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Shamatha

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Shamatha

(skt.: shamatha; tib.: shi ne) Also translated as mental quietness. It is a stilled and peaceful state of mind, without any obstacles to concentration and it is settled single pointedly on an object for as long as we wish. In addition, it has a further mental factor accompanying it: a sense of physical and mental fitness (tib.: shin jang; pliability, flexibility), which is both exhilarating and blissful, but in a nondisturbing way. As a side product, shamatha brings extrasensory awareness, such as the ability to see and hear things at a great distance and to be aware of others thoughts. In Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Dron), the late tenth-century Indian master Atisha emphasizes the importance of gaining these abilities to be better able to help others.

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Words of Wisdom

"This world we see is a painting born from the brush of discursive thought, and within it or upon it nothing truly existent can be found. All things in samsara and nirvana are but mental labels and projections. Knowing this one knows reality; seeing this one sees most true."
- 2nd Dalai Lama

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