We usually think of â€œconcentrating the mindâ€ as focusing our attention on some experienceâ€”a process that can take effort and discipline, particularly if we are trying to keep the mind concentrated. While this approach can be useful at times, I find another interpretation of concentration equally valuable.
The Latin root of â€œconcentrateâ€ is con-centrum, â€œwith centerâ€â€”being with our own center, or bringing ourselves to center.
When the thinking mind relaxes, we drop back into the still center of our turning world. There, free from disturbing thoughts, we come to rest in the ease and calm ofâ€”our essential being.
We could say the mind has become concentrated, concentrated in its essenceâ€”a concentrated experience of the peace and joy that are our true natureâ€”much as concentrated orange juice is the undiluted essence of orange.
Resting here the attention is less inclined to wonder off. Why should it when what it is ultimately seekingâ€”ease, contentment, happinessâ€”is right here, in the moment? No effort is needed now to concentrate the mind; it is naturally concentrated as a result of dissolving the veils to our true nature; of letting go, allowing the mind to settle down, and so return to the center of our being.