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Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive

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Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive charlie 12/11/16 11:49 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/11/16 6:29 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive CJMacie 12/11/16 10:50 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive synelg 12/12/16 12:37 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Ward Law 12/12/16 7:20 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive neko 12/12/16 5:56 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive neko 12/12/16 6:01 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/12/16 12:03 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive neko 12/12/16 6:23 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/12/16 7:18 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/13/16 5:07 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/13/16 1:59 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/14/16 10:55 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/15/16 3:59 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/15/16 3:54 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/15/16 4:45 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 7:49 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/15/16 10:33 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 7:50 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive bernd the broter 12/16/16 9:43 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/16/16 2:56 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive charlie 12/16/16 6:28 PM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive synelg 12/13/16 2:37 AM
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive Nicky 12/13/16 5:01 AM
I've been having a tough time with my concentration and I was reading this article: How A Few Simple Things Helped Me Meditate Without Losing Concentration. I tried a few of the things mentioned on there and they seemed to helped, but as I was reading around more on other websites / blogs as well. 

What some people were saying is that meditation is the opposite of concentration and if you're concentrating then you're not meditating. That meditation is expanding the mind while concentration is narrowing it and that the two are mutually exclusive.

Lots of confusing stuff for someone who's relatively new to it.

What do you guys think?

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/11/16 6:29 PM as a reply to charlie.
Concentration is simply continuous mindfulness. They are not two different things. 


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RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/11/16 10:50 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:

Concentration is simply continuous mindfulness. They are not two different things. 


Simple-minded nonsense

and neither of them are "things"

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/12/16 12:37 AM as a reply to charlie.
Charlie - it might help you to listen to Culadasa's explanation of conscious experience.  He says that conscious experience takes two forms - attention and peripheral awareness, and that you need both.   He says that if you focus too much on Attention and not enough on Awareness, that that is when your mind is more vulnerable to getting distracted.

Here is a link to one of his audio talks.   Click the 'download podcast' and have a listen - he explains about 'attention' and does a guided mediation on i.  If you then go back to the page where you downloaded the podcast, you'll see a link to audio no 2.  That's where he explains about peripheral awareness and does another guided meditation.

Hope it helps.   emoticon

http://dharmatreasure.org/sit-breath-wake-up-1/

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/12/16 5:56 AM as a reply to charlie.
Hello Charlie, welcome to the forum!

What is meditation? What is concentration?

According to the Buddhist meditation technology and terminology, there are two main subdivisions of meditation: concentration / tranquility (samadhi, samatha) and insight (vipassana). These words refer to both (a) different categories of practices / technique, and (b) to the skills that go into them, as prerequisites for practice and benefits of the practice. (Compare "strength training": it refers both to a set of exercises, and to the benefits obtained by doing them.)

Vipassana and samatha are not entirely independent: You cannot do concentration without a bit of insight and mindfulness, otherwise you would be constantly dozing off or be distracted, and not even realise it. Nor can you practice insight without enough concentration, since you need a modicum of skill at harnessing your mind power and putting it on a task of your choice.

So back to your question: Are meditation and concentration mutually exclusive? Wrong! Concentration is a necessary component of meditation, whatever meditation technique you are practicing. It can be the goal itself of meditation (when you are practicing samatha / samadhi), or a tool/skill for meditation (when you are practicing insight / vipassana).

Does this help?

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/12/16 6:01 AM as a reply to neko.
Addendum.

Roughly speaking, Concentration is the practice and the skill of putting your attention on an object of your choice, and keeping it there, warding off distractions and dullness.

Insight is the practice and skill of being aware of (a) what your awareness, attention, mind and perceptions are doing at any given moment, and (b) how they are doing it, and how the activities of mind, perceptions, awareness and attention affect one another.

Both concentration and insight are meditation. During your sit you might be focusing more on one, more on the other, on or both equally at the same time.

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/12/16 7:20 AM as a reply to synelg.
Culadasa also points out that "concentration" is not the best word to describe the skill. "Stable attention" is preferable.

