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Shamatha

(śamatha), Skt., lit., “dwelling in tranquillity.” In the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism it is stressed that the precondition of “concentration” (samādhi) is intentional development of “dwelling in tranquillity” and “special insight” (vipashyanā ). Dwelling in tranquillity calms the mind, while special insight, through analytical examination, leads to vision of genuine reality, which is emptiness (shūnyatā). Shamatha is first developed in preliminary practice and later further refined in connection with vipashyanā. Dwelling in tranquillity is compared to a still, clear lake in which the “fish of special insight” plays.