Calm Abiding (shamatha)

The meditation practice of stabilizing the mind and strengthening its concentrative powers
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    Looking Inward, Seeing Outward Paid Member

    Sometimes modern people misunderstand Buddhism’s focus on the individual human journey as well as its injunction to people to find out who they are and to seek their own ultimate fulfillment. With our Western suspicions of meditation, of looking within— and, frankly, our fear of being alone—not infrequently, we tend to reject the inward looking of Buddhism as somehow disconnected from the social context and disloyal to it. More »
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    Leaving the Lotus Position Paid Member

    I sit in a chair. Yes, of course, but I mean I sit zazen in a chair. This is a recent development, arising no doubt from a karmic web of causes and conditions, but the primary one is osteoarthritis in my knees.Everybody knows that a Zen student truly dedicated to the Way sits cross-legged on the floor. Buddha was sitting cross-legged when he was enlightened under the pipal tree 2,600 years ago, and there are millions of Buddha statues to prove it— sitting cross-legged on altars and bookshelves all over the world. Several of them are in my house. More »
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    The Stability of Ease Paid Member

    THESE DAYS, many people are very enthusiastic about the dharma, the teaching of the buddhas. What is so important, I feel, is that initial stage, when you’re really in love with the dharma, when you feel inspired and enthusiastic. That’s the time to go all out and get a good basis in the dharma and stabilize it. More »
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    The Heart-Essence of Buddhist Meditation Paid Member

    Clinging to one’s school and condemning othersIs the certain way to waste one’s learning.Since all dharma teachings are good,Those who cling to sectarianismDegrade Buddhism and severThemselves from liberation. —Milarepa, The One Hundred Thousand SongsDuring my initial private meeting with the Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, my first root guru, I asked him about the main points of meditation. He asked what kind of meditation I was doing, and I told him mindfulness of breathing. “What will you concentrate on when you stop breathing?” he asked. More »
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    Making Time Paid Member

    Introduction More »
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    Calm Abiding Paid Member

    There are many methods for creating a mind that is one-pointed and joyful, the most important of which is meditation. The Buddhist tradition offers a multitude of diverse meditations. It is said the Buddha taught eighty-four thousand gates of samadhi [one-pointed concentration]. We first meditate on calm abiding [shamatha], as it is indispensable and easiest for those who are beginning to practice. More »