Thus far this month we've been building insight into our thinking minds. Now we turn our attention to building focus and calm – taming the monkey.
To accomplish this we're use an ancient practice called Samatha (wikipedia), a Buddhist term that is often translated as the "tranquility of the mind", or "mind-calmness".
Samatha is developed by building concentration, which is the ability to rest the attention on a single object of perception. Building the skill to be able to keep the monkeys still produces a deep sense of calm/rest that is impossible to access otherwise. This calm-focus is the path to unearthing our innate joy.
One of the principal techniques for this purpose is mindfulness of breathing. Samatha is commonly practiced as a prelude to and in conjunction with wisdom practices (Vipashyana: observing our body sensations).