Glen Svensson, 19 May 2020

Session 14: Merging Mind with Space (directing)

  1. Review
  2. Merging mind with space
  3. The actual practice
  4. Meditation - merging mind with space (directing)
  5. Achieving shamatha
  6. Beyond shamatha
  7. Q&A

In today’s session we practice merging the mind with space. This is similar to the practice of awareness of awareness in that it is shamatha without an object.

Meditation starts at 11:11

Glen explains the actual process of attaining shamatha. Upon attaining shamatha, total mental and physical pliancy is achieved. Any feeling of heaviness or discomfort is eliminated, and then intense mental bliss arises. The 5 obscurations are now abandoned totally while resting in samadhi, and outside of meditation they are much weaker than before.

The differences between shamatha and jhana is that the jhana factors are not as strong in shamatha as in jhana. In the first jhana one can rest in samadhi for a whole 24 hours without wavering, and in shamatha it is between 4 and 24 hours. Another name for shamatha is access to the first jhana. Each proceeding jhana is subtler and more refined, and Glen explains the defining characteristics of each level. For example, in the first jhana one is free from mental unhappiness. In the Mahayana tradition, shamatha is an adequate basis for practicing vipashana, while in the Theravada tradition they emphasize more the jhanas as a basis for vipashana.

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