Series: Shamatha

Repeated Placement: Once Again Resting the Mind

Repeated Placement is the third stage of our calm abiding meditation.  In shamatha meditation, our practice proceeds gradually so that we are able to quickly recognize when our attention wanders off.  Here, Tulku Migmar Tsering explains how repeated placement works.Repeated placement means that as soon as we notice we are distracted we bring the mind back.  Here Tulku explains that if we allow our wandering to go on, it makes the mind very “heavy”.  And then it is harder for us to be mindful and to meditate.  So he suggests that we learn to do this in three seconds–don’t forget our focus.

Continuous Placement in Meditation: Bring Back the Mind

Continuous placement, or establishing continuity, is the second stage of calm abiding meditation.  When we practice calm-abiding or shamatha meditation, we’re gradually retraining our minds. When we practice continuous placement we don’t have more thoughts than we had before.  In fact, we are making a big step in managing our minds.  We are noticing when the mind wanders and how many thoughts we have.  Normally we don’t pay any attention to that process. 

Meditation Training With Focus

“Meditation training with focus” takes many forms. As we begin to build a habit of mindfulness, we can use one or more of these techniques. For example, in a meditation session or sometime in our day, we may focus our attention lightly on a sound. How so? We simply rest our mind on the sound of our choice. Then, when we notice that our mind has wandered away, we gently guide it back to the sound. That’s all there is to it–bringing our mind back to the object of focus again and again. We call that process “mindfulness”. In this video teaching, Tulku Migmar Tsering advises us on how we can use meditation training with focus to cultivate a habit of mindfulness.