This is a reading of a talk given to a group of lay practitioners on the topic of samadhi at Hampstead Vihara, London in the late 1970s. It is designed to be listened to as a guided meditation. The Pali/Sanskrit word samādhi, usually translated as “concentration,” is made up of three parts, a verbal root and two prefixes (sam+ā+dhi). The last part, dhi, is a noun form derived from the verbal root dhā, meaning “to put or place.” The prefix ā gives direction and suggests “placing upon,” and the prefix sam means “gathering or bringing together.” When combined and used in a Buddhist context, these elements add up to the sense of “unifying the mind and placing its awareness upon a particular object.” Traditional sources also emphasize that the mind focuses on a single (eka) point (agga), and “one-pointedness” (Pali, ekaggatā; Skt. ekāgratā) is another common way of defining samādhi (Andrew Olendzki).
Ajahn Chah was a Thai Buddhist monk and meditation Master. He was an influential teacher of the Buddhadhamma and a founder of two major monasteries in the Thai Forest Tradition. He was reputed to be an Arahant.
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