Samatha means calm. Samatha meditation is an effective but gentle way of training the mind to develop inner strength and freedom from turmoil, leading on to clarity and understanding.
This path from calm to insight was followed by the Buddha himself, and is a central tradition of Buddhist meditation. There are many kinds of Samatha meditation techniques: this one is based on attention to the breath, a subject which is said to be suitable for all types of people.
By regular daily practice the chattering, unruly mind gradually becomes calmer and develops clarity. The way our mind works becomes less confusing to us and we begin to understand the habits of mind that hold us back from happiness and freedom. We become kinder to ourselves and those around us. Meditation is a practical matter: increased awareness brings an ability to make the most of ourselves in our daily lives.
Just like a deep lake,
Clear and undisturbed,
The wise grow peaceful
On hearing the teachings.
(Dhammapada verse 82)