Object of Meditation

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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alfa
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Object of Meditation

Post by alfa » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am

:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:18 am

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
If was going to focus on Shamatha, I would focus on the Shamatha of loving kindness, compassion, equanimity, or sympathetic joy. B. Alla Wallace talks about this a bit in his book on the four Immeasurables, you can achieve Shamatha of these states.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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catmoon
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by catmoon » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:49 am

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
The various meditation subjects that the Buddha prescribed for the development of serenity have been collected in the commentaries into a set called the forty kammatthana. This word means literally a place of work, and is applied to the subject of meditation as the place where the meditator undertakes the work of meditation. The forty meditation subjects are distributed into seven categories, enumerated in the Visuddhimagga as follows: ten kasinas, ten kinds of foulness, ten recollections, four divine abidings, four immaterial states, one perception, and one defining.[7]
From the Access to Insight site. Usually the teacher assigns one to the student after evaluating his personality, strengths and weaknesses. Following the breath is a commonly chosen object, being suitable to a wide variety of students. So I am told.

Check it out here: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el351.html
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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Douglas Westbury
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by Douglas Westbury » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:09 pm

Sending a big love heart to you ...

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May all beings be happy !!!

haha
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by haha » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:51 pm

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
Just my speculation. Mental object in the breath is easier than other objects because one is much families with it from the birth. Not exactly the same but one can experience something similar in Hypnosis (or guiding meditation). One can regard guiding word as mental object. In the absorption, sukha is just an aspect but it comes together with other factors.

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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by Sennin » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:31 pm

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
One could use a Shakyamuni Buddha image for example.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

stevie
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by stevie » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:01 am

Equally important are the circumstances of meditation: having taken refuge to the three jewels from the depth of one's heart, not being engaged with activities and intentions that are obstacles, having faith that since the Buddha taught concentrations to attain concentrations is the right thing to do on the path to liberation, moral conduct, a place free from disturbances etc etc.
Then, to be able to leave the desire realm and attain the form realm it is of utmost importance to first become aware of the defects of the desire realm: coarse afflictive emotions, extreme desire and passions, extreme attachment to self and the corresponding sufferings. One definitely wants to leave that behind and is joyfully looking foward to the concentrations which are a release of mind and a portion of liberation.

Also important to know is that a jhanic state achieved through a concentration is a natural aspect of one's mind. It is not something different from mind that has to be newly constructed. On the contrary jhanic states are merely concealed by strong afflictive obscurations but they are a natural potential of mind already present. They are revealed through 'putting aside' the strong afflictive obscurations.

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Grigoris
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by Grigoris » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:16 pm

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
The thing with your breath is that it is an object that you always have with you, it is simple and it is not really open to complex conceptual analysis.

The other objects mentioned in the Vissudhimagga are for particular purposes (eg the recollection of foulness is to break attachment to the material body). Other objects are much more complicated and require you to memorise things.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

alfa
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by alfa » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:36 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:16 pm
alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
The thing with your breath is that it is an object that you always have with you, it is simple and it is not really open to complex conceptual analysis.

The other objects mentioned in the Vissudhimagga are for particular purposes (eg the recollection of foulness is to break attachment to the material body). Other objects are much more complicated and require you to memorise things.

True, but wouldn't the same logic apply to the sounds we hear? Our ears are always open, so is concentration on sound recommended anywhere?

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:57 pm

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:36 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:16 pm
alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
The thing with your breath is that it is an object that you always have with you, it is simple and it is not really open to complex conceptual analysis.

The other objects mentioned in the Vissudhimagga are for particular purposes (eg the recollection of foulness is to break attachment to the material body). Other objects are much more complicated and require you to memorise things.

True, but wouldn't the same logic apply to the sounds we hear? Our ears are always open, so is concentration on sound recommended anywhere?
Yes, there are various instructions on sound.

Typically the two most common Samantha instructions I've seen are on the breath, or on a visual object. Purely in term of concentration, Shamatha with a visual object was extremely effective for me once I got past having to keep my eyes open and training my gaze. Meditation on sound I personally find more difficult to maintain concentration, I felt like it naturally verges more into the territory of Vipaysana meditation.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Grigoris
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:18 pm

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:36 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:16 pm
alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
The thing with your breath is that it is an object that you always have with you, it is simple and it is not really open to complex conceptual analysis.

The other objects mentioned in the Vissudhimagga are for particular purposes (eg the recollection of foulness is to break attachment to the material body). Other objects are much more complicated and require you to memorise things.

True, but wouldn't the same logic apply to the sounds we hear? Our ears are always open, so is concentration on sound recommended anywhere?
Yes, of course it is. Ritual music is exactly that.

But random sounds can spark off the the thinking process and draw us into a chain of analysis. For example: Right now I can hear a dog barking. It sounds kind of angry. I wonder why it is angry? Do you think somebody is harming it? Maybe it wants to harm another animal? Maybe it heard an intruder. That reminds me, I have to fix the alarm system. Etc...

The breath does not provide that sort of stimulation.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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SunWuKong
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Re: Object of Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:00 am

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
:namaste:

Most of the time Buddhist literature and teachers ask you to focus on the breath. Is there any other meditation object that may be quite as effective in creating jhanic states like piti or sukha?

:anjali:
Yes there are. In fact an entire treatise is written on the breath as an object, and 39 other objects of meditation. I stick with the sutras, however.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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