Five experiences

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Five experiences (Tib. ཉམས་ལྔ་, nyam nga; Wyl. nyams lnga) – these experiences accompany the development of shamatha:

  1. At the beginning thoughts will arrive one on top of another, uninterrupted, like a steep mountain waterfall. This is the experience of movement (གཡོ་བའི་ཉམས་, g.yo ba'i nyams).
  2. Gradually, as you perfect meditation, thoughts become like the water in a deep, narrow gorge. This is the experience of attainment (ཐོབ་པའི་ཉམས་, thob pa'i nyams).
  3. Then it becomes like a great river slowly winding its way down to the sea. This is the experience of familiarity (གོམས་པའི་ཉམས་, goms pa'i nyams).
  4. The mind then becomes like a still and placid ocean, ruffled by only the occasional ripple or wave. This is the experience of stability (བརྟན་པའི་ཉམས་, brtan pa'i nyams).
  5. The fifth experience is that of consummation (མཐར་ཕྱིན་པའི་ཉམས་, mthar phyin pa'i nyams) which is described as an oil lamp that is not blown by the wind, resting bright and clear, unmoved by anything.

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