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Thoroughly Pacifying  

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 ripples.  


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,  2003 by Mipham J. Mukpo.

The Nine Stages of Training the Mind, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Shambhala Sun, March 2003.

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