The nine stages of shamatha meditation often are colorfully represented in tangkhas or wall paintings in which the stages are illustrated by a meditator making his way up a path, gradually letting go of distractions, and transforming his relationship with his mind. In the painting, every aspect of this process is depicted symbolically. For example, the mind of dullness is represented by a grey elephant and the mind of agitation or wildness is represented by a monkey. With this engaging painting as a backdrop, Lama Kathy Wesley in Talk 1 provides an extensive instruction on basic meditation: putting the body at ease through meditation postures, putting the mind at ease through mental techniques, and using antidotes and remedies to work with the obstacles of agitation and dullness. She concludes this talk by explaining how to work skillfully with meditation experiences that typically arise -- well-being, clarity, and non-thought. In the subsequent talks, Lama Kathy leads us through the “Nine Stages of Shamatha” illustration multiple times, first to introduce the symbolic iconography and then to slowly refine our understanding of how we meditate, how our mind develops in meditation, how we work with obstacles, and how we develop the skills of mindfulness and alertness. In her final talk, Lama Kathy explains how the six powers (hearing, contemplation, memory, awareness, diligence and familiarization) can be used to accomplish the nine stages of shamatha meditation. She also provides detailed advice on deepening our practice through short half-day retreats. She concludes by describing the path of practice that follows the nine stages of shamatha. Throughout this weekend, Lama Kathy skillfully and humorously responded to questions from the audience and offered numerous instructions designed to help us bring the benefits of meditation practice into our day-to-day lives. Note: This download also includes a free MP3 of Lama Kathy's public talk: Calm Beneath the Waves.
These talks can be downloaded: 1. Complete your order. 2. You will receive an email confirmation of your order. 3. Usually within 24 hours you will receive two additional emails, one indicating that we have processed your order, and a second that will give you a link to a web page where you can download the talks.