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Benefits of Developing Zhi Nay (Shamata)

If I develop zhi nay, or shamatha, what do I get?

1. I will have tremendous happiness in the mind and joy in my body, and that is going to make me happy and joyful in this life. We are not talking about the long shot. We are not talking about enlightenment nor about a future life, nor about at the time of death, even not about twenty years from now. We are talking about right now. If one has a maximum amount of time and opportunity, within a year one can gain this. Actually, if one puts a lot of focus on this, it is said that zhi nay can be developed within six months. It’s not that hard to develop. That does not necessarily mean that if you put in ten minutes a day, then after six months you should be thinking, ‘Where is that zhi nay?’ Probably it is not as quick as that. We really have to put quite a lot of time and effort into it. But it definitely is something that can happen within our lifetime.

2. Because of this level of mind and body, you’ll have complete control over your mind. In other words, you can use your mind to whatever purpose. Wherever you put your focus, the mind will re- main there and keep focused, so you’ll be able to do whatever you want with your mind. Your mind will not be like a crazy monkey, but like a well-trained elephant. Because of that joy, your mind will not have a mind of its own and run around and play all its tricks on you, leading you on a wild goose chase. Somehow the mind will listen to you and you can use your mind for as long as you want to and in whatever way you want to. You can use it in a positive way and for spiritual development. And that is what we want.

So, the mind gets trained so it doesn’t go around in a zigzag and then comes crashing down. You mind will no longer be like a wild elephant, but like a well-trained elephant. A well-trained elephant is extremely helpful. Remember, at Buddha’s time 2,500 years ago, there were no bulldozers etc., all those big machines didn’t exist. So the biggest, most effective force was an elephant. Whether you wanted to pull out the root of a tree or carry a tree or anything of that sort, an elephant was the most useful and most powerful means of transportation. That’s why the example of an elephant is given. The mind is the most powerful tool we can ever have, but we cannot use it because we cannot focus. To concentrate and focus so much effort is needed. The mind has to be trained; at our stage it’s a very raw mind. Kyabje Trijang Rimpoche had a drawing on the development of zhi nay with an elephant and some monks.

3. For liberation seekers what happens is that at the level of zhi nay, the mind will totally focus on virtue rather than on non-virtue. Non-virtuousness will be tremendously reduced. That is a great achievement. In that way you will constantly, continually, have virtuousness running throughout every moment. So it’s a very nice way of handling things.

4. If you develop zhi nay, you can attain the siddhis very quickly, you‘ll develop clairvoyance, like reading others' minds, seeing into the future, remembering past incarnations. You can also get physical powers such as flying and levitating. All of those are possible. They come as a side effect.

5. Another important benefit is that one's sleep is transformed into profound meditation.

6. The most important point according to the Buddha is that if you have zhi nay, you can develop lhak tong, vipashyana, and that can cut the root of samsara. Then the purpose of many lifetimes, not just the current one, will be served.

These are the basis on which you will develop the desire to develop zhi nay. By contemplating these, laziness will disappear.

We are not talking way down the road, we are talking where we can really reach. As far as I know, the great spiritual practitioners do not spend any time to developing clairvoyance or magical powers. They get them as a side effect of spiritual development, as a side effect of zhi nay. And if you are looking at the spiritual path, it is with zhi nay that you can achieve special seeing, lhak tong or vipashyana, seeing deeply inside, seeing the inner truth. That means we are cutting through the mystery of life. Cutting the mystery of life may not be so important. What is important is that with the power of vipashyana we can cut the root of samsara, which is the source of all suffering – mental, physical, and emotional sufferings.

There is a chance we may be able to do that, because if we develop zhi nay we get a tremendous mental power. Actually it’s the individual’s mind getting trained so you can use it for as long as you want to, in whatever way you want to without interruption. Once you have that, anything you do will be very powerful. That is the real reason we need this. So there is a quality to be gained, therefore there is an incentive, there is a desire to put effort into it. The result of all our effort will be that quality of samadhi.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, GOM, 2005, p.55

Posted on Saturday, April 6th, 2019

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