You also learnt about different concentration techniques, like focusing on a candle flame or on your goals. Concentration can be a great help in the outside world, but for the inside world you need meditation. You also have to be aware that concentration is not meditation. It is just the opposite. When we concentrate, we filter out everything else from the world except for one single thing.
We become closed and tense, because if we lose the attention even for a single second, our concentration is broken. This is why some meditators can be disturbed. But true meditation cannot be disturbed with anything, because it encompasses everything. It accepts everything that happens, and does not filter out or tries to ignore anything.
Meditation happens when we let in everything from the world and we become completely open. We don’t focus on anything, and we don’t filter out anything, either. If something grabs our attention during meditation, our meditation is broken. Everyday consciousness is something between concentration and meditation.
We are experiencing the world, one thing suddenly grabs our attention, but we cannot stay focused on it for a long period of time. Then a thought comes connected to this thing, then this thought reminds us of something else, and the train of thoughts goes on and on.
Everyday consciousness is like walking in a swamp. We continously walk without stopping, just like we are continously thinking. Always new and new pieces of mud get stuck to our shoes, and then fall off. Just like always new and new thoughts appear in our mind and fade away. Walking like this is difficult and tiresome, and exactly that is why it is so refreshing to just stop for a while. But when we stop, we start to sink inside the mud.
When we stay in one chosen point, and we totally sink into it, that is called concentration. We let this one single piece of mud grab us and take us into the deep, where we see nothing else. We lose sight of all the other pieces of mud, and all our other thoughts disappear. But if something disturbs us, we continue walking in the swamp. In contrast, meditation is like moving beyond the swamp, it is like flying. We live in the world, but it cannot touch us.
So, during meditation there is not a single inside or outside impression that we particularly turn our attention to. We are aware of it, we become conscious of it, but we don’t start to think about it or focus on it. We pay attention to everything equally, so nothing gets stuck in our consciousness.
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