There are 3 meditations that are key to successfully taming and controlling the mind.
1. Breathing meditation
2. Silent Watcher meditation
3. Absorption of the cessation of conceptual thought
Each meditation in its own right is extremely powerful but they each have different functions.
One of the main functions of breathing meditation is to calm the mind. One of the main functions of Silent Watcher is to observe thought without getting involved in any further analysis. They both have other functions but these are regarded as key functions.
The focus here is on the 3rd meditation.
The functions of the 3rd meditation are:
- cease inappropriate attention
- cease distractions from arising (objects of the sense awareness)
- cease gross conceptual thought & feelings
- allow our mind to become more and more subtle
- act as a prerequisite for subtle meditations
The 3rd meditation is slightly different to ‘Absorption of discrimination’ which focuses more on not distinguishing or identifying objects which cause negative states of mind. This would primarily be for when an anxious state of mind arises and the focus would be on making the mind like wood or stone. It would cease the negative state of mind.
This 3rd meditation is primarily focused upon obtaining a subtle state of mind from a gross state of mind.
I like to start to start with the first two meditations but the 3rd meditation can be practiced separately. I also like to start with an initial determination that focuses on choosing to only ‘listen to the silence of my mind’. The basic object of placement meditation is the stillness, the silence, the cessation of gross conceptual thought. The experience of the absence of gross conceptual thought is extremely peaceful and should induce a subtle state. One would then continue to ‘find’ the stillness (which is called analytical meditation) and then go back to placing the mind and settling into this state until a more subtle state is experienced. This cycle is repeated through gradual levels of subtlety.