About Concentration


bodhi leafThe word “concentration” can have many associations. It’s useful to examine a common one, and see how it pertains, or doesn’t , to meditation.

Often when people think about “concentration,” they envision someone with a screwed up face straining to do something, or make something happen. There is strong effort, but its being made with a kind of tightness and contraction, even desperation.

This is not the kind of effort that will optimally support the development of Wise Concentration. Skillful effort to unify the mind needs to incorporate resolve and energy, it’s true. But this effort cannot be too tight or rigid. There also needs to be a kind of letting go present, a relaxation of mind as part of the formula. Yang, plus ying, in skillful balance. Finding this balance is key to developing Wise Concentration.