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Healthy Life Challenge - Meditation Week Day 7

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Today's meditation is part of Tibetan Buddhism, and is known as 'sky gazing'.

The concept behind sky gazing is twofold; firstly, it acts as a visual metaphor through which the nature of enlightened awareness is illustrated. The sky is pure, neutral and constant; this represents consciousness. Weather phenomena like rain, clouds etc represent thoughts and emotions; these are transient, and don't affect the essential character of the sky. By gazing at the sky, we come to understand how to be bright and lucid in the mind, while allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go.

The second aspect of sky gazing is that it connects our mind with nature and the wider world. It impresses us with the beauty of nature. By gazing at the sky, we acquire a sense of openness and receptivity to this beauty that surrounds us.

To do this practice, ideally you'd be sitting on a mountain-top, but if that's not possible, you can sit or lie down anywhere outside where you can see the sky. Breathe deeply and spend a moment checking your body for any tension; try to let this release. Look at the sky and see if you can concentrate purely on your sense of sight; if thoughts or emotions arrive, observe them and let them pass, simply returning to your gaze. You're allowed to blink!

You can spend as long as you like on this meditation - aim for a couple of minutes at least. When you're finished, stretch and rub your eyes to wake up.