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The Power of Concentration

"Mindfulness brings out the fourth power ... of concentration" says Hanh.  The power of concentration can lead to a breakthrough, to see deeply into the object of your focus. If we are suffering some ill-health, say a back ache, we can concentrate on that pain and perhaps link it to an emotional event that we have brushed aside.  Someone told me once that back ache is a sign of needing support, a lack of support. When I think of those who have suffered back pain I wonder if their active independent personality keeps them from seeking the support they need.

I often get headaches that rob me of my energy.  Would these aches be telling me that my head is resisting the work I plan to do, to concentrate on?  Or are they telling me I should concentrate on the thoughts I am having in regards to the way I  respond to the outer world? Are they telling me to stop living in my head and have some faith in action?

If someone gets angry with me my first response is to move out of ear range and get on with my day, but if I concentrate on what was said, the way it was said, and the body language at the time I can attain some insight perhaps.

Thich Nhat Hanh advises us to concentrate on what we are doing.  If we are having tea, drink tea, don't drink in the worries and the suffering. If we concentrate on what we are doing after tea or after dinner or before breakfast, we gain some nourishment from our rituals and gain some peace and strength.

Seems like a simple idea doesn't it? But throughout our lives we have been told to strive, to improve, to be a better person, and in our striving we may have forgotten to look after ourselves until we are exhausted, worried and spent, then dive into a box of doughnuts or a bottle of whiskey to escape.

Concentrating on the simple care of ourselves really is quite a radical notion.


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