Yamashita-sensei teaches an innovative, non-sectarian approach to meditation known as the “One Dharma Method,” or Clear Sky Meditation (in Japanese 青空瞑想、aozora meisou, lit. blue sky meditation). The development of this approach came through years of trial and error in his own practice and intimate work with his students from around the world.
The first section of the One Dharma Method is “Inner Body Meditation,” developing awareness of subtle sensations within the body. This is practiced first because attention to sensation is “the easiest way to let go of thinking mind.”
Inner Body Meditation
After a period of Inner Body Awareness, the next step is the development of compassion (慈悲瞑想、jihi-meisou, in Japanese). The appearance of compassion is considered a clear sign that one has entered the “Blue Sky” of awareness.
Compassion Meditation (Part 1)
The second part of Compassion Meditation actually consists of two seperate practices that further develop the compassion already present at the end of Part 1. Compassion Meditation (Part 2) should only be practiced in conjunction with the first part. In other words, Compassion Part 2 should not be practiced unless compassion has already been established through Compassion Part 1.
Once compassion has been firmly established, from the standpoint of the Clear Sky (Blue Sky) of awareness, mindfulness occurs as a matter of course. It’s then attention is turned to the breath, for as long as one chooses to abide with it.
Compassion Meditation (Part 2) and Anapanasati (Breath Awareness)
The following are Yamashita-sensei’s recommendations for working with the practice outside of retreat settings.
-Once you’re used to the One Dharma Method, a single session takes about an hour (like in the retreats).
-If time doesn’t allow for the whole sweep of Practice, try working with one section at a time for however long is available.
-Compassion 1 can be practiced independently of Compassion 2, but (as mentioned above) don’t work with Compassion 2 independently of the first.
To discuss the One Dharma Meditation Method or other aspects of practice, please join our new Google Community, the One Dharma International Online Sangha.
All guided meditations are available for download from iTunes.