Samatha

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Samatha (Pāli; Sanskrit: śamatha), "Tranquility" meditation is a type of meditation that is widely practiced in order to produce states of calm. Thus, it is probably the most widely practiced type of meditation.

For Buddhists, it is commonly practiced as a prelude to and in conjunction with Vipassanā meditation. In order to practice Vipassanā, a meditation must first gather enough concentration to focus on the meditation object. Traditionally, there are 40 objects of meditation, although the breath as an object of meditation has always enjoyed the widest popularity. Mindfulness of breathing or ānāpāna meditation can be used for both Samatha and Vipassanā Meditation.

Samatha is commonly cultivated for entering into Jhanic states or states of meditative absorption or concentration. Thus, it furthers the right concentration aspect of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Samatha is the second of the three higher trainings of

  • Sila - morality, or training in ethical behaviour
  • Samadhi - training in concentration
  • Jnana - training in wisdom

Shamatha is also used in Tibetan Buddhism.

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