Issue No. 10
Concentration and One-Pointedness
Table of Contents
- Concentration in Meditation
- One-Pointedness in Daily Life
The capacity to be focused is an important quality for both our inner life
and our outer life. Without it, we cannot succeed in meditation or in our
outer duties, responsibilities & career. Hence, whether we want to become
more spiritual persons or just successful career persons, we need to develop
II. Concentration in Meditation
Before we can meditate successfully, we must have developed mastery over
ourselves. Thoughts must be tools for us to use, not our masters. The
average person is often a servant of his previously acquired thought
patterns, and hence is led to where thoughts bring him.
Example: A person who is a habitual worrier will find that when he sits
down to meditate, his mind automatically goes back to his worry. And that
often is the end of his meditation. He is unable to control his mind to make
it go where he wants it to go.
Some exercises in concentration and attention.
- Close your eyes, and mentally count "1" as you breathe in, and count "2"
as you breathe out. Feel relaxed as you do this, and let the pace of
breathing slow down naturally. Just focus on the breathing and the
counting. If your thoughts stray away, gently return back to your
breathing. Watch your attention stray away, and then just patiently lead
it back to your breathing. As you do this in a relaxed way, you will
notice that there is a gap between your out breath and in breath, where
there is no counting and there is no breathing. There is stillness and
serenity although you are fully aware and awake. From this you will
experience the nature of meditational silence.
- This practice must be accompanied with regular readings of spiritual
literature that are uplifting. Such reading and reflection will prepare
the ground for blossoming of our spirituality as we practice regular
III. One-Pointedness in Daily Life
The ability to take charge of ourselves and our thoughts is very important in
our practical daily affairs. Many of us lack focus in what we do. We do not
know our priorities and so allow unimportant tasks to push out important ones.
And even when we know that something is important, we are unable to stick to
it because of lack of one-pointedness. This makes us become ineffective and
There are some suggestions to become one-pointed: