concentration and language

Stickman3, modified 2 Months ago.

concentration and language

Posts: 132 Join Date: 1/15/21 Recent Posts
Playing with putting this succinctly.

So... concentration on an object depends on the object being defined, which involves a linguistic frame.

eg - breath, we know what breath is, it's defined in language as a certain set of processes of the body. Our lexicon has grown to describe breath down to the quantum level... if need be.

Therefore concentration meditation, to focus on one set of processes, depends on us constantly maintaining our linguistic framework, requiring constant mental activity, and basically maintaining a self. You could see that as counter productive, and sooner or later I think people do.

When the attention wanders, you might get different names of things, different aspects of self, coming to attention - the frame is changing.

When you concentrate enough that you forget the name and frame of the object, you're basically forgetting your task - which depends on a nameable object - but you are losing self.

Sense of self that doesn't require language, is that still there ?

The attender can also be the object.

OK so let's say you want to teach meditation to someone raised by wolves. They don't have a word for anything except growls and howls etc.

Instructions to concentrate on the breath can't be followed, there's no linguistic framework dividing up their physiology - what do you do ? Is there any need ? And how are they already experiencing themselves - if at all ?
genaro, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: concentration and language

Posts: 84 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
too much philosphy?

if you wanted to teach wolves to meditate you'd have to be barking (har har har.... )

yet people still meditate, so maybe the instructions are just guides and clues to what lies behind language.

more seriously it's possible to communicate without words, perhaps not obscure levels of quantum physics, perhaps not on an internet forum, but yes breath it's possible
Stickman3, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: concentration and language

Posts: 132 Join Date: 1/15/21 Recent Posts
Figuring out what's samatha and what's vipassana and what the point of the distinction is. I can see why many people say there is no real distinction.
Aroo!
Natheris ., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: concentration and language

Posts: 26 Join Date: 6/27/21 Recent Posts
You can certainly think of the notion of breath without using language in your mind. Well I can. Many people seem to primarily think in language, perhaps that's what that assumption of yours is based on?

Well it still consists of concepts, like the notion of where the respective body parts I'm feeling are located in the body or the notion of pleasantness and unpleasantness of sensations. I heard that former notion at least can get so out of one's attention in meditation that one doesn't locate the breath sensations mentally at their actual position in space.
Stickman3, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: concentration and language

Posts: 132 Join Date: 1/15/21 Recent Posts
Indeed. As my new friend Ernst Mach said

"Bodies do not produce sensations, but complexes of elements (complexes of sensations) make up bodies. If, to the physicist, bodies appear the real, abiding existences, whilst the " elements " are regarded merely as their evanescent, transitory appearance, the physicist forgets, in the assumption of such a view, that all bodies are but thought-symbols for complexes of elements (complexes of sensations)."

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