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reading as an object for concentration practice?

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thank you for reading..

I am doing concentration training. I use mostly Vajrayana style visualisations. One author says that

"and there are probably thousands of concentration exercises. Some very commonly used objects of meditation are the breath (my personal favorite), our posture, a mantra or koan, a colored disk, an image, a candle flame, various visualized objects from simple to complex, feelings such as compassion, and even the experience of concentration itself. The object you choose should be one on which you would be happy to steady your mind."

I am happy to steady my mind on both reading itself and also the content of what I read...but

is it advisable to use reading dharma books (and in a way, also the content of what I read) as an object for practicing concentration?
Is it as good of an object for as classical ones mentioned above?
do some good teachers recommend this practice?

...also thank you for answering (those who decide to) and best wishes to all

RE: reading as an object for concentration practice?
Answer
1/4/19 3:00 PM as a reply to Jan.
I guess I'd ask what length text you're thinking of concentrating on reading.  If it's something on the order of a handful of sentences, I could see that shading into concentration practice.  If you're just reading a novel or a longer work with interesting concepts that you're considering, then that seems like it'd take away from the goal of really increasing how much attention you can bring to bear.

I think in a way it may be much easier to use reading complex things for insight practice -- then you can make sure you're noticing all the different internal visualizations, half-thoughts, feelings, etc. and build up mindfulness in the process.

RE: reading as an object for concentration practice?
Answer
1/4/19 3:13 PM as a reply to Jan.
Hi, Jan --
is it advisable to use reading dharma books (and in a way, also the content of what I read) as an object for practicing concentration? 
Is it as good of an object for as classical ones mentioned above?
do some good teachers recommend this practice?

I've never heard of reading being used as an object of concentration. This is probably because the kind of concentration we're trying to develop in meditation isn't the same kind of concentration we use when reading. Reading concentration engages the narrative, thinking and evaluating, active mind. Meditative concentration is attempting to develop a quiet, non-active mind.


RE: reading as an object for concentration practice?
Answer
1/5/19 9:34 AM as a reply to Jan.
I like to read novels, and when I do I make a point of visualizing the characters and settings according to the author’s descriptions as far as possible. I’ve always done this, not as a chore but as a reflex. On a recent retreat one of the teachers suggested that this is actually a fine exercise for concentration. The retreat itself was for fire kasina practice, highly visual, and developing one’s visual imagination is a key part of the practice itself. 

I do agree with Chris that samadhi is not the same kind of “concentration” that one utilizes in reading either narrative or any kind of expository writing, and so if you’re wanting to develop it you’re best using a practice that is designed to do that. But I did have an odd experience recently upon leaving a theater at the end of a movie: I experienced everything as part of a flow state, the traffic, the lights, the bustle around me, etc. My mind had been concentrated on the screen for the period of the movie, and brought that state into the world in a more pronounced way than usual. This isn’t necessarily an argument for staring at more screens (as if anyone needs to do that!), but rather it’s interesting to notice how your mind is responding to input moment by moment as you go through your life. 

RE: reading as an object for concentration practice?
Answer
1/6/19 10:27 AM as a reply to Jan.
Maybe a bit of maths too ?

http://www.bodysoulandspirit.net/mystical_experiences/read/notables/koestler.shtml