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The Nine Stages of Calm Abiding (Śamatha)

Sunday, November 17 from 9am to 5pm.

The idea behind this intensive is to get an overview of the entire practice of shamatha by introducing ourselves to the nine stages of calm abiding (śamatha) which are a very practical outline of the ancient and essential teaching on the development of Śamatha.

In a formulation originating in the Śrāvakabhūmi section of the Yogācārabhūmiśāstra, śamatha practice is said to progress through nine “mental abidings” or Nine stages of training the mind, leading to śamatha proper. The Nine Mental Abidings as described by Kamalaśīla are: (1) Placement of the mind; (2) Continuous placement; (3) Repeated placement; (4) Close placement; (5) Taming; (6) Pacifying; (7) Fully pacifying; (8) Single-pointing; (9) Balanced placement.