We all know what is concentration. Some of us may be familiar with admonishing our children to concentrate on their schoolwork or homework. But it is not only our kids. We ourselves, like children are distracted by the overload of information from Slack to Facebook to Telegram. According to dictionary.com, the word concentration means to pay exclusive attention to one object. In this post, we will share what is concentration and why are we looking to concentration for well-being?
Why Do We Want To Concentrate Our Mind?
The reason is simple – for the sake of well-being. We all know the mind that is distracted. A distracted mind makes us feel as if we don’t know what just happened in our lives. A mind that is restless moving from one thing to another makes us feel lost, when we suddenly have nothing to do. Or a mind that does one thing and another so quickly (multitask) it loses reality. All of these uses of our mind makes us feel pressure sometimes. It makes our breathing short dependent on how many things we put on our plates to rush for. Of course, not everyone is feeling this way. For most, it is the feeling of not being able to collect our minds with the constant thinking. What adds to this constant thinking, is the inability to sometimes stop ourselves from reaching out to Netflix, Twitter or Instagram.
What is Concentration?
Concentration is the ability to collect our minds on one object. This laser focus is what we see in sportsmen, artists, and successful businessmen. How when they are onto their craft, there is this laser sharp attention on the task at hand. In MBSAT, this is called bounded awareness. Bounded awareness is narrow and not wide. It is like a boxer in a ring focused on his opponent. For the most of us, our lives do not give us much opportunities for concentration. But we can choose to train our minds to be concentrated by putting aside 10 minutes a day.
Simple Concentration Exercises
The simplest way to cultivate concentration is by placing your attention on your breath. The breath is with us for as long as we are alive. Many meditators have learnt to focus their attention under their nostril to feel the breath. But there are other areas of the body you can place your focus on. Such as the movement of your lower abdomen when you breathe in and out. Or the base of your throat above the sternum. You can also choose to place your attention on the crown your head or the forehead.
You may ask how is it possible to feel any breath sensations on your forehead or the top of your head? Although we normally think of the breath entering the body through the nostrils and into the lungs. We forget that the blood moves in our veins and distribute oxygen cells everywhere. Some people may already be sensitive enough to feel breath movements in the forehead or even the crown of the head.
Concentration Meditation is Not Mindfulness
Concentration meditation is just the base training ground for mindfulness. Mindfulness is described as strategic awareness, which is a wide consciousness in MBSAT. If you would like to explore how from simple concentration, you can develop wide awareness for a sense of sustained well-being, get in touch with us. We offer online mindfulness course in the full 8-week course or as a 2-hour workshop.