Perfection of Concentration

Concentration 

This paramita is the enlightened quality of concentration, meditation, contemplation, samadhi, mindfulness, mental stability.  

Our minds have the tendency to be very distracted and restless, always moving from one thought or feeling to another. Because of this, our awareness stays fixated in the ego, in the surface layers of the mind and emotions, and we just keep engaging in the same habitual patterns of behavior.  

The perfection of concentration means training our mind so that it does what we want it to. We stabilize our mind and emotions by practicing meditation, by being mindful and aware in everything we do. When we train the mind in this way, physical, emotional, and mental vacillations and restlessness are eliminated. We achieve focus, composure, and tranquility. This ability to concentrate and focus the mind brings clarity, equanimity, illumination.  

Concentration allows the deep insight needed to transform the habitual misperceptions and attachments that cause confusion and suffering. As we eliminate these misperceptions and attachments, we can directly experience the joy, compassion, and wisdom of our true nature.  

There is no attainment of wisdom and enlightenment without developing the mind through concentration and meditation. This development of concentration and one-pointedness requires perseverance. Thus the previous paramita of joyous effort and perseverance brings us to this paramita of concentration.  

In addition, when there is no practice of meditation and concentration, we cannot achieve the other paramitas, because their essence, which is the inner awareness that comes from meditation, is lacking.  

To attain wisdom, compassion, and enlightenment, it is essential that we develop the mind through concentration, meditation, and mindfulness.

 

Source: Used with permission from Neil Cohen at Naljor Prison Dharma Service, PO Box 1177, Mount Shasta CA 96067.

Photo Credit: Intellimon Ltd.