Phakchok Rinpoche, an unusually wise young teacher, has a lot to say about this subject. Last October, he came to Lerab Ling to give a series of teachings. Although I was in retreat, I came out to attend his sessions. In the mid-nineties, I met him for the first time in one of the hallways of Ka-Nying monastery in Nepal; although still in his late-teens, he possessed a certain energetic charm that was irresistible. Over the years we have become friends, but because he lives far away, I haven’t seen him for several years. On this visit, I discovered that he has blossomed into a wonderful teacher. Not too surprising considering he was trained by some of the greatest teachers of recent times: Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and his father Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche, amongst many others.
We got a few minutes alone for this interview on meditation and creating space, especially when we feel stressed out. Pretty inventive stuff. Rinpoche also wrote a little bit about creating space which you can find below, just under the video.
Phakchok Rinpoche writes:
How to create space? When you have a few minutes, look ahead of you and simply imagine that you are surrounded by empty space in all directions. If you can see the empty sky through a window then look at the sky, but if not that is fine. Just imagine space everywhere: no walls, no boundaries, no buildings, nothing. Don’t start thinking about work, family, things you need to do. Simply imagine that everything is just like the vast, open sky, like empty space, and let your mind blend into the space so that it becomes just as vast and open. You can close your eyes if that helps. Visualize this spaciousness for a short while. After a minute or two you’ll start to really feel spacious mentally. Your chest will open up and you’ll feel relieved of all those tensions and thoughts that were crowding in on you just a few minutes ago. Your mind opens up and then your way of thinking changes, just like that. It takes just five or ten minutes and is so easy—that is the magic of creating space. You don’t have to believe me. Try it for yourself and you will see.
When you feel the spaciousness in your heart after doing this for a few minutes, maintain that and rest there. That is the crucial point.