Preparation for Meditative Serenity (concentration, shamatha) is made possible by adopting these simple principles:
1. Preparation: Conducive dwelling, Have little desire, Be content, Abandon useless activities, Pure ethical discipline, Stop thoughts of desires
2. Practice: Effective posture (Relaxation and Wakefulness). Effective practice (Mindfulness: attention is not distracted from object of concentration; and Vigilance: awareness of being distracted)
When these basics are being applied, you can begin advancing through the stages of meditative concentration, which begin with the first two:
First Stage: Settle the psyche by withdrawing attention from everything else, and direct it towards a single focus.
Second Stage: Settling continually involves the attention that was directed initially to continue focusing without becoming distracted by anything else.