Is concentration about forgetting and trusting?

Mattias Wilhelm Stenberg, modified 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 4:20 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 2/16/14 4:20 PM

Is concentration about forgetting and trusting?

Posts: 131 Join Date: 10/26/13 Recent Posts
In this session I was concentrating on a candle flame during a silent sitting in a meditation hall with 50-60 other people. After a while my concentration was very strong and very little attention/thought/events where coming through at all and I sort of caught myself not 'remembering' where I was or who was around me. The mind started getting into what I would describe as a very mild panic, it somehow started to realize that it had no idea what was going on at all and started worrying about being helpless in case of any external 'threats'. In a way I 'decided' (as if...) to just power through and there was a period where almost nothing existed except the flame of the candle and a strong desire to just trust and love the flame at the exclusion of everything else.

There was a mild sense of dread that time would stop, perhaps resulting in me starving to death or the hall and everything around it dissolving from erosion. I know it sounds weird to preface words such as panic or dread with the word mild but that's the most accurate way I can describe them, like the actual primal feeling just turned down to the minimal volume.

In the end I did not know my name, who I was, where I was or what I was doing. All that existed was the flame. After X time units of this it seemed I was satisfied so my meditation slowly moved back to more 'normal' levels and finally exited nicely timed with the gong. Afterwards there was a deep experience of calm, satisfaction and strong but very harmonious and stable energy levels.

Walking back to my house after the session a thought came that Concentration is about forgetting everything, and that in order to do that I have to overcome the primal fear through trusting the universe. Unless I absolutely trust my environment (and ultimately the universe) the radar function of the mind will always stay somewhat switched on in order to keep lookout for any dangers.

This Good Self, modified 8 Years ago at 3/9/14 10:14 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 3/9/14 10:08 PM

RE: Is concentration about forgetting and trusting?

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Yes it is. I think that's a very good description.

A lot of trust is required to just focus on one thing. The mind doesn't like doing it at all. The mind loves content and variety. Instead you are pushing it into what appears to be a death of sorts (self-forgetting is frightening). I can't remember reading anywhere that jhana practice requires courage and trust, but it certainly does.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 8 Years ago at 3/10/14 11:41 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 3/10/14 11:41 AM

RE: Is concentration about forgetting and trusting?

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Whilst reading your posts my mind went into a kind of forgetting vortex that made me forget who I was or what I was about. I would generally describe this as an undesirable kind of mental state that has more in common with what some would call a trance.

Not that forgetting is something that is bad. Mindfulness requires a lot of trust because we don't know what's out there ultimately.