Samadhi - swapping objects depending on mood and energy?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Samadhi - swapping objects depending on mood and energy?

Post by woodsytime » Fri May 20, 2011 11:37 am

Hi there,

I have a brief question about Samadhi practice.

Is it advised to meditate on one object for a period of time until the practice has developed sufficiently e.g. One teacher advised focussing on breath awareness for at least 6 months.


What are people's thoughts on swapping the meditation object depending on the situation, mood, energy levels etc.?

For instance, I prefer to do a body awareness meditation in the morning as I find it easier to concentrate earlier in the day, however in the late afternoon I meditate on the breath as I'm often restless by this time of day and find it helps bring some stillness. With this approach, perhaps the inidividual practices of body and breath awareness won't develop as quickly as I'm not focussing on just one, but I find it motivates me more to meditate if I'm not stuck on just one object all the time.

I realise everyone's different and you have to tailor your practice individually, but it would be interesting hearing other people's approaches to samadhi meditation practice.


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Re: Samadhi - swapping objects depending on mood and energy?

Post by daverupa » Fri May 20, 2011 12:22 pm

I take a certain satisfaction in doing only anapanasati, and not swapping among methods. I don't do a seated metta practice for example, as I find that the appamaññā end up co-arising with sampajañña as a direct result of anapanasati.

My saddha is such that I think anapanasati is rightly emphasized in the SuttaVinaya as the preeminent practice.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: Samadhi - swapping objects depending on mood and energy?

Post by wizi » Sat May 21, 2011 2:43 pm

There are days which anapanasati followed by vipassana sweeping seem to be non-starter because of the thinking mind. i then take to guided meditations by Shinzen Young who has produced 40 min sittings one of which is 'Working with the Thinking Mind', it helps alot in getting concentration that way.

But my Vipassana teacher tells me Shinzen Young is one of the persons blocked from Dhamma Giri! :? So i don't know if listening to his guided meditation is kosher.
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Re: Samadhi - swapping objects depending on mood and energy?

Post by rowyourboat » Sat May 21, 2011 4:02 pm

I think as long as we are clear about what we are hoping to achieve by doing a particular meditation, we can decide for ourselves what works best. If the aim is to develop samadhi, then you know the longer you keep the mind on one particular objected (boredom, thereby hindering this process) saamdhi (unification, concentration of mind) will develop. Why not facilitate this process by using more inspiring objects during the course of the day. We just need to not make meditation a ritual or rite, but rather something done with understanding.

Vipassana is the other common objective- and that requires a different approach, using whatever objects are handy.

with metta

With Metta

& Upekkha

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