This Thangka painting depicts 9 stages of Samatha meditation also popularly know as Way to heaven. This is one of the most used Thangka painting having no any Buddhist deity or Bodhisattwa. Samatha meditation is a Buddhist practice that focuses on calming the mind and cultivating inner peace. Thangka paintings can be used as objects of meditation to aid in this practice.
The thangka has a monk, elephant, monkey, rabbit and a rope. Each of these animals portraited, rope used by monks and corners of ways used has different meaning. The monk in the drawing is the meditator. The rope held by the monk symbolizes recollected ness; and the hook symbolizes watchfulness or alertness. . The rabbit represents a more subtle aspect of scattering and fogginess, which dilutes the zest for practice and diminishes the mind's clarity. The path of enlightened is represented by the symbolism.