ichniMy master had a student called Apa Pant, a distinguished Indian diplomat and author, who served as Indian ambassador in a number of capital cities around the world. He was also a practitioner of meditation and yoga, and each time he saw my master, he would always ask him “how to meditate.” He was following an Eastern tradition where the student keeps asking the master one simple, basic question over and over again.



One day when our master Jamyang Khyentse was watching a Lama Dance in front of the Palace Temple in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, he was chuckling at the antics of the atsara, the clown who provides light relief between dances. Apa Pant kept pestering him, asking him again and again how to meditate, so this time when my master replied, it was in such a way as to let him know that he was telling him once and for all: “Look, it’s like this: When the past thought has ceased, and the future thought has not yet risen, isn’t there a gap?”

“Yes,” said Apa Pant.

“Well, prolong it: That is meditation.”

– Rinpoche Sogyal



Photo 1:   
already off the back at the start!
Sunday, i attempted another great ilg-fitness-antic…Trailwork on the Rez on Saturday then, travel 4+ hours by car to the start of one of America’s most brutal uphill races; the Santa Fe Hillclimb (3,300′ from 7,200 in 14.7 miles)…well, a traffic light snafu got me separated from my 50+ category right at the start…had to hit the reset button…decided to see how much of the horrendous climb i could climb in the big chainring…turns out i can race up the entire climb in my big ring except for 300 meters on “the Headwall”…
still nearly climbed into the top ten against the unhealthy, skinny sport specific cyclists riding bikes that cost upward of $7,000!   the group included such specialists as the World Champion Reed Coleman, my ol’ Mt. Taylor rival; Dan Armijo, and Lyle Amer, All American….wish i could raced side-by-side them…darn traffic light!   you’d think when you pay that much $ to race on a course, the course would be CLEAR  within your own category…not so much these days…Race Directors take your money and don’t honor the battle dance …


Photo 2: 
truly having tested my limits as a new dad at 52…huge volunteer trail work day on the sweltering Rez, huge drive to the race, and then, giving my all for 1:14 of uphill Noble Effort…after the race, i went for an alpine hike on my old ski runs of the Santa Fe Ski Basin as this meadow of alpine flowers welc(om)ed me in a warm, deep embrace…i sunk into the Gap between thoughts arising (see above dharma teaching) and merged into a deep blessing of bliss…


2 Responses to “How To Meditate? Mind the “gap”….”

  1. Ken Doyle says:

    Dear Steve, Awesome. I loved this teaching. Love, Kendo

  2. coach says:


    and i love YOUR teaching!!!! love right back, feeble ilg

Leave a Reply