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/12/16 12:03 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:

According to the Buddhist meditation technology and terminology, there are two main subdivisions of meditation: concentration / tranquility (samadhi, samatha) and insight (vipassana). 

Concentration is the mind gathering its powers to manifest as non-distraction, stability & clarity. 

Concentration ('samadhi''/collectedness) is not the same as tranquility (samatha).  

Both tranquility & insight are fruits of concentration. 

..

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/12/16 6:23 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
neko:

According to the Buddhist meditation technology and terminology, there are two main subdivisions of meditation: concentration / tranquility (samadhi, samatha) and insight (vipassana). 

Concentration is the mind gathering its powers to manifest as non-distraction, stability & clarity. 

Concentration ('samadhi''/collectedness) is not the same as tranquility (samatha).  

Both tranquility & insight are fruits of concentration. 

..

Right, samadhi and samatha certainly mean different things (literally), but their use is highly variable in practice. In many cases they are used interchangeably, in some cases one is used to refer to the practice in general and the other to a specific state, and so on.

Either way, I do not think that a philological discussion will be of any help to OP. If you are interested, you could open a separate thread and we could talk there. emoticon 

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/12/16 7:18 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:

Either way, I do not think that a philological discussion will be of any help to OP. If you are interested, you could open a separate thread and we could talk there. emoticon

A separate thread is not necessary because concentration is required for insight where as tranquility can be an obstacle to insight. Regardless, introducing the term "insight" into this thread is irrelevant since mindfulness does not equate to insight.  emoticon

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/13/16 2:37 AM as a reply to charlie.
Poor Charlie lol.  Are you confused?  

Culadasa has a definition of mindfulness which helped me a lot.

"Mindfulness is the optimal interaction between attention and peripheral awareness."

So say you were walking through a crowded room with a full cup of hot tea.  Your 'attention' would be glued to the cup to keep it from tipping, but your 'awareness' would be on everything in the crowded room so you wouldn't crash into anyone.

So, if you focus too much on 'attention' (concentration), you will lose awareness, and vice-verca.   So you need both to be powerful - attention on the breath or whatever meditation object you have chosen, and peripheral awareness to keep aware of anything that might distract you from the breath, like thoughts, noises etc.

Hope that helps.  emoticon

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/13/16 5:01 AM as a reply to synelg.
synelg:

"Mindfulness is the optimal interaction between attention and peripheral awareness."

So say you were walking through a crowded room with a full cup of hot tea.  Your 'attention' would be glued to the cup to keep it from tipping, but your 'awareness' would be on everything in the crowded room so you wouldn't crash into anyone.

So, if you focus too much on 'attention' (concentration), you will lose awareness, and vice-verca.   So you need both to be powerful - attention on the breath or whatever meditation object you have chosen, and peripheral awareness to keep aware of anything that might distract you from the breath, like thoughts, noises etc.

Hope that helps.  emoticon

No wonder everyone is so confused. emoticon

Say you were walking through a crowded room with a full cup of hot tea. Mindfulness 'remembers' to keep your attention (consciousness) glued to the cup & keeps 'remembering' to reflect with wisdom: "Do not spill the tea otherwise I will burn my hand & ruin the carpet". 

When this mindfulness is continuous, non-forgetful & undistracted so attention is continous & one-focused in its application towards one-object or one-preoccupation, this is concentration. 

..............

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/13/16 5:07 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Paweł K:
Nicky:
tranquility can be an obstacle to insight

sai wat? yu mad bro?


Ha. Not mad. 

Sometimes certain minds want to abide in a calm abiding & just rest. 

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RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/13/16 1:59 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Paweł K:
1. imho tranquility is about specific quality,  related to calmness but more perhaps to cessation/meditation

2. insight is very broad and basically if one is mindful

3.  receptive of all things which happen which eg. mahasi noting help to train but is not IT per se)

4. then even zero concentration or tranquility will still lead to insight, 

5. just in this case insight about fact that not having skillful qualities (such as tranquility)  lead to unskillful results like dukkha and what is dukka and how this whole thing develop,  its dynamics, etc.

