access concentration

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Bryan, modified 5 Years ago.

access concentration

Posts: 9 Join Date: 10/23/14 Recent Posts
Hello, I was reading in MTCTB in the chapter on concentration (page 32) that

"Until you can get into access concentration, you ain't got squat." 

Should I take that to mean that don't even bother with any attempt at insight until I do gain access concentration? What if I can't get that level of focus?

sincerely,

Bryan
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Jeff Wright, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: access concentration

Posts: 82 Join Date: 4/16/15 Recent Posts
Bryan:
Hello, I was reading in MTCTB in the chapter on concentration (page 32) that

"Until you can get into access concentration, you ain't got squat." 

Should I take that to mean that don't even bother with any attempt at insight until I do gain access concentration? What if I can't get that level of focus?

sincerely,

Bryan
Yes, that's my take on it.

You can get that level of focus, but you have to work at it. It takes time on the cushion and determination.

Jeff

P.S. the Dhamma Sukha guys use TWIM, an alternative, 'non-absorptive' method of attaining the jhanas and eventually nibbana. You may want to check that out as well.
Small Steps, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: access concentration

Posts: 248 Join Date: 2/12/14 Recent Posts
Agree with Jeff. It can be done, and it will require focus and determination.

Also definition of access concentration is going to vary. Full on access concentration with jhana factors present? Nice to have, eventually. Maybe, just shoot for a mind where hindrances have receded a bit, that is stable and can be rested on an object, or a series of objects in succession.

Contrast this with no stability of mind: how far then can one reasonably hope to get in insight practice? Here for a moment, off in an instant, pulled every which way and then some...

Ultimately, with practice, you'll come to know what state your mind is in and how it can be used.
MangaDesuYo, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: access concentration

Posts: 69 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Does that mean you should do concentration practice and attain access concentration once, and then do insight practice for it to become effective?

Or just generally having the ability to be able to attain access concentration always when doing concentration practice, but you can just do pure insight meditation (noting) without reaching access concentration through concentration practice before that?

There is a difference...
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bernd the broter, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: access concentration

Posts: 376 Join Date: 6/13/12 Recent Posts
Let's do a bit of reality checking:
Ajahn Tong's tradition uses a pure noting technique, from the beginning. The approach works. You can get basic instructions to get started by Yuttadhammo and probably other places.

Why does it work? I guess it is because the technique helps you to sustain attention from moment to moment quite soon. IIRC this is what Daniel Ingram means with "access concentration" in the context of your quote.

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