Thursday, July 06, 2006

zhi gnas

Let's go through a couple of meditation terms. zhi gnas is in Sanskrit Shamatah, the English translations are: calming the mind, calm abiding, tranquility.

To understand the translation, zhi means peace, and gnas means to stay. In other words, the mind stays peacefully in one place, one object. A non-trained mind, yul can, is bouncing between many, many objects, yul rnams, over and over again, never resting down and holding one single object, yul, for a long time.

The training behind zhi gnas is to get to a point to hold on to one single object for as long as the meditator wants to. This is a practice that is taught in most religions and meditative systems. The aim in a Buddhist training is to use surrogate objects to get to this point, or auspicious symbols such as a Buddha image for more merit generation. Actually one of the most powerful meditation objects is one's own mind, then we are dealing with mahamudra meditation. The nice thing with the mind is that it's always around! However, this is just phase one, phase two next.

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