Samatha Meditation: The Shortest Way to Concentration

The purpose of Samatha Meditation is to bring a mind that is not peaceful to a state of peace. To bring a mind that is not happy to a state of happiness. And tho bring unwholesome mind to a state of virtue.

Our wisdom greatly arises when the is concentration or Samadhi. Formally put, Samadhi is the proximate cause for wisdom. However, Samadhi is of two kinds and only the second one is conductive to wisdom.
  1. (Aramma-n’upanijjhana) is the first kind of Samadthi and is an object-examination.
  2. (Lakkha-n’upanijjhana) is another kind of Samadthi, the one that is called characteristic-examination.

Aramma-n'upanijjhana

Aramma-n’upanijjhana or object-examination is a type of meditation when there is just on object of attention and the mind sticks to this object and is rendered still. The mind is very focused, calm and peaceful while in this state

An example is meditation on breathing. The mind moves down into the breath and clings to it. Another known choice for this type of meditation is the rising and falling of the abdomen. The meditator will let his mind sink down into the movement of the abdomen and rest there peacefully.

In walking meditation, those who hold their focus on their feet are also exhibiting this first type of Samadhi Meditation.

This first type of Samadhi, object-examination is accomplished during calmness meditation, otherwise known as Samatha Meditation. Even using the mind itself as the object of meditation can bring us into this type of Samadhi.

Watching the mind isn’t always Vipassana. If we watch the mind incorrectly, and hold it still, we are just doing Samatha. It is the same as intently keeping our mindfulness on the breath. The mind is of the nature to know an object. The object is that which is of the nature to be known.

So if we watch the breath, the breath is the object; the breath is what is known. If we watch the body standing, walking, sitting and lying down, the body is the object; the body is what is known. Greed, anger and delusion are things that are known. The mind is what knows these things.

Samadhi is stability of mind, not just concentration. When the stable observer state is achieved, it witnesses the antics of the body and mind at a distance. It is a feeling of separation, not an action separation or “out of the body” experience. The mind, or the consciousness dos not leave the body, but is seen as something completely distinct from the body.

If we are looking to practice Vipassana meditation, then we need to learn about the second kind of Samadhi.
It is called characteristic-examination or Lakkha-n’upanijjhana.

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