Nine states of successive abiding

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Nine states of successive abiding (Tib. མཐར་གྱིས་གནས་པའི་སྙོམས་འཇུག་དགུ་, Wyl. mthar gyis gnas pa'i snyoms 'jug dgu) — nine successive "states", "absorptions" or "abidings in equipoise" that are part of the twenty-one sets of immaculate qualities. These are the four samadhis, the four formless absorptions, and the absorption of cessation.

The difference between these and the eight perfect freedoms is one of emphasis. For one speaks of “perfect freedom” from the standpoint of freedom from obscurations in relation to a certain level of realization, whereas “absorption,” or abiding in equipoise, is used from the point of view of the equilibrium of the elements of the physical body, as also of the mind and mental factors.

The absorptions are said to be “successive” because they occur gradually, in the course of the meditation through which they are achieved. It is impossible for the higher absorptions to occur before the lower ones.[1]


  1. Longchen Yeshe Dorje, Kangyur Rinpoche and Jigme Lingpa, Treasury of Precious Qualities: Book One (Shambhala, revised edition 2011), Appendix 9.