A few weeks ago, I came across some teachings by an ancient Indian Buddhist teacher called Tilopa. It’s a very brief teaching about Mindfulness and quite secular, so I want to share it with you.

Tilopa’s 6 words of advice:

Don’t recall– let go of what has passed

Don’t imagine– let go of the future

Don’t think– let go of what is happening now

Don’t examine– don’t try to figure anything out

Don’t control– don’t try to make anything happen

Rest– relax right now and rest


In my own practice and in my daily life, I have been noticing just how much time I spend imagining the future. At this time I have been away a lot, on holiday and teaching, sure in the knowledge that there is a lot of work and a lot of challenges to deal with on my return. However, I also know how futile it is for me to worry about imagined futures that may never happen and I also know how this blights my present moment.

So I have been following the advice above as often as I can, especially when I notice myself lost in an imagined future- I rest, physically relax the body in the moment with an out breath, and then just rest in the next moment.

We all have our own thinking habits- ruminating in the past, worrying about or planning the future, thinking in the present, trying to figure things out and trying to stay in control. Can we let these habits go and just rest?

People I have spoken to about this often argue that it is important to think about things in life. My sense is that it is not so important and if we trust our own minds in the moment, then any answers we are looking for will emerge on their own.

Have a go and see what happens…. I doubt things will go too wrong, as we can surely rely on our minds to be thinking, even if it is not necessary to do so.

So, I will end this blog post by resting, relaxing in the moment and resting again….

  • We will be looking at Tilopa’s teachings in more details at one of our Level 4: Mindfulness for Life course weekends, this spring. Watch this space!

-Heather Regan Addis.