Four mental engagements 四作意

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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