Buddhism

Path to Freedom: Right Concentration

Read the new & improved version of this post: The Eightfold Path: Right Concentration

Right Concentration is the final practice of Mental Discipline on the Eightfold Path and is about disciplining the mind to see reality as it is. Sometimes called Right Meditation or Samadhi, it is the practice of focusing your mind on one thing until you’ve reached meditative absorption or jhana.

This can be achieved in three different ways:

  • Meditation on an object, such as a picture of the Buddha
  • Repeating a special mantra, such as Om
  • Mindfulness of the breath

When practising Right Mindfulness you are open to whatever arises, allowing events to simply be what they are. With Right Concentration the attention is focused and everything else excluded. This is achieved using Right Thought, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness, and it takes a lot of practise.

meditation

Free Your Mind

To begin with, you may have some difficulty concentrating, what with all your thoughts leaping about and your untrained emotions running rampant. It can be a good idea to structure your practice so you begin with mindfulness and ease into the concentration as your mind settles down.

Or you can take one of the things causing problems, such as anger, and make that the focus of your concentration. Dig into the anger, pull it apart, figure out where it’s coming from and why.

Used together, mindfulness and concentration provide a powerful tool for developing insight, compassion and wisdom. With practise your mind will clear and you’ll find yourself getting less distracted. Unnecessary thinking will fall way and your mind will become a still pool reflecting whatever you turn your attention on. Suffering will diminish, relationships with others will improve, and happiness will become your default mode of being.

It will simply be a matter of time before you catch a glimpse of the true nature of reality and the truth of who you are burns every last doubt from your mind…

Further Reading

To find out more about the Eightfold Path I recommend The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh. Or visit the Buddhism Bookshelf.

Read the new & improved version of this series here.

 Image: Meditation

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