Can i have a list "If there is one" of the different objects for building up the first jhana?

5 Answers 5


Saṅkhitta Dhamma Sutta mentions the Jhana can be developed through:

Kaya,gatā,sati Sutta mentioned that Jhana contemplation of the body. Though not explicitly mentioned Anapanasati Sutta, breath meditation also can be used.

Do develop Jhana you have to have Vitakka & Vicara. That is you 1st bring your attention an object and retain the object by reapplying you attention. E.g in the case of breath meditation you continuously try to feel the breath going in and out. In case of body contemplation you try to feel any sensation in the body continuously and try to keep you attention on the body.

This is too short to be practical meditation instruction just a pointer. In the case of Kasina you look at the device. Say you are practicing on fire. Offer a lamp to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Look at the flame for a little while and shut you eyes. Try to recreate this image. When you think about it the image will pop up an linger for a while. When the image disappears rethink about it again. If you cannot remember the details look at the flame again. As you practice the image will linger for a little longer. Adjust the rhythm of thinking about the frame to roughly to the level that you mental image of the flame looks continuous. Similarly for any other Kasina device. Beyond this point best seek advice of a teacher.

I think Jhana developed through 4 Satipatthana in combination with 4 Brahmavihara would be the best approach. But having said this any of the 40 Kammatthana can be used. If you use anything other than 4 Satipatthana make use you contemplate the 3 characteristics of the Jhana otherwise you will just develop Samadhi but not Panna, hence will not be wholesome.

Finally, developing Jhana without proper guidance can be dangerous. Therefore, try finding a teacher who can guide you.

Currently one of the famous Jhana teachers is Pa Auk Sayadaw with many students in the west. You can try making some inquiries.

  • So i focus on one of the jhana factors or visualize my breath and use satipatthana or mindfulness? Also for the 10 kammatthanas, how would i focus on fire or earth and air? Lastly how would i find a jhana teacher? I really want a good teacher but i am unable to travel and live in a very small town.
    – DeusIIXII
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 14:23
  • Updated answer. See if answers you questions. Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 3:37

Yes here it is. 40 Traditional Meditations

Due to their complexity,some of these meditations can only lead to access concentration (upacara samadhi).

  • Eight recollections (excluding the recollection of the Body
    (kāyagatāsati) and of Breathing (ānāpānassati).

  • The perception of disgust of food.

  • Four elements Meditation

'Letting go' ('vossagga') or 'non-craving'.

And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go (vossagga), attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana...

SN 48.10


There are people who attain ‘anariya jhanas’ or ‘mundane jhanas by focusing the mind on any thought object (vitakka) that come their way. This could be the breath, a kasina object, or any other religious symbol of any religion, and then fixating the mind on this object. This is called ‘vicara’ or sustained application).

For one who contemplates the ‘Tilakkhana’ of anicca, dukkha, anatta at least to some extent, it is possible to attain Ariya jhanas. It is because this contemplation gives rise to ‘niramisa sukha’ or a ‘cooling down’ over time. When one has arrived at such a stage, one can use it in a ‘kammatthana’ to cultivate jhana. These ‘kammatthana’ are PALI phrases such as “Ethan santhan ethan paneethan, …….” . The thing is one has to know the meaning of these Pali phrases. These phrases cannot be used just as a chanting object without understanding what is meant by it.

  • 1
    Hi, can you please give a sutta reference for Ariya Jhana? Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 3:10
  • Since one cannot focus the mind on Nibbāna without first experiencing it at least at the Sōtapanna phala moment, one cannot get to Ariya jhānās without first reaching the Sōtapanna stage. Thus reaching magga phala and Ariya jhānās REQUIRE the understanding of anicca, dukkha, anatta, the Three Characteristics of existence. Without the “correct vision” or samma ditthi at some level, the mind does not see the unfruitful nature of sense pleasures or the “superiority” of nirāmisa sukha. “Paññā­vimutta Sutta (AN 9.44)” , “Pathama Metta Sutta“ and “Susima­parib­bāja­ka­ Sutta (SN 12.70)“. Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:23

In a Buddhist context, even as you obtain jhäna, you are supposed to observe (thereby your objective) that jhäna is a "sankhathaya". A sankathaya has 3 characteristics.

  1. You can see it arise (being created)
  2. You can see it transform within the thing it resides
  3. You can see it perish

So a Buddhist, upon observing this, lets go if his desire for the jhäna too.

In the following sutta, Buddha explains this to a person who has just become a Buddhist, from the beginning all the way to an arhat.

MN 140: Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta — An Analysis of the Properties {M iii 237}. A poignant story in which a wanderer, searching for the Buddha, meets the Buddha without realizing it. He recognizes his mistake only after the Buddha teaches him a profound discourse on four determinations and the six properties of experience. An excellent illustration of the Buddha's statement, "Whoever sees the Dhamma sees me."

  • The OP asked how to develop jhana (or asked which objects to use to develop jhana) ... can you clarify (or emphasize) how this answers that question?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 22:06
  • It doesn't answer his question. Sorry about that. It just makes sure he doesn't go ahead and get lost in a jhäna and forget pursuing the Four Noble Truths (as this is a Buddhist forum). Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 0:41
  • In Answers vs Advice people agreed that The best answers deal directly and solely with the question specifically asked and Avoid inadvertently invalidating the question, e.g. with answers of the form "That's the wrong question...".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 0:51
  • @ChrisW in a Buddhist context, wouldn't the best answers be the ones that leads to realization of The Four Noble Truths? Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 0:52
  • @RavindranathAkila In a Buddhist context yes. But in SE you should play by SE rules also which is to answer the question asked exactly. There are other forums about Buddhism which can do this but this is supposed to be a Q & A site strictly in this format. If it deviates SE may even shut us down and delete the site. Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 13:34

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