Finding Clarity Beyond Distraction: A Guide to Overcoming Object Attention in Meditation

Our minds are constantly bombarded with stimuli, leading us to a state Bentinho Massaro refers to as “object attention.” This is where our consciousness is so caught up in thoughts, emotions, and sensory experiences that we lose touch with our deeper, serene self. But fear not, there’s a way out of this whirlwind.

Understanding Object Attention

Object attention is like being a kitten, endlessly fascinated by whatever flits across our path. Whether it’s a fleeting thought, a surge of emotion, or a physical sensation, we’re hooked, forgetting the vast, peaceful consciousness that lies beneath. It’s this relentless focus on the transient that keeps us from realizing our true, blissful nature.

The Art of True Meditation

True meditation, as Ben teaches, isn’t just about techniques. It’s about aligning with our supreme, unchanging self. It’s about shifting our focus from the chaos of thoughts and emotions to the stillness of our core. This shift, from object to subject focus, is the essence of enlightenment.

Practical Techniques for Everyday Enlightenment

Ben suggests three simple, effective meditation techniques. These aren’t just practices; they’re tools for awakening, for recognizing our eternal, blissful self amid daily life’s distractions.

  1. Relaxing Thoughts and Emotions: This involves taking a brief pause to relax our grip on thoughts and emotions. Imagine inhaling all your worries and exhaling them back to the universe. In this brief void, we get a glimpse of the awareness that remains, the true self.
  2. Noticing the Space Between Thoughts: Here, we pay attention to the brief moments of stillness between thoughts. This isn’t about forcing the mind to be blank but recognizing the aware presence in that stillness.
  3. Self-Recognition in Stillness: The ultimate goal is for our consciousness to recognize itself, to turn its attention away from the external and inward. This self-recognition is the heart of enlightenment.

This journey from object attention to self-awareness echoes spiritual teachings across cultures. For instance, the Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). This verse captures the essence of turning inward, finding peace and clarity in stillness.


“A moment of self-recognition in stillness is a moment of true enlightenment.” – Bentinho Massaro