Updated: May 11, 2022
SAMATHA - THEORY
PURPOSE OF MEDITATION:
DEVELOPING A STRONG FOCUSED WILL WITH
IMAGINATION AND PEACEFUL MIND.
"Samatha" (according to Sanskrit) is "to calm, calm down" + "stay". Samatha is a technique that helps us to be constantly mindful by focusing on some imaginary object. Concentration (focusing) is the ability to keep the will fixated on some object (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual).
Concentration is a state of abiding, not a state of thinking. Concentration is the state of performing a function in a stable, uninterrupted manner. Concentration is BEING AND DOING, not thinking.
If I ask you to drive a car, it will turn out that it is not about thinking about the signs, but about the state of being, observing and making decisions based on observations. This type of concentration we're talking about isn't thinking! Concentration is a state of stable performance of a decision-based action. It's like channeling your energy in a certain direction as a result of intention. You have a conscious intention to do something, and You use Your will power to move Your energy there. If concentration is a way of being, not a state of thinking, is there something like conscious thinking? Yes, you can concentrate on thoughts and create them consciously and it is a conscious analysis. In this case decision is made to focus on thoughts for a specific purpose (there is a conscious intention), and after achieving this goal, the focus point is moved back to being, away from thinking. But how can we develop such a willpower to always consciously decide where to channel our energy? How can we develop power of concentration? I will answer this question soon, but let me tell You one more thing.
Why is concentration so important? Lack of focus leads to chaos, compulsive or impulsive actions, reactivity, limited use of will, and excessive mental activity. Samatha solves this problem as practicing it exercises ability to concentrate. High level of concentration tends to calm the mind and eliminate cravings - mental impulses responsible for compulsions.
WILL is a decisive center that puts decisions into motion. It is a center that triggers activities aimed at achieving the goal that results from the decision.
WHAT ABILITIES WILL YOU DEVELOP WITH SAMATHA MEDITATION?
Full focusing on the present moment and stable concentration.
Making decisions and acting on these decisions.
Peace of mind: You will cease compulsive thoughts. Anxiety, paranoia and most obsessive compulsive syndromes will go away.
Silencing excessive mental activity.
You will stop identifying with thoughts (treating them as the absolute truth, not questioning them, being drawn into subsequent conclusions).
Ability to let go of problems, situations, people and places that doesn't support You in Your journey of life.
Calming your mind will help you achieve happiness, self-control, and freedom from mental imperfections (such as overwhelming compulsive thoughts). Happiness, self-control and peace are the prerequisites for gaining insight (Vipassana) and thus communication with the Higher Cosmic Intelligence, Angels, Akashic Records, God. In my opinion, Samatha, is a tool from which you should start your adventure with meditation. Why? Because one of the most common challenges people face at the beginning of their spiritual path is mental overactivity, manifested by lots of chaotic thoughts, over-focus on information, identification with information, and in more extreme cases obsessions, compulsions, or paranoia. We need Samatha meditation to learn to calm the choppy mental sea by strengthening our will and focusing it on what we consciously choose as opposed to impulsively incoming thoughts. Remember that mind training is like muscle training - with each training the will becomes stronger. It takes time.
Samatha meditation consists of focusing on an imaginary object. Buddhism distinguishes between objects that we can focus on during meditation - my most common choices are elements, crystals of infinite space, crystals of consciousness, colors, breath and space. Other possibilities: CLICK HERE.
So much for the theory. Feel free to take part in the Samatha meditation practice, which we will talk about in the next post!
Practice makes masters.