stilling the mind


  • link to my ebook
  • i review the 9 stages of shamatha daily
  • i rotate the 3 methods of shamatha in daily meditation
  • i monitor myself for laxity or excitation and use these techniques for equipose


stilling the mind

this book is about achieving shamatha

in my reading, this book was preceded by ngondro - turning confusion into clarity and followed by fathoming the mind

started 2020-08-05 & finished on 2020-09-19

these are my messy notes as i go through the weeds they will be cleaned up soon


the actual practice is sort of hidden inside the paragraphs i need to review and highlight them to make sure i have it, also watching his playist on youtube from a shamatha retreat


see shamatha page * relax the mind probe awareness * settle the mind without distraction or grasping

basically you have to achieve shamatha first, that is apareantly a rare long involved thing to achieve fully, if you do you can for example stand for 24 hours calmly and are rarely disturbed by any circumstance for example someone could clash cymbols near you and you wouldn't be phased, etc.

9 stages of shamatha

rigpa wiki

  1. directed (attention)
    • directs attention on an object
  2. continuous
    • maintain continuity for one minute
  3. resurgent
    • quickly recognizes distracted attention
  4. close
    • no longer completely forgets chosen object
  5. tamed
    • satisfied with samadhi
  6. pacified
    • pacification of - attachment, melancholy and lethargy
  7. completely pacified
  8. single-pointed
    • samadhi is long and sustained
      • without excitation
      • without laxity
  9. attentional balance
    • flawless samadhi sustained effortlessly


  • can be broken up into sections, mind, body, etc. instead of doing shamatha with objects or without objects you do it with whatever arises internally or externally

overall though you're fully relaxed with shamatha then let things arise naturally without judging them or commenting on them, simply remain aware and in the moment fully relaxed

the deep realization is nearly everything is impermanent, including self, objects, etc. so you no longer live in the desire realm you dive deeper into reality that ignores the waves and is the ocean which consists of bliss, luminosity, awareness with names like rigpa, pristine awareness, substrate consciousness, primordial awareness, etc.

non conceptual, no conceptual elaboration, this isn't something you can really discuss with words which cannot capture the energies that are revealed

there are some things that can happen that are supernatural, esp, etc. gods, demons, visions, etc. but these are typically nyams, just more things arising to be aware of without attachment


nyam - meditation experiences - wide variety, emotions, bindus, rainboy light, esp

togpa - different from nyams, these are realization

If we look at the Dharma from another perspective, we can say that it has two aspects: tradition and experience. Tradition, known as lung [lung] in Tibetan, is the authority, transmission, or legacy of the teachings. Experience, or togpa [rtogs pa] in Tibetan, is the practice or application of the Dharma. Both of these aspects of the Dharma are oriented toward bringing about a positive change in our mind.

vidyadhara (Skt). One who has gained a conceptually unmediated, nondual realization of rigpa, of buddha nature. vipashyana (Skt). Contemplative insight bought this book on 2020-08-05 and taking notes on it here

this book expounds on dudjom lingpa's vajra essence shamatha instructions


shamatha translates to calm abiding

abide in the mind which is naturally calm regardless surrounding circumstances

master shamatha and you'll be able to focus on vipassana where you cut through the ego mind's grasping at physical objects which are empty

you are watching the mind, letting it settle to it's natural still state, this is best done on retreats in the woods

you find optimal muscular and mental tension, you do not just flop on the ground completely relaxing all muscles you want to find a balance where your muscles only have the tension required for whatever position you're using

one of alans videos says there are 9 levels, trying to find where these are in the book - 9 ways

  1. with objects
  2. without objects
  3. visualizing buddhas?

mind arises with dependancies

  1. chitta (sanskrit) psyche emerges from what Sogyal Rinpoche calls the “ground of the ordinary mind.”
  2. alayavijñana (sanskrit) is translated as the “substrate consciousness.” (This corresponds closely to the Theravada Buddhist term bhavanga, or “ground of becoming.”)
  3. rigpa dharmakaya buddhahood ← accessed by practicing shamathat

eight consciousnesses

dhogzhen expands the ⅚ senses to 8

  1. vision
  2. sound
  3. taste
  4. touch
  5. smell
  6. mind objects
  7. afflictive cognition - I am followed by craving & aversion
  8. substrate consciousness


vidyadhara (skt). one who has gained a conceptually unmediated, nondual realization of rigpa, of buddha nature.

vipashyana (skt). contemplative insight

nyingma - literally means ancient

eighth century during the reign of king trisong detsen nyingma is founded on the first translations of buddhist scriptures from sanskrit into old tibetan in the the tibetan alphabet and grammar was created for this endeavour s

other tibetan buddhism schools


wisdom course

  • watch your coarse mind dissolve from the vantage point of awareness
  • dissolves into the vacuity called substrate
  • substrate consciousness
  • no signal from 5 domains
  • attend the vacuity
  • self illuminating mindfullness
    • invert awareness upon itself
  • blissful, luminous and nonconceptual

  • called relative nature of the mind by - Shalu Lochen Legpa Gyeltshen spelled correctly?

  • called the essential nature of the mind - dudjom lingpa