Concentrating the Mind

We usually think of ‘concentrating the mind’ as focusing our attention on some experience — 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 ‘concentrate’ is con-centrum, ‘with center’ — 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 of our essential being.

We could say the mind has become concentrated, concentrated in its essence — a concentrated experience of the peace and joy that are our true nature, 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 seeking — ease, contentment, happiness — 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.

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