Path of Transformation» Meditation

Repeated Placement: Once Again Resting the Mind


Repeated Placement is the third stage of our calm abiding meditation. In shamatha meditation, our practice proceeds gradually so that we are able to quickly recognize when our attention wanders off. Here, Tulku Migmar Tsering explains how repeated placement works. This video is in Tibetan and English with translation into English.

Repeated placement means that as soon as we notice we are distracted we bring the mind back. Here Tulku explains that if we allow our wandering to go on, it makes the mind very “heavy”. And then it is harder for us to be mindful and to meditate. So he suggests that we learn to do this in three seconds—don’t forget our focus. Tulku gives the example of getting up, going to our car, closing the door, and driving off. If we drive off, then we’ve lost control and it takes more time to get back to what we were doing. Instead, if we quickly realize we’ve started heading for the car, then we can mindfully bring ourselves back and reset.

Repeated placement on our breath, as an example, is an easy way to anchor our minds. “Repeat” means to come back and start again. So if we get distracted, we say to ourselves, “Back to the breath”. And breathing is always with us, regardless of what we are doing or thinking. Breathing is neutral—we don’t have heavy emotions attached to it. So, if we have anger or frustration, or emotional thinking, we can simply think, “back to the breath”, and the energy of those feelings just evaporates.

Tulku suggests the word, “rest” can help us think about how to practice most effectively. We’re not trying to control—we’re allowing the mind to rest. And when the mind rests, we experience freedom.

Tulku Migmar reminds us that the best way to practice as a beginner is to incorporate very short but very frequent periods throughout our day! Try to use these methods whenever you feel agitated or stressed or uncomfortable—that’s the best way to build a new habit of resting your mind.


Texts Referenced

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