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The battle may be over, but there are still a few little enemy soldiers
running around in the form of subtle thoughts, mostly about pleasure. We may
be slightly attached to how good meditation feels. There are little
dualistic rumblings. Although we know that they’re not going to disrupt our
meditation, we can’t just sit back and ignore them. In thoroughly
pacifying, we don’t dispel the thoughts as we did in stage four. Now we
seduce them, like snow falling into fire. Our meditation is becoming so
strong that when thoughts and emotions encounter its heat they naturally
dissolve.Remember the waterfall of thoughts we felt when we first sat down on the
cushion to tame our minds? It’s become a lake with only a few little
By the eighth stage, known as one-pointed, the remnants of
discursiveness have evaporated. We’re sitting there completely awake, clear
and knowing. This is possible because we’re no longer distracted. Our
meditation has developed all the attributes of perfection, which is what we
will accomplish at the ninth stage. The only difference is that at the
beginning of meditation we still have to make a slight effort to point our
mind in the direction of the breath.
Our meditation has come to perfection. When we sit down we engage with
the breath in a completely fluid and spontaneous manner. Our mind is strong,
stable, clear and joyous. We feel a complete sense of victory. We could
meditate forever. Even in the back of our mind, there are no traces of
thoughts. We’re in union with the present moment. Our mind is at once
peaceful and powerful, like a mountain. There’s a sense of equanimity.
This is perfection. Like a finely trained racehorse, our mind remains
motionless but alive with energy. The mind has actually grown—in strength as
well as size. We feel magnanimous, expansive. This is the fruition of
peaceful abiding. Now we have a mind that is able to focus in any endeavor.
We feel centered and confident.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is holder of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage
established by his father, the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Reprinted by
arrangement with Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc., from
Turning the Mind Into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham,
Mipham J. Mukpo.
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