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While steadily gazing into the space in front of you, without meditating on anything, steadily concentrate your consciousness, without wavering, in the space in front of you. Increase the stability and then relax again. Occasionally seek out “What is that consciousness that is concentrating,” steadily concentrate again, and then check it out again. Do that in an alternating fashion. Even if there are problems of laxity and lethargy, that will dispel them. In all your activities rely upon unwavering mindfulness. Do that for one day.
Then position your body like before. Cast your gaze downwards, gently release your mind, and without having anything on which to meditate, gently release both your body and mind into their natural state. Having nothing on which to meditate, and without any modification or adulteration, place your attention simply without wavering, in its own natural state, its natural limpidity, its own character, just as it is. Remain in clarity, and rest the mind so that it is loose and free. Alternate between observing who is concentrating inwardly and who is releasing. If it is the mind, ask: what is that very agent that releases the mind and concentrates the mind? And steadily observe yourself. Then release again. By so doing, fine stability will arise, and you may even identify pristine awareness. Do that, too, for one day.
Then do as before. Now alternately tightly concentrate your consciousness, wholly concentrating it without wavering, and then gently release it, evenly resting it in openness. Again concentrate, and again release. In that way, meditate with alternating constriction and release. At times, steadily direct your gaze up into the sky. Steadily focus your awareness with the desire to be without anything on which to meditate. Relax again. At times, steadily, unwaveringly, direct your awareness into the space on your right; at times, direct it to the left; and at times, direct it downwards. During each session, rotate the gaze around in those directions.
Occasionally inquire, “What is that awareness of the one who is focusing the interest?” Let the awareness itself steadily observe itself. At times, let your mind come to rest in the center of your heart, and evenly leave it there. At times, evenly focus it in the expanse of the sky and leave it there. Thus, by shifting the gaze in various, alternating ways, the mind settles in its natural state. As indications of this, if awareness remains evenly, lucidly, and steadily wherever it is placed, śamatha has arisen.
If awareness becomes muddled and without mindfulness, that is the problem of laxity, or dimness; so clear it up, inspire it, and shift your gaze. If it becomes distracted and excited, it is important that you lower your gaze and release your awareness. If samādhi arises in which there is nothing of which you can say, “This is meditation,” and “This is conceptualization,” this is the problem of oblivion, so meditate with alternating concentration and release, and recognize who is meditating. Recognize the flaws of śamatha, and eliminate them right away.
Flawless śamatha is like an oil-lamp that is unmoved by wind. Wherever the awareness is placed, it is unwaveringly present; awareness is vividly clear, without being sullied by laxity, lethargy, or dimness; wherever the awareness is directed, it is steady and sharply pointed; and unmoved by adventitious thoughts, it is straight. Thus, a flawless meditative state arises in one’s mind-stream; and until this happens, it is important that the mind is settled in its natural state. Without genuine śamatha arising in one’s mind-stream, even if pristine awareness is pointed out, it becomes nothing more than an object of intellectual understanding; and one is left simply giving lip-service to the view, and there is the danger that one may succumb to dogmatism. Thus, the root of all meditative states depends upon this, so do not be introduced to pristine awareness too soon, but practice until there occurs a fine experience of stability.”