Four mental engagements

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The nine ways of resting the mind, or stages of shamatha practice can be condensed into four mental engagements (Tib. ཡིད་ལ་བྱེད་པ་བཞི་, yi la jepa shyi, Wyl. yid la byed pa bzhi):

  1. tightly focused engagement (Tib. བསྒྲིམས་ཏེ་འཇུག་པའི་ཡིད་བྱེད་, drim té jukpé yi jé) – relates to the first two stages of resting the mind
  2. interrupted engagement (Tib. ཆད་ཅིང་འཇུག་པའི་ཡིད་བྱེད་, ché ching jukpé yi jé) – this occurs from stage three to stage seven, when one is still susceptible to the obstacles of dullness and agitation and is therefore unable to abide for a long time
  3. uninterrupted engagement (Tib. ཆད་པར་མེད་པར་འཇུག་པའི་ཡིད་བྱེད་, chepar mepar jukpé yi jé – at stage eight one is able to remain unaffected by the obstacles of dullness and agitation without too much exertion
  4. effortless engagement (Tib. རྩོལ་བ་མེད་པར་འཇུག་པའི་ཡིད་བྱེད་, tsolwa mepar jukpé yi jé) – at the ninth stage one is able to maintain the practice effortlessly