On The Cushion: A Refuge into Being. Q & A with Martine Batchelor

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When meditating, is it necessary to focus on one specific object?

This is not always necessary, but at times it can be very helpful.

When you do meditate on a specific object, such as the breath, that object will help you to develop concentration, and concentration will enable you to cultivate a quiet and spacious mind. But you must be careful not to focus your attention too narrowly on the object, as that can constrain your practice. You should keep your primary focus on the object of meditation, but try to do so with a wide-open awareness. As you follow the breath, for instance, allow yourself to also be aware of what is happening in and around you. Be conscious of sounds, thoughts, sensations, feelings - but without fixating on, grasping, or rejecting any of these things.

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