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The importance of shamatha cannot be understated in regards to one’s meditation practice or one’s life. On the cushion or off, shamatha is the capacity of a human being to abide in a state of calm, serenity, or composure, tranquility, equipoise, or steadfastness such that distractions are non-effective to pull one away from stability and focus.

Shamatha is the source of patience and peace. It is a state or condition of tranquility and harmony. Shamatha is also the first sustained experience that one can have of self-less-ness. If meditative equipoise and serenity is truly established, then the person-ness, the ego of self-identity, is dismissed or rendered like background/foreground. Imagine, then, how effective shamatha can be off the cushion in one’s life?

Step 7, Interlude, is a pause in which one takes notice of some of the benefits that might have come forward due to learning to meditate or practicing meditation. Essentially, those benefits all come from learning to be at peace within oneself.

 

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