Once the concentration of the mind is achieved , one must turn to the Four Sublime Abodes .The Four Sublime Abodes Are:
These Four Sublime Abodes modify the harshness of impersonality that is acquired through (anapanasati ) and other forms of mind concentration . These forms of concentration reduce life to an impersonal process . If the view of life as a series of processes is not modified by thoughts of METTA =(Love) , one could invariably be harsh towards others. If human life , is a process , one may very well disregard the suffering , the privation and the misery of others . But the four sublime abodes train the mind to exude love and compassion towards others . This way, Metta –Love will have to be cultivated towards other beings. Metta- love is a high form of love and affection , thye word Metta is derived from the word Mitta . And therefore it signifies universal friendliness . Just as the process of life METTA is also impersonal .The process of Metta marches the impersonal process of human existence . Life process are Impersonal and Metta is the supreme form of love that is transmitted impersonality to all forms of life . The practice of Metta Bhavana is initially directed towards one’s own self but as the meditator begins to escape the illusion of separable 1, metta radiated to the outside world , to embrace all life process . Metta is different from Pema. In terms of a Stanza in Dhammapada, Pama or personal affection leads to sorrow and fear. Pema has a particular individual or particular sets of individuals as its object. In metta , there is no such particularization. It is universal. It is directed towards all alike. It is like the radiance emanated by a light or by the sun. It is the nature of the sun to radiate light. When a mind has been developed to a high spiritual state, it is the nature of that mind to radiate metta. It is not like the flash of a torch which is directed towards a given object only. Equanimity or Upekkha strengthens this impersonal radiation of metta towards all irrespective of any differentiating considerations.
When the concentration of the impersonal process of life is supported by universal love-metta and an objective attitude of mind to wards the whole of existence, the meditator can begin to view an individual or a person merely as an aggregate of elements.
To reinforce this attitude of mind, a meditator must contemplate the human body as being formed of four great elements. Apo,(water), tejo, (fire), vayo, (air), and pathavi (earth). The separation of elements is only an activity of the mind. It is done only mentally. Once, a meditator has acquired a culture of the mind to view all forms of existence as mere processes he has advanced quite a long way towards realizing the true nature of phenomena.
The various modes of mind concentration have to be selected in terms of the special make-up of a personality. The Buddha assigned his disciples a particular mode of meditation in terms of his assessment of the personality of a given disciple. Even today an individual meditating should decide upon a particular mode only in terms of his or her particular personality make-up.
A would-be meditator following the Kammattana (support object system) selects a particular Kasina (object). The object may be a colour. The meditator next prepares a disc of a stipulated size and sets it up at eye level. Such a disc is described as parikamana nimitta (training object). The meditator concentrates exclusively upon the disc. He looks at nothing else. He thinks of nothing else. As he goes on, his mind begins to be occupied steadily and un-waveringly upon the kasina. When this has happened he has achieved parikamma Samadhi (initial concentration). This is the first in the three stages of the progress of mental one-pointedness. At the next stage, the meditator will be able to view in his mind with his eyes closed, a perfect replica of the object of concentration. This mental replica is identical in all respects to the material object but the only difference is, is it is entirely mind made. This mental replica is described as uggaha nimitta (the received replica). The meditator can now concentrate on this internal image. His mind passes on to upacara Samadhi (associated concentration). During the succeeding stage the mental replica gives rise to the patibhaga nimitta (the reflex image) with that arises appana Samadhi or full concentration. From then on, the mind progresses toward higher reaches of full concentration.
This higher reaches of perfect concentration are known as jhana states. These states can be described as states of total Absorption. These higher reaches of mental concentration are according to Buddhism, 4in number.
At some of the higher stages of meditation, super normal power becomes possible. But the Buddha expected his disciples not to be fascinated by these super normal powers and to continue to wards the realization of Nibbana, to see things as they really are.
In this sphere of Buddhist meditation, the end aim of all forms of mind culture is the attainment of realization. All forms of Samadhi are only a means towards this realization.
The system of Kasina Bhavana is not similar to a hypnotically induced state of mental torpor. To prevent the mind falling into self-hypnosis one must always be mentally alert while practicing this form of concentration on a given target. The culture of the mind through forms of meditation described in the Buddhist system is possible for anyone who is prepared to make the necessary effort. Even if a given individual may not evolve into the highest state of mental development, meditation practiced even to some extent will yield results that will enable a person to lead a more wholesome, a more efficient and decidedly better worldly existence that will go a long way towards making the world a more harmonious place to live in.