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9 stages

  • Mental pliancy: Developing the ability to focus the mind on a chosen object of meditation
  • Joy: Developing a sense of joy and ease in the practice of meditation
  • Mental Stability: The mind becomes stable and still, and distractions become less frequent
  • Bliss: A sense of happiness and pleasure arises in meditation
  • One-Pointedness: The mind becomes focused and concentrated on the chosen object of meditation
  • Purity: Mental clarity and brightness become evident in the practice of meditation
  • Equanimity: Mental balance and stability become constant, regardless of external circumstances
  • Accomplishment: The practice of meditation becomes effortless and natural
  • Dhyaana: A deep and uninterrupted state of meditation is achieved.

steps of shamatha (calm-abiding) meditation

  • Find a quiet and comfortable place to meditate where you will not be disturbed.
  • Sit in a comfortable posture, either cross-legged on a cushion or in a chair. Keep your back straight, relax your shoulders, and place your hands in your lap.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Start by taking a few deep breaths, and then settle into a natural rhythm.
  • Begin to focus your attention on your breath. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
  • As you focus on your breath, you may notice different sensations or thoughts arise. Simply observe these without reacting to them. Just allow them to come and go.
  • If you experience discomfort or pain in your body, try to stay with the sensation and breathe into it. This helps to train your mind to remain present and focused in the moment.
  • Continue with this focused attention on your breath for as long as you like. Start with shorter periods and gradually increase the length of your meditation as you become more comfortable with the practice.
  • At the end of your meditation, take a few deep breaths, stretch, and then return to your daily activities.