A few years ago I discovered a book called Mind Development by Ven. Phra Tepvisuddhikavi. I began to study and practice its teachings on anapanasatibhavana, mindfulness based on breathing. With my first effort I was able to achieve one-pointedness and the resulting ecstacy (piti) to an intense degree. However I did not maintain a regular practice habit, and usually limited my practice to thirty minutes per session. I now find it more difficult to develop one-pointedness and often fall asleep. What is it that I am doing, or not doing, that I can no longer develop meditation as I had in the beginning? I’ve tried meditation with my eyes open but feel somewhat distracted. I am more interested in the shamatha aspects of the practice. Can you please help me find that one-pointedness that I found so easy at the beginning?
Tulku Thondup: There are two aspects to every Buddhist meditation: letting our mind dwell one-pointedly, like a mountain, when we are focusing on any meditative field, and seeing whatever we are meditating on as it truly is. The first aspect is tranquility (shamatha); the second, insight (vipashyana).