A short teaching on shamatha meditation, with questions and answers.
Some notes mainly from Rinpoche’s answers:
Meditation is for taming the mind. Happiness, joy and tranquility cannot come from outside.
More than 50% of meditation is learning how to relax. We have to start with that. The right posture is important. If you can really relax your body, that will also relax your mind.
Meditating short periods and having breaks is sometimes recommended. Then it becomes more fresh. “The stream coming from the mountain, the more it is hitting the rocks, the better the quality of water becomes. The more the meditator can break the meditation, the better the quality of the meditation becomes.” (Machig Labdrön)
If you are aware of what is going on in your mind, that is meditation. You have to be mindful of the mind.
Object of meditation is for bringing your mind back.
In the creation stage of a sadhana practice the object is a deity – divine and with all positive qualities. Completion stage is about vipashyana and seeing the illusory nature of everything. Meditating like this, having both creation and completion together, it contains both shamatha and vipashyana, and is also developing your positive qualities.
Peace of mind is there. You can feel it, when you can be natural. It is not difficult to get. Just being is in peace. Our tension is coming from thoughts busy going on in the mind. If you allow a break, that is peace. Learning to experience that, to go into that, is very important. Then when a thought comes, you see there is a choice whether to go into that or not. You don’t have to go emotional. Getting into that stage is maybe difficult, but when you can, that is very good.
Meditation is a training. Then we use it on our daily life, when facing strong emotions and in different situations. When we become experienced in this, our confidence develops. Then we can use it on bigger and bigger problems, finally even at death.