Have you heard of Samatha? Are you wondering What is Samatha Meditation and How to Practice It?
I have learned meditation from many teachers. And I have been meditating since a child. Today, I share with you all about Samatha, One-Pointed Concentration, how to practice Samatha Meditation, what happens during this type of meditation, and a very powerful meditation technique with the help of the Watcher.
What is Samatha?
Samatha is Sanskrit for ‘tranquility of the mind’. It is a state of mind that is complete calmness.
What is Samatha Meditation?
Samatha meditation is a form of practice to calm the mind. To achieve that tranquility of the mind.
With my meditation practice, I have reached that state of tranquility of the mind. And I can tell you that it is a really wonderful feeling. At that stage, I am immersed in this sea of peace. There was nothing but silence and calmness.
To reach that state of Samatha, I practiced One-Pointed Concentration Meditation.
What is One-Pointed Concentration?
One-Pointed Concentration is when you focus one object in mind. Your mind is left with only one thought.
What is One-Pointed Concentration Meditation?
Many times, Samatha Meditation and One-Pointed Concentration Meditation are taken to be the same thing. In a sense they are. But to be clearer, Samatha is a state of being, and that is the tranquility of the mind.
And One-Pointed Concentration Meditation is one of the ways to achieve that state of being. This is why sometimes it is also referred to as Samatha Meditation.
So, for easy reference, in this article, I am going to refer to both as Samatha Meditation.
What is Goes On During Samatha Meditation?
During Samatha Meditation, you should focus on only one object with your mind. At first, it is not easy. With practice, you will find that you mind will get better and better at focusing on only one thought.
As your practice progresses, you will start to feel good feelings. Some of these feelings are such as happiness, joy, and bliss. Eventually, you begin to feel calm, and tranquility sets in.
This is the final stage of this meditation practice. You become still and silent. Your thoughts are of only one thing in mind.
Amazingly, at this stage, you will find that you are more aware. Your mind is clear. You will feel like as if you had a mind bath. And your mind becomes crystal clear and fully aware.
How to Prepare for Meditation?
It is true that you an meditate at any time, and anywhere. But that is usually possible for someone who has mastered meditation. I could meditate anywhere, and at any time. When I traveled on a train for more than an hour to work, I would meditate. And I would arrive at work feeling refreshed, and ready to start the day.
Having said that, it is ideal to prepare for your meditation. One of the ways to prepare is to create an ideal setting for your meditation. For example, I would meditate at a specific location in my room. And I would have a meditation pillow to sit on, a singing bowl, and a candle.
Set The Intention For Meditation
Besides all the conditions, it is a good idea to give the full intention to meditate. One excellent way of doing this is to write it down on a piece of paper or notebook. And place it next to you.
An example of an intention can be as simple as the intent to relieve stress. Or maybe you would like to achieve a calm state of mind?
How to Do Samatha Meditation?
Before you start to focus on one object in your mind, you need to relax first. And this can be achieved by taking three deep breaths. Then you relax each part of your body, from the top of your head all the way to your toes.
Then you focus on one thing. For me, when I practice Samatha Meditation using the Breath Meditation technique. My focus would be on my breath. I have found this a very effective way of practicing one-pointed concentration. And is has helped me achieve Samatha.
And when you are ready, I have produced a Guided Breath Meditation video. It is very simple to practice with my video. You simply follow what I say in the video.
Also, please support and Subscribe to the Channel. I will be creating more meditation videos that can help everyone.
What Happens As You Practice Samatha Meditation?
In my meditation classes, I have students who always asked me about interrupting thoughts. As they sit and try to meditate, thoughts start to appear in their minds.
Some were thoughts about problems they faced. Some were simply thoughts of what happened that day in their lives. Some were even thoughts that were plans for the future.
When these thoughts intrude your mind during meditation, you must stop your mind from thinking of it. Every time a thought appears, force yourself to stop thinking of it. This can happen hundreds of times during a session.
Do not get upset with your mind. It is just doing its job. And that is to think.
See the situation as a mother walking with a toddler on a pavement alongside a road with busy traffic. Every time the toddler strays off the pavement, and about to venture onto the road, the mother will lovingly pull the child back to the pavement.
The child is like our mind, during the meditation, chasing a thought. You pull your thought back to the breath. Just like the mother pulling the child back to the pavement.
After weeks or months of practice, you will soon find that there will be less and less thoughts appearing. And you can stay focused on your breath for longer periods. This is when stillness and silence start to appear.
Stillness and Silence Appear
Stillness is when your body is able to sit very still during a meditation. Many of my students found it hard to stay absolutely still when they started meditating. They would adjust how they sit, or stretch their legs, or exhibit any body movement.
When you start to focus more on your breath, you will find that you will not move so much or at all during a session. Your mind is so focused on your breath that you do not think of your body at all.
Your thoughts become still, too. What this means is that your mind will not be traveling anywhere. It stays on your breath. And silence follows.
You will find that you will no longer have mental chatter. If you see images before when you meditate, these will also disappear. You will experience true and complete silence.
And with stillness and silence, your awareness becomes greater and sharper.
Your Breath Becomes Deeper
When you start meditating, and focusing on your breath, you will find that your breathing is mostly from the chest. As you practice meditation, as you are able to focus more on your breath, you go deeper into the alpha and theta states.
When this happens, your breathing becomes more abdominal. It will also be slower. Normal respiratory cycle is 20 per minute. You can slow to 16 or even 14 cycles per minute. In India, yogis can reach 1 or 2 cycles per minute.
When I have long meditation sessions, I usually reach this low cycle phase. And I can tell you the experience is amazing. When I started with the meditation, my breathing is normal and noticeable because I focus on it.
Then as I meditate longer, I suddenly become aware that I am not consciously breathing. It is almost as if I am not breathing at all. And yet, I know the air is still flowing in and out of my body.
And the feeling at this point is truly peaceful. Because I am no longer really thinking of my breath. And my body is moving so that I am conscious of it. I am in a state of stillness and silence. And with it, I feel bliss.
One More Important Meditation Technique – The Watcher!
Here is a very important technique that I would like to share with all my readers. And that is to have a separate ‘Watcher’ during the meditation session.
The Watcher is actually our self. It is the same pure awareness behind all our thoughts. And it is our True Self, also some may see it as our soul. It is pure love energy. It does not judge or have any negativity.
What I do during meditations is to have the Watcher observe me while I meditate. After all the breathing and getting my self to relax, as I focus on my breath, I visualize a part of me slowly stepping out of my body.
Then I visualize the Watcher stand to the left side of my body. And the Watcher looks at my body, sitting and meditating. I can see my own self from the ‘eyes’ of my Watcher.
It can be a little hard or confusing when you try it for the first time. I am sure you will wonder how to do this when you are supposed to be focusing on your breath.
Just do it after relaxing your body, and when you are breathing normally. For a few seconds, move your thoughts away from your breath. And let your Watcher emerge and stand next to you, and observe you.Then, as your Watcher, watch your breath.
Trust me. When you use this technique, your meditation will become better. As you are your Watcher, and observing your self breathing. you will find that you arrive at stillness and silence faster. Your meditation will become a much more enjoyable experience.
We have come to the end of this article about What is Samatha Meditation and How to Practice It? If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned here in this article, ANY at all, please feel free to ask by adding a comment in the comment box below. I will be more than happy to help.
Wishing you an awesome life filled with abundance, love and light.