Samata Meditation: Underpinning for Awareness
For a wholesome and pure mind
The word samata means calm or balanced. Samata meditation is a meditation practice by which one fosters samadhi (the ultimate goal of yoga). Samata meditation is based on concentration. Thus it is also treated as the beginning state of vipassana meditation. It is a rock-solid condition of insight meditation.
Samata meditation is an effectual and soothing method of exercising the mind to cultivate internal potency, and freedom from restiveness, heading on to lucidity and comprehending.
Techniques and Objects applied in Samata Meditation:
Several forms of meditation objectives have been used for developing concentration in Samata Meditation. Basically, breath has been taken as the object of concentration. However visual object or statue or image of Buddha, etc. are also some optional object to fix the concentration. Any method which is helpful to strengthen the attention can be used.
The mind is not just clear and pure enough to witness this process when it is not focused. You lay the groundwork for genuine and liberating insight to emerge via the practice of samata method.
Sometimes it may not be possible to quiten your mind just by breath observation. So you require some other some other technique as well to attain best focus. Samata meditation gives you the aptitude to sustain the mind flatteringly concentrated on a point or object of your selection whenever you need, without the occurrence of a single thinking or other psychological interruption.
The mind cannot be absolute and strong enough without concentration. Pratice of samata meditation helps you grow the underpinning upon which genuine liberating awareness can exhibit itself.
Samatha Meditation and its path:
Every single peak has a gradual progression. The ultimate mindfulness or insight begins from Samata. It is the Base for Mindfulness.
In the beginning, while practicing samatha, it may appear as if the mind is just turn out to be more restless. The reason is you observe your psychological progressions with an intensifying magnifying glass and will understand your restlessness with enlarging refinement.
Every time you touch a new step of calm you become conscious that even this level is basically yet restless.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher states about this process by describing five stages of concentration:
- Concentration- like a cascade cascading from a perciple. Because you are now conscious of the movement of your mind, the thought seem to occurring more frequently than before, and they flow another incessantly.
- Concentration: similar to a river gushing through a valley in the mountain. There are times when the mind is tranquil and times when it is turbulent.
- Concentration: like a broad, effortlessly flowing river. When circumstances upset it, the mind moves, but otherwise it is at peace.
- Concentration: similar to a lake that has a few surface ripples. The surface of the mind is slightly disturbed, yet the depths of it are calm and present.
- Concentration- resembling a calm ocean. An unwavering, effortless focus where compensatory thoughts for discursive thinking are superfluous.
With regular samatha (concentration) practice lead you to the highest possible concentration. That is the background for wisdom.
Deliberately but Definitely-
The pathway of Samatha meditation is not quick. It is a steady path. It is the gradual path to liberation as taught by the Buddha.
Samatha meditation demands trust, persistence, vigor, patience, and loving-kindness. These qualities can be developed as your practice progresses.
Avoid meditation with the aim to be more focused or insightful, as any aim is just going to cause more obstacle. Whatever happens subsequently, making the time to meditate is sufficient. All you have to do is keep going and give it multiple attempts. Steadily but slowly. It’s crucial to meditate every day, even if it’s just for ten or twenty minutes.
Samata involves focusing the mind on a single object. The 40 such meditation items are taught by Buddha. He never claimed that items that one tool is superior to another. It may differ from person to person about the utility of the items. For some individuals, a type of item may be suitable while for others other types of items will be suitable.
One of the objects of Samata Meditation:
Meditation on Buddha: by concentrating to the resonance one creates by recurring the word Buddha out voluble again and again.
This is a procedure of buddhanusati meditation that the Buddha recommends. Buddhanusat means remembering the attributes of Buddha (i.e. enlightened person). During Buddhanusati meditation, for example, one traditionally actively reflects on these attributes to provide inspiration and energy. The sound produced when one repeats “Buddha” or Buddho” aloud symbolizes and embodies the attributes of the Buddha. There should be just one goal and one thing on your mind while you meditate- the Buddha. Here Buddha is not an individual but a level, a state which is enlightened state, a liberated state. Essentially, the technique consists of doing nothing but listening to the sound. The remainder occurs naturally.
In finality, the progressive Buddhist path of sila, Samadhi and panna (morality, concentration and wisdom) is encompassed by this meditation approach.
Intrinsic Quitetude via Sound Meditation for Samata
Focusing on sound as an object is one of the great ways to use our Western minds (in many cases), however for some Eastern minds also sometimes this method is also sometimes to be applied. When you practice samata meditation, you attempt to quiet your mind, initially your mind resists any sort of serenity. The inner quiet is resisted by it. Everything that can divert your attention is an additional barrier and opportunity for your mind to wander if you are still struggling with concentration. Concentration is particularly challenging when objects are seen or heard.
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