Example of Shamata

Provided below is an example of Shamata (stabilizing meditation) meditation.  Integrating both a traditional flow, with the knowledge of another path, it worked quite well.

See the linked article below for more information on Shamata:

http://skotadi.org/success-in-shamata-vipashyana/

Time of Day

This particular meditation was performed just after waking up.  I felt fine.  I did have a few things on my mind.

Posture

I sat on a double cushion (Zafu) facing a wall, zen style.  I sat in a half-lotus position.  Hands were cupped at my lap, thumbs touching.

Object of Meditation

After sitting, the breath was observed for several breath cycles, then I brought to my mind the image of a Buddha.  In this instance it was the image of a statue of the Buddha, that sits in a different room.

As recommended in Buddhist texts on Shamata, deity/spiritual teacher meditation was the approach.  The visualized Buddha becomes the aspirant (myself) and there is an “Exchanging of Self with Others” going on.  If you are familiar with the concept from Master Shantideva’s work, then this might key you into the process.

If not, the idea is that you have to become the Object of meditation – the Holy One.  It’s as though you exchange your notion of “self” with the Holy One (the object of your meditation.)

For more details on the notion of No-Self (which may be of importance here), consider the following article:

http://skotadi.org/meditation-on-the-selflessness-of-individuals/

Variation Of Technique

Rather than focus on parts and details of the object of meditation, (which is often the advised approach to deity or spiritual teacher focus) the feeling of being that entity was approached.

  • “What does it feel like to be the Buddha?”
  • “What does the Buddha feel?”

These are similar in how this is approached, but yet it’s not.  It’s too difficult to put into words.

This variation to the approach is more about the center of your being (the heart center) where you “feel” from.  From this intelligence, pulling in the Buddha (or your spiritual teacher or Holy Being) or feeling what the Buddha feels to be the Buddha is experienced (not conceptualized.)

This is very important in the process… it references back to the Tao Te Ching.  If we hold only the mental image, it is just that, an image of an image of an image, etc.  However, if we delve into the experience (through feeling), we experience the Object of our meditation.

This process is like being the Being.

Sitting as the Being, we just are.  We tune to the experience.  Distractions may arise, we let them go and return to being the being.

Source Material

For citation purposes, the techniques used above come from Buddhist teachings on Shamata, Tao Te Ching teachings on experience vs. conceptualization and the aspect of feeling what it is to be a being is from the teachings of Eric Pepin.