6. Right Concentration: Objects
Geoffrey Hunt [+]
University of Surrey
He has taught meditation in schools, in a prison, a village for the elderly, and an alcohol rehabilitation centre. He has served the Dhamma in hospices, funerals and interfaith events. He has worked in Japan, Nigeria and Lesotho and is a writer and international speaker on ethical issues of health, science and advanced technology. He has published several books in the field of professional ethics. He is married to Rev. Beverley Hunt, an Anglican minister.
The Buddha gives many examples of objects of meditation, and these are quite different from one another and may be selected by a teacher for individuals who are at different stages of attainment, are in different circumstances, have different cravings and aversions, and diverse characters. To give some examples: one could focus on an external object such as a pebble, a leaf, a bowl of water or earth, a candle flame, or a sound; or an internal object such as an afterimage of a candle-flame, or an invented image in the mind such as a figure of the Buddha or a ball of light. An exercise in focussing on a slowly drying leaf is provided, intimating at the important Buddhist concept of ‘impermanence’. It is explained why not all objects need be pleasant, since a great deal is learned from our self-aware responses to the unpleasant. In this chapter guidance is given on bringing together the basics to start regular meditation at home or work.