937-244-1961 | 113 S. Johnson Street #4 Iowa City, IA 52240 sangha@milarepaiowa.org

Calm Abiding Meditation

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays  6:30-7:15pm

Sundays 8:00-8:45am

Held in-person only.


location: 1907 G Street, Iowa City
drop-in meditation – no fee or registration

Everyone can experience benefits from meditation. Calm abiding meditation, or shamatha, is a method for bringing peace and stillness to our minds through mindfulness and awareness. This type of meditation provides a foundation for all other meditation practice, regardless of religion or spiritual tradition.

The Dalai Lama has said:

“The nature of calm abiding … is the one-pointed abiding on any object without distraction, of a mind conjoined with a bliss of physical and mental pliancy. If it is supplemented with taking refuge, it is a Buddhist practice; and if it is supplemented with an aspiration to highest enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, it is a Mahayana practice. Its merits are that, if one has achieved calm abiding, one’s mind and body are pervaded by joy and bliss; one can – through the power of its mental and physical pliancy – set the mind on any virtuous object one chooses; and many special qualities … are attained. “

Ven. Traga Rinpoche describes calm abiding meditation practice this way:

“With regard to the practice of calm-abiding we can use the example of pure water and water that is mixed with contaminants such as dirt. When we sit down to meditate we should think that right now my mind is like impure water and that I need to purify it. If I have water that is mixed up with dirt and I pour it into a vessel, the way to separate the contaminants from the water is simply to let the vessel sit. Then slowly, gradually, all of the dirt and impurities settle at the bottom of the container.

“In a similar way when we engage in the practice of calm-abiding we need to allow the mind to naturally settle in its own state and in this way pacify conceptual thoughts. If we want to see the nature of the mind then we need to let go of fixation on thoughts. When we do not follow after the myriad thoughts that arise in the mind then we can look at the nature of the mind. This nature is like the vast ocean and the thoughts that arise in the mind are like waves on the surface of the ocean. They are of the same basic nature. That is to say as waves and the water are of the same nature so are thoughts and mind of the same nature. But this is only recognized when we do not fixate on the thoughts that arise. Then free of fixation the thoughts will arise and naturally subside.”