Focused Attention Meditation

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Focused Attention Meditation

Postby edearl » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:09 pm

"Focused attention is a form of mindfulness meditation where people are taught to attend to the breath and let go of distracting thoughts and emotions." according to the following:

http://www.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases ... s_Pain.htm

There is very little more in the article about this kind of meditation, since it focuses on the effects of meditation on pain. Is it the same as or similar to samatha (meditative quiescence)? If not, why?

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Re: Focused Attention Meditation

Postby catmoon » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:04 am

I just read the wiki on samatha and it looks like samatha is different from meditative quiescence. Quiescence would seem to refer to simply calming the mind, while samatha seems (to me at least) to be related more to the fourth jhana.
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Re: Focused Attention Meditation

Postby ground » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:31 am

samatha is the fruit of being mindful of dwelling on the object. "dwelling on the object" means "focus". So in this context mindfulness and focus are concomitant. The aspect of "the inner chatter necessarily subsiding" when "focusing" on one object only is hinted at with the term "quiescence".


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Re: Focused Attention Meditation

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:14 am

catmoon wrote:I just read the wiki on samatha and it looks like samatha is different from meditative quiescence. Quiescence would seem to refer to simply calming the mind, while samatha seems (to me at least) to be related more to the fourth jhana.


Re: B. Alan Wallace, "Introduction to Buddhism and Science, Breaking Down the Barriers," PP 2.

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Re: Focused Attention Meditation

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:27 am

edearl wrote:"Focused attention is a form of mindfulness meditation where people are taught to attend to the breath and let go of distracting thoughts and emotions." according to the following:

http://www.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases ... s_Pain.htm

There is very little more in the article about this kind of meditation, since it focuses on the effects of meditation on pain. Is it the same as or similar to samatha (meditative quiescence)? If not, why?

:namaste:


It is the same. We need to know the reason behind breathing. Why we use breathing? Actually it is just a technique to be in the present moment.

The breathing itself can be coupled with vipassana, by looking at its behavior. The breathing is changing, impermanent.

So, the object is actualy to bring us to the present moment and atthe same time we can also look at it's behavior, which this 'looking' raises insight.

Similar with pain. The different is pain becomes dominant when it appears.

Then it depends on us. If we are aware and mindful, that object give bring us to the present moment and stabilize our mind. At the same as well, the behavior of that object will give rise to insight (vipassana).
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Focused Attention Meditation

Postby edearl » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:07 am

Thank you, DarwidHalim.
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: Focused Attention Meditation

Postby 5heaps » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:51 pm

edearl wrote: Is it the same as or similar to samatha (meditative quiescence)? If not, why?

its the same type of meditation, namely developing the capacity to be able to concentrate on a single object on command.
shamata is a sophisticated form of this (of mindfulness/focused attention). so for example someone with shamata could easily remain on an object, effortlessly, completely free of all distractions and mental wanderings for say 2 hours, or much longer.
ordinarily a person can only remain on an object for a couple of seconds before immediately drifting to a sound, sight, thought, etc
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Re: Focused Attention Meditation

Postby edearl » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:51 pm

5heaps wrote:
edearl wrote: Is it the same as or similar to samatha (meditative quiescence)? If not, why?

its the same type of meditation, namely developing the capacity to be able to concentrate on a single object on command.
shamata is a sophisticated form of this (of mindfulness/focused attention). so for example someone with shamata could easily remain on an object, effortlessly, completely free of all distractions and mental wanderings for say 2 hours, or much longer.

ordinarily a person can only remain on an object for a couple of seconds before immediately drifting to a sound, sight, thought, etc


I know that a novice can only focus for a few seconds, I recently started meditating. However, within a week I was able to meditate for 20 minutes; although, I am still distracted sometimes. Practice makes perfect. :smile:

Thanks for your response.

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