Stopping There are two basic aspects to Buddhist meditation—shamatha, and vipassana. For this piece I will talk about the first of these. Shamatha can be translated as stopping, calming, or concentrating. Consider this for a moment. What kind of mental activity can be translated as all three of these things? The three are in fact interrelated in ways that aren’t obvious at first. When we are calm, concentration becomes easier. Certainly a scattered mind is neither focused nor concentrated. The reverse is true as well: when we are concentrated, we are calmer. Worry and anxiety and so forth have an agitated, unfocused quality, as the mind runs around in circles chasing its own tail. And

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