Upholding stability and clarity

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Upholding stability and clarity

Postby sangyey » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:03 pm

I am a little uncertain whether you first merely try to maintain a hold on the object of meditation and then try to foster the qualities of stability and clarity after achieving a basic hold or whether from the outset are trying to foster the stability and clarity of the object regardless of whether you have the mental hold?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

One note, on Dr. Alexander Berzin's web-site he says that stability and clarity are aspects of the mental hold 'Dzin cha' of the object. From reading that it seems that you would first put emphasis on just maintaining the mental hold and then foster the qualities of stability and clarity. For me, this seems like the easiest way to do it but i'm not exactly sure so I wanted to post this thread. Perhaps you could go about it either way?
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Re: Upholding stability and clarity

Postby ground » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:00 pm

First you have to get rid of thoughts about the past and about the future, then you stop mental chatter/commenting on current experiences. Then there arises clarity and mindfulness which are the preprequisites for the mind dwelling smoothly and relaxed on the object once it is put there. If mind starts to move mindfulness will bring it back to the object immediately, without tension and relaxed.

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Re: Upholding stability and clarity

Postby Andrew108 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:28 am

You don't hold in a tense way or try with effort to get rid of thinking. The more you relax within attention the more you hold. It is more about letting thoughts go in order to stay on the object of focus. If the object is a stone then the thoughts are like a fast running stream - you don't watch the fast running stream you watch the stone - the fast running stream just goes by itself.
So relax to build attention. The more you relax into things with attention the better your meditation gets. But don't get stressed about relaxing.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Upholding stability and clarity

Postby Tarpa » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:51 am

Try stabilizing a rough image and then try to build up clarity of that by starting from either the top or bottom of that image and working your way up or down, going over the details of the image.
The nonexistence of the transcendence of suffering
is what the protector of the world has taught as the transcendence
of suffering.
Knots tied on space
are untied by space itself.

May I never be seperated from perfect masters in all lives,
and delightfully experiencing the magnificent dharma,
completing all qualities of the stages of the paths
may I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara
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Re: Upholding stability and clarity

Postby sangyey » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:01 am

Tarpa, it seems that you would be suggesting first just trying to merely keep a hold of the image first ( dzin cha ) and then try to foster the clarity. That seems like how Alexander Berzin describes that stability and clarity are aspects of the mental hold. Thanks for the suggestion.

I also have a feeling it could be done either way where you could either try to keep the mental hold on the object first and then foster the clarity and stability or you could try upholding the stability and clarity all throughout the meditation whether the hold has yet to be stabilized. Not exactly sure but think it may be possible either way.
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