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Undistracted Mind


Dzogchen Beara, 26 & 27 October 2003

The antidote to our distracted state of mind is mindfulness. By developing mindfulness, or drenpa (Tib.), we ultimately free ourselves of our concepts, judgements and dualistic thinking, and return to the pure knowing of the nature of mind. At first we have to make an effort to be mindful, but the less distracted we are, the more refined our mindfulness becomes. The first level of mindfulness, called ‘deliberate mindfulness’ is accomplished by becoming aware of ourselves, by finding the meditator, instead of being caught up in the outside world.
The next step is to bring mindfulness into meditation, which begins with the practice of shamatha (skt.), or ‘calm abiding’. Shamatha practice brings stability to our minds, and is the first step towards establishing such a powerful state of non-distraction that we are able to remain undistracted even when not meditating. During shamatha practice, we stay mindful of our practice, maintain a watchful awareness (shé shyin, Tib.) of our mindfulness, remaining (népa, Tib.) in the stillness of calm abiding. Eventually, even the focus of practice dissolves and we find ourselves resting in nowness. This single-pointedness is the fruition and goal of shamatha. This means that we are able to maintain our stillness when a thought or external event occurs, because we no longer need to interpret, and reach the point where there is no distinction between stillness and movement.

  • Model: CDE363

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