Sunday, December 8, 2013



Objects of meditation are called “Kammatthana.”There are forty types of Kammatthana-dhamma which variously accord with the different temperaments of people. Famous guide Book on Meditation -Vissuddhi Magga enumerates forty objects of meditation grouped in the following manner:

1.       10 totalities or devices (kasina)   Devices for gazing at and concentrating upon.

2.       10 kinds of foulness (asuba) Contemplation of the states of the decomposition of a dead body.

3.       10 Recollections (Anussati) various objects of contemplation.

4.       4 Divine Abidings –also called Sublime States (Brahmavihara) Friendliness, Compassion, altruistic joy, and Equanimity.

5.       4 Immaterial States (arupa) Developing the four formless Jhanas.

6.       Repulsiveness of Nutriment (ahara patikula sanna) Recollecting the loathsomeness of food.

7.       Analysis of the Four Elements (catu datu vavatthana) Defining the four elements.

Ten Anussati Meditations (Recollections)

Anussati means repeated reflection or constant awareness or mindfulness on some object. There are 10 Anussati meditations,
8 reflections and 2 on mindfulness as follows:

1.       Reflecting on the virtues of the Buddha (Buddhanussati)

2.       Reflecting on the virtues of the Dhamma (Dhammanussati)

3.       Reflecting on the virtues of the Sanga (Sanganussati)

4.       Reflecting on one’s Virtues (Silanussati)

5.       Reflecting on one’s Virtues with Devas as     witness (Devanussati)

6.       Reflecting on one’s liberality (Caganussati)

7.       Reflecting on the peace in Nibbana (Upasamanussati)

8.       Reflecting on Death (Marananussati)

The two on mindfulness are:

9.       Mindfulness regarding the foulness or impurity of the thirty two parts of the body (Kayagatasati)

10.   Mindfulness on breathing (Anapanasati).

Whichever method one decides to choose, it should suit one’s character, for characters, differ, and to teach that everyone should use only one kind of kammatthana may well prove to be a hindrance to some people, thus preventing their attaining the results which they should attain.

          Therefore the subject has to be selected according to the meditator’s convenience, the temperament, the objective and the level of spiritual development of the individual.

When one finds the type of meditation that suits one’s character, one should set one’s mind to begin doing the practice with a preparatory practice, preparatory meditation (parikamma).


       The Buddhist way of meditation is through Sila, Samadhi and Panna. (In short eight fold path can be concised as Sila, Samadhi, and Panna) That means morality, (virtue) concentration and wisdom. First we have to develop our moral background by observing certain moral principles and virtues. If we violate the universal law of cause and effect (kamma) we will have to experience the bad effects sooner or later. That is why the Buddha introduced a moral code in the form of precepts, so that we can live in harmony with existing living beings and maintain a healthy, peaceful atmosphere which will promote the wellbeing of all.  In order to concentrate well and improve on mental development and to achieve calmness and peace, it is important to develop and observe the precepts. This moral development will assist to improve one’s Samadhi which then can then lead to deep concentration. When the mind is calmed and concentrated, we gain panna or realisation and wisdom. Through meditation we gain calmness of the mind and understanding or Wisdom.

      The confidence and understanding that we gain through meditation helps to avoid undue worries and frustration. If we can maintain patience and tolerance, we will not be easily provoked by others, because we can understand and see things in their correct perspective.

     The highest service man can perform to the to society is to abstain from evil. A developed and cultured mind can contribute happiness to the mankind. So meditation is not simply a waste of time. It expands the mind of a mediator in love and wisdom and enables him to solve many human problems and enlighten others as well.


   Buddhist devotees are encouraged to practice meditation in four subjects. Out of the forty Samata Subjects, these four are practiced more often by most devotees. 

1.The Buddha (recollection of the qualities)

2. Loving Kindness

3. Unwholesomeness of life and

4. Death.

These four objects of meditation offer protection, shape one’s attitudes and behaviour which are conducive to spiritual progress and promote devotees along the path to deliverance.

No comments:

Post a Comment