In this class, we will meditate using the combined team of Shamatha and Vipashyana. Shamatha (stillness) is a state of meditation which is imbued with the extraordinary bliss of practiced agility due to the power of single-pointed concentration on it’s object.
Vipashyana (vision) is a state of wisdom, based on stillness, imbued with the extraordinary
bliss of practiced agility due to the power of analysis of the object.
With a foundation of Shamatha, when we practice Vipashyana we have the relaxation and stability necessary to analyze an object deeply enough to reach the goal, seeing emptiness directly.
About the Instructor: John Buchanan
John Buchanan, RYT is a close senior student of Yvonne + Roger Jaques, a graduate of the Asian Classics Institute 18 courses, and is completing the 18 courses of advanced Buddhist study. He has completed more than 1,500 hours of study in yoga philosophy, Tibetan Heart Yoga, Buddhist philosophy, and meditation. He is passionate about helping others to recognize and live from their subtle body, and brings an organic approach and a love of music to inspire students to embrace every aspect of their life as a spiritual path.
FROM THE SOURCE TEXT:
Now suppose someone asks, “Just how are stillness and higher insight mixed together, or balanced equally as a pair? And why is it called a path of entry into the union of a pair?”
It is said that you reach it from the nine levels of mental stability. You will go on to achieve the ninth level -- balanced meditation -- and gain total concentration. On that basis, you will make tremendous efforts at higher wisdom -- thoroughly distinguishing existing things.
At that point, the mind will begin to engage of its own accord, and without any effort, in the path of thoroughly distinguishing existing things. Because the path of stillness is utterly simple, without deliberate action, the higher insight that comes after stillness will be totally pure, clean, and suffused with an experience of bliss. It is in this way that the two of stillness and higher insight are mixed together and balanced equally, and this is called the path of entry into the union of the pair of stillness and higher insight."
Our source text is An unabridged portion of The Medium Length Book on the Steps of the Path to Enlightenment (byang chub lam gyi rim pa, commonly known as lam rim ‘bring) by Je Tsongkhapa, translated by Eva Natanya.