Mind Power Metaphysics and Yoga Tools for Personal Growth and Development
Concentration and Meditation
Concentration and Meditation are the two primary tools that each of us use to explore our lives.
Concentration means with a centre; it is the extreme of Seeing that has a centered focus. It manifests as a focusing of attention in a localized way. This is very useful when you wish to see fine detail and it is often aided with optical aids like microscopes and telescopes.
Meditation is the extreme of Seeing that is present when Concentration is absent. In other words Meditation is the non-localized form of Seeing; it is like stepping back to be able to see the big picture.
What is Concentration?
Concentration means with a centre; it is the act or process of concentrating, focusing; the process of becoming concentrated, or the state of being concentrated, concretized. The hallmark of concentration is localization or focus; Concentration is the cause of separation as it creates form.
Concentration is the extreme of awareness where there is the choice of focusing attention in a localized way - it is awareness with a choice.
An example of concentration is a wave within the ocean as the current step that your are focusing on as part of a greater journey (in this example the greater journey is the ocean).
What is Meditation?
The derivation of a word shows how words and language are composed of smaller and smaller wholes as they evolve. And each of the smaller wholes gives valuable indication of the meaning of the current word, the whole, that includes and transcends its parts (the roots of words, in conjunction-intercourse with their present generally accepted meanings often yields surprising insight into their deeper meanings).
For example: The English word meditation is based on the Latin root "med" which is, "to measure." The present meaning of the word is "to reflect," "to ponder" (i.e. to weigh or measure), and "to give close attention." Similarly the Sanskrit word for meditation, which is dhyana, is closely related to "dhyati," meaning, "to reflect." This indicates that to meditate means "to ponder, to reflect, while giving close attention to what is actually going on as one does so."
Meditation is the extreme of awareness that is there naturally when concentrated focus is relaxed - it is choiceless awareness.
An example of Meditation is the mirrorlike stillness of water that reflects the nature of things. Meditation is the formlessness in which form appears.
Concentration and Meditation: Separately
By itself Concentration is like standing on one leg; it is very difficult to walk in harmony with the current of being with only one leg.
By itself Meditation is like standing on one leg; it is very difficult to walk in harmony with the current of being with only one leg.
Concentration and Meditation: Together
Perhaps the most interesting attribute of Concentration and Meditation is that they simultaneously can compliment or negate each other. The negation is seen in the fact that when you wish to see fine detail it is necessary that you concentrate and focus in such a myopic manner that it is not possible to see the whole picture, and, when you do wish to see the whole picture it is necessary that you step back whereby you can no longer see the fine detail. The complimentary relationship is also available such that when your concentrate it is possible to allow a relaxed meditative concentration in which you see the whole of whatever it is you have focused on, and, your meditations may have a concentrated focus as you weigh your choices in a particular situation.
Which one should you use?
Both Concentration and Meditation are processes; you use the one that is appropriate to the situation in the bigger process called life. The unfolding process is like a journey that you are taking by walking where you first stand on one foot and leg and then you shift things over to the other as you explore your way of living.
Your Body and Mind: Two other Tools
The activities of your mind are generally what is called thinking and its substance is said to be thoughts. The activities of your body is feeling and its substance is said to be sensations. Obviously these two form One Integrated Reality that mirrors the inter-relationship of Concentration and Meditation.
Your localized mind is the instrument that you use when you wish to focus and concentrate on a particular task or activity. And with steady concentration and focus your thoughts become clearer and more concretized as the process unfolds.
Your body is the instrument that you use to get in touch with your feelings. Feelings are very distinct, yet by nature they are not very easy to describe because the describing requires that you concentrate on your feelings and translate them into thoughts. And yet your feelings are much more reliable than your thoughts as guides along the journey of your life, because they have embedded within them that meditative quality that allows you to see the big picture of your journey.
In this light it is clear that just as you emphasize Concentration or Meditation depending on the situation; you also use the intelligence of your body or your mind as appropriate to the situation. And together they form the vehicle whereby you experience life.
Breathing: the One Integrated Reality
Thus far you have seen that Concentration and Meditation and your Body and Mind are the primary instruments that you use in your life's journey. And you see that the one you use is the one that is determined by the situation.
This is an objectification of these instruments and processes such that they can be clearly seen; in other words this description is Concentration. After reading this it is helpful to allow some time for the words to be assimilated such that they impact you on a deeper level. In other words it is helpful that you also embrace the meditative component of Seeing as you explore these tools. And, finally it must be noted that although there is kind of separation as these things are being described, the ultimate Truth is that there is no separation because these are not just tools of life - together, they form the pillars on which your life is built.
Thus these tools are not separate from each other. In fact each has some of the other in it, and together as your mind-body they are One Integrated Reality. The other attribute of each of these tools is that each is a living process.
The togetherness of these instruments is a kind of weaving that creates the fabric of your life. This is a communication process between the processes of Concentration and Meditation and your Body and Mind whereby you adjust to the changing circumstances of your life. This communication is clearly revealed in Breathing; Breath is Life.
In this light Breath is not a tool. Breathing is the central current of your Being. Breath is Life and Breathing is the mean (the meaning of Life) between your body and mind as it is more subtle than your body and more gross than your mind. You will live for as long as you breathe and when you are no longer breathing, life as you know it will cease to exist.
You appear as a separate individual. And although the Ultimate Truth is that nothing is separate, this does not deny the fact that you are a localized, concentrated, Being. Thus one extreme of your Being is Concentration: this is akin to your respiration as inspiration; the other extreme of your Being is Meditation: this is akin to your respiration as expiration. Together these form respiration or re-spirit-ing (the word spirit literally means: to breathe - also note the other extreme of breathing as circulation as noted elsewhere on this site).
In this way you see that Breath literally is Life, and that the place of comm-union between the extremes of the communication process of the instruments of your being is the space where the journey of your life unfolds harmoniously. It will always be a journey with its many ups and downs, yet when you understand the spirit and nature of it, then you live in the joy and wonder of the miracle of life itself - You are the Miracle of Life.
See the free ebook The Creation Vibration for an exploration of how the duality of the UniVerse is together as Living Relationship.