Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

The Ultimate Goal of Patriarchy is the End of Life

I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.

In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth.  So the craft of war  became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power. 

And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man. 

Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing.
Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate. 

Men who have been raised with love, love …

Anonymous Sources

Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

Let me offer the opinion that greatness comes from extraordinary effort or talent.  Greatness as it may exist in our anonymous ambitions does not win fame except in isolated circumstances.  That is to say, fame is not a realistic goal for an individual.

Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…