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Meditation object

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starfishWhen we meditate our goal is to keep our attention stable on our meditation object while preserving our awareness; and when distractions appear we simply return our attention to our object.

The meditation object is something that we choose and decide to be the center of our attention during our session.

 

When being a beginner it’s not very easy to find your object as you don’t know what works for you yet. That’s why the first period of meditating is always a period of experimentation.
During your experimental period, that can last weeks or even months, you should try several different meditation objects, to find out what inspires you and fits you the most. Don’t feel pressure that you have to find your object within a limited time.

When I first started meditating I was doing a lot of visualizations. It was easier to focus on that, and it also helped me settle in with my practice and slowly find out what works for me.

I was doing a specific visualization, to find my intention, or when I had rough days -when something was bothering me- I was visualizing my problems drifting away into the sky. You can find both visualizations here (day 5 and 6).


I have made a list of various meditation objects below. You can be switching in-between them every couple of days or weeks, and let your sense lead you to your object.
It’s important that your attention flows to the meditation object in a natural way. That way you will not feel any pressure towards it. Another important point is to find a meditation object that doesn’t create any “big” emotions to you.

Meditation objects:

 

  • The most common meditation object is the breath.The breath is something natural and it’s always there.
    You can choose to focus on a specific part of your body that is being affected by the breath, like the chest or the belly movement as you breathe in and out; or your nose (how you feel the air cold in the inhalation and warm on the exhalation), or observing the breath like an integrated bodily procedure.
    Counting your breaths can also be an object of meditation. Make your goal counting until 10 and each time you’re being distracted, start your counting from the beginning.

 

Even if you don’t choose the breath as your object it’s always a good way to start your meditation session.

 

  • Sound. You can be listening to music and focusing on a specific instrument or focusing (without music) just on hearing.
    Don’t forget that you should accept the sounds in an objective way, without judging them or letting emotions or feelings arise.

 

 

    • A physical object. You can choose any object you want and place it in front of you, little lower from your eye level. You can also place it a couple of meters away from you, on the floor.
      Start to observe the object. Observe the lines, the edges, the surface, it’s color, does the color change under the sun? Observe the object while being objective, without thinking if you like the color or not, or thinking “I would prefer it to be smoother”. Just observe and accept.

 

  • A physical object as a visualization. This means first observing an object of your choice, and then closing your eyes and visualizing it.

 

  • animated man meditating on universe backgroundA chakra. Focusing on the physical point of the specific chakra and visualizing the specific chakra color. You can also breathe in soothing light to the specific chakra. There are many ways to do it.  More about the chakras.
  • Emptiness or nothingness.  Focusing on the feeling of your simple existence without anything pertaining to self.
    Emptiness can very easily be misinterpreted, that’s why you should practice it under the guidance of an instructor.
    If you want further explanation you should read, “The Integrity of Emptiness”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
  • A mental quality. Like love, joy, balance, peace, compassion, gratitude, equanimity etc.
    (This can be quite difficult for a beginner)

Some of these meditation objects are explained, as in a meditation session, in the weekly schedule that I have created.

 

Feel free to write down any thought of yours in the comment field below 🙂


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8 thoughts on “Meditation object

  1. Nick

    I use the “so hum” mantra when I do my meditations (that’s how I was taught). I normally go for 20 minutes or so and try to do it as early in the day as possible so that I am calm throughout the day.

    I’m still pretty new to it though. I only started a few weeks ago and I’m not quite as consistent as I’d like to be.

    How long have you been meditating for? Do you find it easy to meditate every day?

    1. Athanasia Post author

      Hello Nick 🙂

      Nice to hear that you have started a meditation routine.

      I have been meditating daily for one and a half year. I was struggling to achieve that for many years but at some point I just realized that it’s all about just making the decision and sticking to it no matter what.
      By daily, I mean 5-7 days per week. There are days that you may miss your meditation session because you are sick you woke up late or something came up. We are not machines 😉
      Keep in mind that even sitting down for 5 minutes will help. It’s more about the consistency in the beginning, than the duration.
      Once you have built a strong routine of meditating and you have started seeing some improvement, you will feel the need to meditate.

      I also meditate in the morning and it really makes a big difference in everything that will follow throughout the day.

      I wish you all the best,
      Athanasia

  2. Shane Magner

    I just started to meditate and found it hard to shut off the brain. I tried focusing on my breathing as you have mentioned but found myself controlling my breathing. I was happy to read that it could take months before you truly figure it out because I was having a hard time just relaxing. I will use you recommendations on other techniques. Thanks for posting this article.

    1. Athanasia Post author

      Hello Shane 🙂
      I have also always had a hard time focusing on my breath because I end up controling it. That’s why I chose another meditation object. The breath works for many people, but not for all.
      Experiment with various meditation objects and just stick to the ones that inspires you and that makes it more easy for you. Then you will eventually figure out which one to chose. We don’t need anything that will make it more complicated or difficult.
      This article will also help you.

      I wish you all the best,
      Athanasia

  3. Zoey-Red LeFey

    Thank you for a great article on meditation. I meditate daily and I do yoga. I personally think everyone should meditate daily before the start of the day. What are your thoughts: Do you think it is best to meditate in the morning or at night before going to bed?

    1. Athanasia Post author

      Hello Zoey.
      I’m very glad that you liked my article 🙂
      Meditating in the morning is a great way to start your day, by bringing harmony and balance to your mindset. The mind is rested and it is not so active as in another time of the day, and that makes it easier.
      The night before bedtime is also a good time because you relax and prepare yourself for a peaceful, quality sleep. The disadvantage here is that you are tired from the whole day and it’s more difficult to keep your mind alert.
      You can also choose to meditate at any other time during the day. After work, at lunch time etc. Read more here.
      Each one of us is different and that’s why I think that the time that somebody will choose is an individual thing. Something that may be inconvenient and hard for me can be something very simple and easy for somebody else (in all aspects of life). What I recommend is to experiment and feel what’s good for you.

      Best wishes,
      Athanasia

  4. Stacy

    I really need to try something like this. At night I lie awake and can’t quiet my mind. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind starts racing and I can’t fall back asleep for hours. I hate it! I never thought I could succeed at meditation but I’ve never seen it laid out like this before. This makes it sound like something I could actually do! I can’t wait to try!

    1. Athanasia Post author

      Hello Stacy 🙂
      First of all I want to tell you that everybody are able to meditate, if they want to.
      Meditation is something simple. What makes it so “hard” is that we are not used to “exercising” the mind; because that’s what it’s all about. Training the mind to have more balance and to be able to control it, in situations like yours for example.
      Meditation will definitely help you with your sleep troubles. You will learn how to slow down your mind and relax.
      If you want to start meditating, I recommend that you read this post about how to start your practice and this one about how to establish it in your everyday life.
      Something that may also help you is the acupressure mat. Read my review about it.

      I wish you good luck and don’t hesitate to write again if you have any kind of question or if you need support.

      Best wishes,
      Athanasia

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