Shamatha and Vipassyana

Classical meditation trains us in two forms of meditation: shamatha (sham-a-ta) and vipassyana (vipahs-yanah). The Practice of Living Awareness teaches these within its steps. The distinction in the method of The Practice is simply the inclusion of our senses from the start as well as modern and nature-based examples on which to focus.

Shamatha means peaceful abiding or sustained tranquility. The smile that begins each of our meditation sessions initiates a peaceful feeling. Then the rhythm of the breath trains us in how to sustain peace into an abiding tranquility. Equally, we learn to rest our mind in the gentle flow of the breath while, at the same time, learning to focus. The tip of the nose brings a pointed focus to the mind. Now we have the bases of shamatha and vipassyana established.

Vipassyana means clear sight or the way of clear view. It is known also as penetrating insight. Vipassyana uses the senses as a way to stabilize the mind in the Here and Now. While doing so, perceptive insight is nurtured. Our senses lead us to understand more and more of our self-made reality, as well as how to be more self-aware.

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