6. So insight is related to mindfulness and completely unrelated to concentration and tranquility.  Unrelated mean unrelated either positively or negatively. 

7. One can be very concentrated but not mindfull (yes,  it is possible configuration!)  and this will lead to some changes which might lead to insight in the future (or might not lead) but in the present if there is no mindfulness = no insight

8. definitely being meticulous lead to insight,  that is for sure.  Insight that it is best to shut up and meditate emoticon

1. The tranquillity you have referred to also requires mindfullness, that is, remembering to keep the mind quiet & intent on the goal. 

2. Mindfulness is unrelated to insight. Mindfulness establishes concentration (a clear mind) & insight happens automatically when the mind is sufficiently clear. 

3. ???

4. Insight without concentration will not serve the purpose of insight, which is to cut through defilements that cause suffering. It is like using an axe, which requires weight (concentration), sharpness (insight) & movement (energy). 

5. this is insight about dukkha but it is only a small insight. It is having a glimpse of right view rather than having sustained vipassana (insight) of rising & falling of the aggregates

6. I already explained, insight is never ever related to mindfulness because mindfulness means "remembering". Insight is a function of consciousness or "clear seeing" 

7. One cannot be concentrated but not mindful because mindfulness the prerequsiite for concentration. However, mindfulness in this situation may be wrong mindfulness rather than right mindfulness (if the concentration is unproductive for insight).

8.  Being meticulous may lead to insight but meticulousness itself does not create insight. Insight is a function of the clear mind and the clear mind is a function of concentration and concentration is a function of mindfulness. 

emoticon

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/14/16 10:55 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Terminology mix up.

Mindfuless remembers or keeps in mind. 

Consciousness discerns, sees or has insight. 

What is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind....


'Consciousness, consciousness': Thus is it said. To what extent, friend, is it said to be 'consciousness'?

'
It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'

Discernment & consciousness, friend: Are these qualities conjoined or disjoined? Is it possible, having separated them one from the other, to delineate the difference between them?

Discernment (wisdom; insight) & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It's not possible, having separated them one from the other, to delineate the difference between them. For what one discerns, that one cognizes. What one cognizes, that one discerns. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference between them.

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RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/15/16 3:59 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Since I have so much compassion emoticon, I will fix up the common misunderstanding shown above: 

And what is right mindfulness (sati)?

Here the monk remains (remembeing to ) contemplate (anupassi) the body as body, resolute, aware and mindful (sati) putting aside worldly desire and sadness;

Here, the role of mindfulness is to remember to contemplate and to remember to put aside worldly desire & sadness when contemplating. 

Mindfulness itself, being 'memory' (sati), is unable to contemplate anything. Only consciousness is able to contemplate. 

As for 'contemplation' itself, the word is 'anupassi', which includes 'passa', meaning 'to sense/contact', as follows: 

Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact (passa). MN 18; MN 148; etc. 

In summary, the Satipatthana Sutta is instructing: "What must you remember to do; what must you remember to keep your mind pre-occupied with? You must remember to abide seeing body, feeling, mental states & truth, abiding with effort, clear-comprehension & being mindful to not cling to those objects of sense experience". 

emoticon

The Buddha did not teach mindfulness observes objects. The Buddha taught what mindfulness does is maintain Right View or to maintain the giving up of craving.

One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. MN 117

And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. SN 48.10
 

Please start again. emoticon












RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/15/16 3:54 PM as a reply to Nicky.
An analogy. It is raining & your mother said to you: "Please be careful Pawel when crossing the road because it is slippery. I love you". 

So you cross the road always remembering to think to yourself: "The road is slippery, be careful, be careful, be careful, keep alert & keeping feeling my feet; Mamma said to not slip". This is mindfulness. 

But that part of the mind that is watching the road with the eyeslistening for traffic with the ears; & sensing the touch of the traction of the road with the feet is consciousness

It is not mindfulness that seeshears touches. It is consciousness. All mindfulness does is to remember to keep the mind & consciousness on the task. 

