This bodhicitta, or the resolve to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, is a state of mind that can, with effort, be developed incrementally. But for it to become uncontrived, that is, arise spontaneously as the undercurrent and motivation for all one’s activities, whether waking or sleeping, one must first gain a very stable state of mind. Practically, how could one maintain such a vast and extraordinarily benevolent state of mind in a steady stream, if one’s mind had not yet achieved a profound degree of stability through freedom from the five obscurations, namely, hedonism, ill-will, laxity-and-dullness, excitation-and-anxiety, and afflictive uncertainty?
Thus, in order to realize and sustain uncontrived bodhicitta, one must first attain the crystal clear, blissful, and nonconceptual state of concentration known as shamatha, by which those five obscurations are subdued, and a subtler dimension of consciousness is accessed. This is the aforementioned stability of mind, the indispensable foundation for reaching any path.