The practice of samatha leads to the state of samadhi, where the mind is stable, bright, undistracted, and spacious. A dedicated practice of samatha can culminate in profound stillness, known as jhana, where the mind becomes fully immersed and absorbed in the chosen object of attention.
The often used translation of samadhi as "concentration", unfortunately, can be misleading in conjuring up images of tense effort with a furrowed brow, where a practitioner needs Herculean effort to stop distractions and pull the mind into one-pointedness. "Stabilizing" and "calming" the mind can be more helpful frames of reference, where we are not attempting to tame a lion with the force of will and whip, but by putting the right conditions in place to train a puppy, by giving gentle and affectionate directions that are at the same time resolved and steady.
A stable mind is better capable of having a fresh perspective on our psychological processes, and more significantly, inclined to the arising of liberating insights and seeing things as they really are. Developing samadhi, to any extent available, serves as a doorway to freedom of our minds and hearts.
This daylong retreat includes talks, guided instructions, periods of practice, and an opportunity for questions. Bringing a bag lunch will be particularly supportive of practice, which can better flourish in the continuity and spaciousness of silence.
Pre-requisites: Knowledge of the basic vipassana meditation instructions through completion of a class or a residential retreat.
July 16, 2017. 9:30am-4:30pm
Spirit Rock Meditation Center