Similarly, in meditation, all mindfulness does is remember to keep the mind clear. What senses the breathing (sense object) with the body (as a sense organ) is consciousness.

Try to comprehend. emoticon


Dependent on body & tactile sensations, body-consciousness arises.. MN 18; MN 148



RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/15/16 4:45 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Another analogy. 

Mother says: "Pawel, please remember to keep watch for the postman because I am expecting an important letter". 

So you remain vigilant & alert, remembering to keep your eyes on the road for the postman to arrive. Instead of being forgetful and watching TV, you keep vigilant on the post box. This is mindfulness. 

But then suddenly its starts to snow or rain very heavily; so heavily that you cannot even see the road or postbox. 

Despite trying to be mindful and remembering your task, you cannot see the postbox. 

This shows how mindfulness & consciousness (contemplating; observing) are different. 

Consciousness sees/watches the postbox while mindfulness remembers to watch the postbox (and not watch TV). 

It is like if Pawel says to Nicky: "Nicky, please keep watch on the sky for alien Martians". So Nicky will be mindful & remember to watch the sky but Nicky will eventually die without seeing any Martians & spaceships. 

emoticon

This is like following Pawel's meditation instructions. One will die before attaining anything essential. emoticon

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
1/10/17 7:49 AM as a reply to Nicky.
RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/15/16 10:33 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
emoticon Pawel emoticon
If it starts to snow, you go outside and sit next to the damn post box if you have to. It's your mother's letter after all, you guard it with you life, even if your ass freezes off. That is mindfulness.

Maybe. But it is consciousness that sees the postman & the letter. Mindfulness only remembers Mamma's words.

As for the protective attachment shown towards the beloved guru, try to have a sense of humour. emoticon I would not give back to Pawel what he/she/it does not give out. 

In summary, Pawel is wrong about mindfulness & concentration due to a lack of mental clarity. emoticon

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
1/10/17 7:50 AM as a reply to Nicky.

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/16/16 9:43 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
The question was in it's essence how can he develop his practice, and my answer is:

If you do anything like your life depended on it, you'll become a master. It's a pattern that repeats everywhere in nature. Guard your mind like your life depended on it, and you'll learn mindfulness without reading one sutra.

Yes, that's exactly the best way to learn anything.
Another example:
Babies can't do anything. They need to learn to stand up, walk, crawl around, speak, eat...
But basically every baby figures out how to learn those highly complicated tasks!
How did humans figure out how to fix this problem? Simple:
As soon as babies are a few weeks old, we make it clear to them that they better start to learn walking and talking, because their life depends on it (:

Well, there are exceptions. My friend's newborn is still not capable of standing up, because the little child doesn't realize that his life is on the line, and now he's just lazy. Next time I'm there, I will grab the little brat by the ankle and hang him out of the top floor's window, compassionately but sternly whispering 'you better start learning'. That'll teach him.

RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/16/16 2:56 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
The original poster should read my posts. It will help him totally. I answered his post also on two other websites, in more detail than here. This dhamma is real dhamma. That is why my posts were not refuted here. This is impossible. 

In summary, mindfulness means to remember to perform your objective. When mindfulness is sustained, the mind becomes one-focused on the objective or task. This one-focus or unity of mind with the task is concentration

In Buddhism, the task is to keep the mind empty of unwholesome mental states. When this is done, the mind becomes clear & lucid. When the mind becomes clear & lucid, certain objects (namely, the breathing, then feelings, then subtle mental states then the truth) automatically become the sense object of consciousness (due to the quietude, silence, stillness & receptivity of the mind). This automatic & gradual (sequential) knowing of four objects as a result of establishing Right Mindfulness is called Satipatthana. The Pali word 'patthana' or 'upatthana' means 'establishing'. 

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RE: Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive
Answer
12/16/16 6:28 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Wow, lots of stuff written here! I'm going to have to spend a little while to go through everything that was mentioned here.

I definitely didn't expect my question to have got this much response. emoticon

Thanks for all the replies. emoticon