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Alright, this will probably sound odd for most people on here: I cannot seem to place my mind on an object, as in make my attention rest upon an object as to define it more or emphasize it. However, I've managed to (from what I understand) diminish gross excitement and gross laxity, meaning I can sustain concentration but this concentration is not of an object. I'm merely looking at the object, not concentrating on it. I'm having much trouble develop the mental factor of contact, which may seem impossible but I don't know how to explain this better. Any advice? Thanks!

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    Welcome to Buddhism.SE This isn't really the best forum for advice, since you're bound to get diverging and conflicting opinions. If you could specify a tradition and focus more on getting answers about the nature of the state you are in, it would fit better with our site format. – yuttadhammo May 13 '15 at 23:10
  • strange question - i can't claim to know the ins and outs of meditation cultivation, but how do you know you have "concentration" and how do you know this isn't "of an object". what is missing from your lack of excitement and laxity which suggests that ? – sorta_buddhist May 16 '15 at 16:43
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I cannot seem to place my mind on an object, as in make my attention rest upon an object as to define it more or emphasize it.

Many beginners have this problem. There are couple of solution:

  • Breath Meditation
    • When doing breath meditation when starting be aware of your surrounding like the sounds, touch of your shirt or air touching your body. Do this for a few minutes only. When doing breath meditation and you realise your mind has gone to a sound realise that and then stay with the sound and your breath for a short while and then bring it back. If this has caused any through proliferation and other sensations in the body look at them for a short while. These sensation can trigger other distractions so realise their presence and ensure equanimity towards them (if not already not their develop it). If there is a pleasant smell you might have delight in it and this might be turning up other memories which intern triggers other thoughts and memories in associating with the sensation, what you recognise this as and your mental reaction.
  • Awareness
    • in developing awareness it might be worth while to try to switch from object to object. You can try systematically scanning your body.

However, I've managed to (from what I understand) diminish gross excitement and gross laxity, meaning I can sustain concentration but this concentration is not of an object.

In Buddhist meditation your object should be a wholesome object. So see that you are concentrated on. Concentration by definition (in some traditions) your mind being in one object when there is many.

I'm merely looking at the object, not concentrating on it.

Looking at the object is perhaps the same as staying with the object.

I'm having much trouble develop the mental factor of contact, which may seem impossible but I don't know how to explain this better.

This is very difficult to see consciousness arising from contact. These can only be seen if at all at very later stages of the practice. So don't worry about it.

Basically progress is: object > contact > conciousness > Feeling > Perception > volition > thinking > pondering of each of the sense door

Try to catch the train at the stage of Feeling > Perception > volition > thinking > pondering

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