Week Eight

Thoroughly Pacifying

The eighth stage of meditation is a place where I dare say, few have been.

While not quite at pure single pointedness, it is a lake almost free of ripples.

According the Sakyong Mipham:

“The battle may be over, but there are still a few little enemy soldiers running around in the form of subtle thoughts, mostly about pleasure. We may be slightly attached to how good meditation feels. There are little dualistic rumblings. Although we know that they’re not going to disrupt our meditation, we can’t just sit back and ignore them. Now we seduce them, like snow falling into fire. Our meditation is becoming so strong that when thoughts and emotions encounter its heat they naturally dissolve.”

This seduction is not one of passion, but more like gravity from a planet pulling smaller objects into it. Our practice has become so deep that discursive thoughts simply cannot stand on their own under the awareness of a directed and controlled mind.

Persevere: (verb) to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

As we sit in calm abiding, we realize we are no longer controlled by attachment and desire.

The Buddha stated, “Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this teaching and discipline has one taste, the taste of liberation.”

At this stage in our meditation, this teaching should be more and more a meaningful and understood teaching. As we sit in calm abiding, we realize we are no longer controlled by attachment and desire.

We are fully awake to the openness of of mind. To its limitless potential now that it is directed and free of fetters. When we have not directed our minds, we are bound within our own suffering, We are like the “man going down into a river, swollen and swiftly flowing, carried away by the current — how can we help others across?”

While I am not expecting anyone to be sitting diligently within this stage, we should by now have a strong sense of our experience, potential and the changes that have occurred over the past two months.

Before we move into week eight and come to the conclusion in week nine, I would like you to write down the whole of your experience.

Where were you when you started?

How scattered were your thoughts?

How have you seen them or not seen them come under control?

How has your understanding of meditation changed or grown?

What new have you learned about yourself that will help guide the process of your meditation practice from here on out?

Please put this experience into written form and finish it by week nine as we bring the class into its close.

Before we move into week eight and come to the conclusion in week nine, I would like you to write down the whole of your experience.
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