Calm abiding or “shamatha” meditation is a method for calming our anxious or stressed-out mind, sharpening our dull or unfocused mind, and stabilizing the experience of relaxed presence both on and off the cushion. With its help, we start acting with greater clarity, calm, and authenticity instead of always being ensnared by our unconscious habits or overwhelmed by the various demands and pressures of our modern world. From this perspective, meditation is not about what we should do but about how to connect with our present experience skillfully. Shamatha is also the foundational meditation technique that acts as the support to all other forms of meditation on the Buddhist path. Therefore, whether we are seeking an antidote to our stress, clarity and focus in our life, or a path to complete awakening, shamatha’s importance and benefits are undeniable.
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