stone circles, mystery, cult, Concentration meditation

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Concentration meditation

Concentration meditation is a type of meditation that involves focusing one’s attention on a single object, such as a breath, a mantra, a sound, or a visual image. The goal of concentration meditation is to cultivate a calm and stable mind that can resist distractions and stay focused on the present moment. This can also be used as a tool for self-transcendence and finding true-self.

self-transcendence is the ability to go beyond one’s ego and personal identity and connect with something greater, such as a higher power, a universal consciousness, or a sense of meaning and purpose. Finding true-self is the process of discovering one’s authentic and essential nature, which is often obscured by false beliefs, attachments, and conditioning. By practising concentration meditation, one can gradually quiet the mind and reduce the influence of thoughts and emotions that cloud one’s perception of reality. This can lead to a state of clarity and insight, where one can experience a sense of oneness with everything and realize one’s true nature.

Concentration meditation and transcendence

There are different stages of concentration meditation when used for self-transcendence. According to some traditions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, these stages are called jhanas or samadhis, and they represent different levels of absorption and bliss.

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  • The first stage is called access concentration, where the meditator establishes a steady focus on the chosen object and begins to feel calm and relaxed.
  • The second stage is called first jhana or sanitaria samadhi, where the meditator experiences joy and happiness, along with some mental chatter and sensory impressions.
  • The third stage is called second jhana or nirvitarka samadhi, where the meditator experiences more intense joy and happiness, along with a sense of rapture and tranquillity. The mental chatter and sensory impressions fade away.
  • The fourth stage is called third jhana or savichara samadhi, where the meditator experiences equanimity and peace, along with a subtle awareness of the object. The joy and rapture become less prominent.
  • The fifth stage is called fourth jhana or nirvichara samadhi, where the meditator experiences pure awareness and consciousness, without any object or sensation. The mind becomes completely still and serene.

At this point, some meditators may choose to stop their concentration meditation practice and switch to insight meditation or mindfulness meditation, which are more focused on cultivating wisdom and understanding of reality.

Advanced practice

However, some meditators may continue to deepen their concentration meditation practice and enter higher stages of self-transcendence. These stages are called formless jhanas or samadhis because they involve transcending the perception of form and matter.

  • The sixth stage is called the base of infinite space, where the meditator experiences the dissolution of perceived body boundaries and feels that their consciousness expands infinitely in all directions.
  • The seventh stage is called the base of infinite consciousness, where the meditator experiences their consciousness as the source of all phenomena and feels that their consciousness pervades everything.
  • The eighth stage is called the base of nothingness, where the meditator experiences a state of emptiness and voidness, without any sense of self or other.
  • The ninth stage is called the base of neither perception nor non-perception, where the meditator experiences a state of subtle awareness that is beyond words and concepts.

These are some of the stages of concentration meditation when used for self-transcendence. However, it is important to note that these stages are not linear or fixed, and they may vary depending on the individual meditator and their level of skill and experience. Moreover, these stages are not ends in themselves, but means to achieve higher states of wisdom and compassion. Therefore, concentration meditation should be practised with an open mind and a humble heart, without attachment to any particular outcome or expectation.

Here’s a short YouTube video guiding the viewer on concentration mediation:

Example use cases

Some examples of people who have used concentration meditation to achieve self-transcendence are:

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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM), a popular form of concentration meditation that uses a personalized mantra as the object of focus. Maharishi claimed that TM could lead to higher states of consciousness and enlightenment, and that it could benefit the individual and the society by creating a positive influence on the environment.

Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, who practices various forms of concentration meditation, such as samatha (calm abiding) and vipassana (insight). Dalai Lama has said that concentration meditation can help develop compassion and wisdom, and that it can help one realize the true nature of reality and the emptiness of self.

Yoona Kang, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, who conducted a study on the effects of mindfulness meditation on self-transcendence. Mindfulness meditation is a form of concentration meditation that involves paying attention to the present moment with openness and curiosity. Kang and her colleagues found that mindfulness meditation decreased perceived body boundaries and encouraged more allocentric frames of reference, which are two phenomenological features of self-transcendence.

Further reading

If you are interested in learning more about concentration meditation for self-transcendence, here is a summary list of weblinks that discuss this topic.

How to Do Transcendental Meditation – The Yoga Nomads: This website provides a basic sequence to practice transcendental meditation on your own, which involves choosing a mantra, finding a quiet space, setting a timer, sitting and breathing, repeating the mantra, and opening your eyes. It also explains the benefits and history of this type of meditation. URL:

Examining interpersonal self-transcendence as a potential mechanism linking meditation and social outcomes – PubMed: This review paper examines self-transcendence as a key mechanism through which meditation may promote positive social outcomes. It argues that self-transcendence cultivated through various styles of meditation can turn rigid, defensive self-focus into flexible and receptive self-construals, and increase positive other-focus by integrating reward and social signals in the brain. URL:

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