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Concentrating Meditation in Theravada Buddhism

Align with higher self on Meditation

Meditation in Theravada Buddhism
Main Obstacles for Meditation (Pancha Nivarana)
  • Cravings related to the five senses via lustful images, smells, sounds, body feelings and taste.
  • Anger, feelings of hatred, fighting with others, jealousy, being affected by negative people.
  • Bored, sleepy & dull feelings - staying without courage/living with fear.
  • Swaying nature of the mind or continuously worrying about the past (ie sinful actions, losses & mistakes).
  • Having doubts about the dharma, path and fruition in Buddhism.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is focusing the mind to one subject (Focus) which in turn helps to remove defilements in the mind. It can be using - the breath, visualizing colored circular plate or flowers, sentences about Dharma, feelings of kindness. Some solemn monks visualize either a dead corpse or internal body parts and its uncanny states to focus on Dayana or Jhana or Holding can be achieved by concentrating the mind for a long period of time. There have four Jhanas related to the material world and another four related to the non-material world. To attain Jhana we need to achieve the five holdings roots, which are given in below sections. Before doing meditation we need some knowledge about the Dharma or guidance from good mentor. Also you need to have good devotion to the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and your spiritual teacher. It is good to practice meditation in front of statue or picture of Lord Buddha or your desired god. Good directions for doing meditation are North or East. Pose must be comfortable for your body conditions. You need a silent place (under the tree, temple, silent room, etc) and a calm mind to do meditation. Observing the five precepts & having courage are important factors for concentrating mind for a long time. Meditation methods can be chosen according to your preference & skills or according to your character.

Meditative Focusing Methods in Theravada Buddhism (Samatha Bawana)
Samadhi or Concentration Meditative Sentences Understandings Soft Feelings
 - Earth (Clay Plate)
 - Water (Round Pond)
 - Fire (Flame of Lamp)
 - Air (Swaying Object)
 - Blue colored circle
 - Gold colored circle
 - Red colored circle
 - White colored circle
 - Light (i.e. Moon)
 - Space (Hole in Plate)
 - Buddha
 - Dharma
 - Sangha
 - Precepts
 - Donations
 - Gods
 - About death
 - Internal organ of body
 - Death body
 - Breathing
 - Body movements
 - About Nibbana
 - Loving kindness
 - Clemency
 - Happiness or delight
 - Equality or indifference
Main Benefits & Facts
 - Attain miracle powers
 - Attain all Jhanas
 - Need good teacher
 - Want big persistence
 - Want pure precepts
 - No need for teacher
 - Good for lay people
 - Easy concentration
 - Collect big merits
 - Attain help from gods
 - Remove lust easily
 - Have four Jhana
 - Need good teacher
 - Want big persistence
 - Want pure precepts
 - No need teacher
 - Good for lay people
 - Four Jhanas will get 
 - Easy concentration
 - Collect big merits
Recommended Characters
 - Wise people
 - Mind swaying people
 - Angry minded people
 - Devoted people
 - Wise people
 - Angry minded people
 - Wise people
 - Mind swaying people
 - Lust minded people
 - Angry minded people
 - Wise people
 - Devoted people

Five Holdings Roots of Jhana (Samadhi Angha)
  • Keep binding your mind with focus - means mind should only think about focus.
  • Sustain the mind with focus - trying to separate other feelings except focus.
  • Happiness - attained after removing your negative thoughts.
  • Comfortable or weightless - body become weightless and cool, so it helps for further concentrating.
  • Concentrating - finally the mind only absorbs focus, mind will not sway or become distracted.

Four Miracle Roots (Satara Errdi Padha)
  • There are four facts for attaining miracle powers from the 4th Jhana via meditation.
  • Likeness: firstly we need to have a desire to meditate and earn relevant mind powers (e.g. Telepathy).
  • Persistence: secondly we want to have a certain level of persistence to set a goal & achieve it.
  • Binding Mind: then we want to bind the mind to only the above goal or auto-suggest to our mind about the goal continuously.
  • Investigation: We also want to investigate or learn about how it can be achieved or learnt from a good teacher.

Material Jhana (Rupa Dayana)

All five holdings roots (listed in the above section) are accomplished with the first Jhana. By neglecting the first & second holding roots, the second Dayana can be achieved. Neglecting happiness, Third Jhana can be achieved - means this state of being comfortable. Fourth Dayana can be achieved by concentrating mind to focus, by neglecting even being comfortable. In the fourth Dayana, mentally you can see light sphere or equal omen (nimitta) with any meditation types. Now we want to concentrate our mind into this light as the new focus. This fourth Dayana helps to learn and improve super natural powers (ESP) like walking in space, Example: If someone got into the fourth Dayana and focused on the plate of color gold, he can create gold objects through meditation.

Non-Material Jhana (Arupa Dayana)

After these four Rupa Dayana, we can attain Arupa Dayana by thinking infiniteness of the below things,
Infinite Space (Akasanañcayatanupaga) - By thinking infinitive space or space round the mental light
Infinite Consciousness (Viññanañcayatanupaga ) - By neglecting the light inside the mind, and focusing into your own mind and its nature
Nothingness (Akiñcaññayatanupaga ) - By neglecting even the mind and considering nullity as a focusing omen
Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception (Nevasaññanasaññayatanupaga deva) - By neglecting all identifications include void, i.e. via neglecting feeling, impact of mind, etc.
Brahma Living (Loving-kindness, Clemency, Delight & Equations) meditations can be done in two types:
- Focusing to infinitive number of beings as infinitive beings of the universe
- Focusing to one's self, then own respected people then gradually spreading it to vast groups of beings.
Practicing Jhana for a long time helps to rebirth your next life in the Great Heavens or Brahma Loka.