In General, the meditation object is what you are meditating on. Whether it be a sound, a word, a visualization, a sensation, a feeling or a concept, we use the word Object to indicate what we are meditating on. In meditation, there is a stage called placement meditation. In this stage we place our minds (or concentrate) on that object. Sometimes we place our minds on a thought and sometime we place our minds on a visual form. In transcendental meditation you place your mind on the sound or imagined sound you think about while breathing.
For the purpose of this course we will only be looking at meditations on Neutral objects but will briefly describe what virtuous object are.
A neutral object is something that carries no emotional weight, like a log or the wind or a non recognisable sound. The easiest neutral object to focus on and which is reliably neutral is our breath. Another neutral object to focus on is a meaningless sound. If you were to concentrate on something that is non virtuous the concentration would be contaminated and the meditation would not be virtuous.
To start we will look at meditations on the breath and how we can utilize this object to calm our minds and become accustomed to the practices of meditation. We will also look at utilizing a meaningless sound as another neutral object to meditate on.
What do we mean when we talk about the breath. What is this object? Do we just sit and breath? Do we feel the breath going into our lungs or do we simply know that we are breathing? What do we mean?
The object that we are looking for here is the sensation of the breath entering and leaving our nostrils. When you breath in it will be slightly colder than when you breath out (unless you are in a desert). Breath in and then breath out of your nose and feel the sensation of that air passing in and out. Try it. Just quickly find that sensation. Check here if you really know what is meant by what we have described the meditation object of breath
This feeling or sensation is the object of our meditation. The sensation is the object we place our minds on or concentrate on or focus on. Just the feeling. Not the fact that we are breathing. Not the general feeling of breathing. This very specific sensation. Try again to find it and see if you know what I mean.
Regarding meditating on a virtuous object. What is a virtuous or positive object? How can we be certain that what we are focusing on is virtuous? Virtuous objects naturally make our mind more peaceful and calm and clear. If we find that our mind becomes agitated, irritated, anxious or even dull then we are not focusing on a virtuous object. If we find that feelings of anger or anxiety arise or if you feel as if you start craving an object or as if you are stuck to the object then you are not meditating on a virtuous object.
Virtuous objects are the cause of pure happiness. Virtuous objects do not fool you with the fruits of temporary happiness but bring to you deeper and deeper levels of peace and happiness. What are these virtuous objects we are talking about? Could it be love, could it be patience, wisdom, a determination to be kind to all living beings? Yes, and many more.
There are many different virtuous objects of meditation which we at MBH have been accumulating and have and will be adding to the Meditation Practitioner course. The meditation foundation course will focus on meditation in general and will step the participant through meditating on a neutral object.
This will all be much clearer when we start with the practice and when you test it out for yourself. Please please Remember, it is not at all how much you know about meditation that will make your meditation strong. It is the practicing in meditation that will do that. You can know everything there is to know about playing guitar but if you do not put your fingers to the strings you will only ever be able to make a noise. We want to produce music not just know about it. With meditation, we want to train our minds in concentration and improve the capacity and strength of our minds while finding more and more deeper levels of peace and happiness.
We will be talking about how to find this object and focus on it in subsequent lessons.
Without the mind there will be no subject nor object to meditate on. When we meditate on something we can identify with one of our senses, we are still not meditating on the actual object, we are meditating on the thought of that object, the conceived object of knowledge.
The more we meditate on neutral or virtuous objects the more and more calm and relaxed our body becomes. Our aches and pains start dissolving away and our body will seem lighter and more flexible. As the mind relaxes so does the body. As the mind becomes more nimble and flexible so does the body.
The more we associate with anger and jealousy and anxiety and other non virtuous ignorant states of mind, the more and more we become accustomed to feeling the effects of these thoughts and emotions. However, the more and more we associate with the tranquility of concentrating on neutral or virtuous objects the easier it becomes to be happier and peaceful no matter what situation arrises. This will in turn affect our body and our ability to meditate with more clarity and power.