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Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am
by alfa
: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:

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:18 am
by Johnny Dangerous
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.

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:49 am
by catmoon
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

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:09 pm
by Douglas Westbury
Sending a big love heart to you ...

Image

May all beings be happy !!!

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:51 pm
by haha
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.

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:31 pm
by Sennin
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.

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:01 am
by stevie
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.

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:16 pm
by Grigoris
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.

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:36 pm
by alfa
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?

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:57 pm
by Johnny Dangerous
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.

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:18 pm
by Grigoris
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.

Re: Object of Meditation

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:00 am
by SunWuKong
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.