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Introduction to Shamata Meditation

Geshe Dakpa Topgyal: Introduction to Shamata Meditation
Dateline: Columbia: January 6, 2001

Shamata Meditation

Shamata meditation is mind-training. In meditation the focus is
redirected to a single point. In meditation, two distinct qualities of
mind are gained: mental clarity and mental stability.
In our ordinary mind we conceptualize. The moment we apply concepts to
an object, we pollute it. When we conceptualize, we over-estimate or
under-estimate. Then delusions arise. Our peace of mind is disturbed.
We can’t solve this problem just with intellectual understanding.
Meditation helps us to understand how the ordinary mind mistakenly
engages with objects, how it fabricates or decorates. Meditation helps
us to walk a little farther beyond our perceptions. Meditation resolves
internal questions that haunt us and cannot be solved by our intellect
or a third party.
Ultimately, mediation takes us to an understanding that is boundless,
bringing us joy.
Initially in meditation, we train the mind to accept a thought-free
state, then we learn to stay in that state for longer periods of time
without conceptualizing.
Meditation eliminates duality. There are four types of duality: seeing
the perceived object and the perceiver as separate, applying a generic
image of an object to the object and two that will be discussed later
when emptiness is addressed.
However, understanding that the object and perceiver are one is not the
ultimate goal of meditation. The ultimate goal is to hold the object in
the mind without interference of normal conceptual thoughts. When normal
thoughts fall away we can see the object as it really is.