Concentration vs. Meditation: Exploring the Differences using Meditation

Concentration vs. Meditation: Exploring the Differences using Meditation is the full video of a guided meditation session with Dhyanse in Basel, Switzerland held on 30th September 2018.

 

You can view the full video on our YouTube channel hereAlternatively find the video at the end of this post!

 

In this session, we look at techniques to unlock our internal awareness. There are two forms of internal awareness: one is known as concentration and the other, meditation.

 

During this meditation we will learn about the differences between these two states of awareness, and how we can use them to progress into a deeper meditation practice.

 

Summary

Internal awareness allows us not only to appreciate internal experiences, but it also allows us to access external experiences. If you don’t have internal awareness, you can often miss these external experiences.

 

Concentration and meditation are two forms of internal awareness we will discuss in this session. Usually they can be confused when we talk about meditation, we often say meditation is concentration or concentration is meditation, but there is a significant difference:

 

Concentration is nothing but when your awareness is narrowed down to one particular point – perhaps an object or a process. When we say “concentrate on your breath”, that means that you’re narrowing your awareness to that. It is something that you consciously do. You are excluding everything else – bringing your awareness to one point – this is called your attention.

 

Meditation is the complete opposite. Your awareness is not pointed at one particular object or process, it is evenly spread out. In meditation, there is nothing holding your awareness, yet you have everything in your awareness. You allow everything around you to remain the same – you can still listen to sounds, still be aware of thoughts entering your mind. You do not exclude anything, you simple remain aware of it.

 

Concentration is exclusive, whilst meditation is inclusive.

 

What are the benefits of both of these processes? They both have their place, both create an experience, which is more heightened than normal. When you are concentrating you are bringing your energies together and focusing them, creating a certain passion. That passion becomes expressed out of your desires.

 

In meditation, there is no desire, there is no passion. But the same energy is transformed into compassion. This awareness of being one with the world, hence feeling a sense of connectedness with the world – creates a sense of compassion. This is the outcome of the process of meditation. Concentration leads to passion and meditation leads to compassion.

 

Both have their place, we do not have to choose between either. We can practice both.

 

It is possible to directly practice meditation, but it can also be a bit difficult. So an easier method is to move from normal awareness to concentration, and then from concentration to meditation. This is what we will practice in today’s session.

 

So how are we going to do this? I will guide you through the process step-by-step as we meditate together: Firstly we will sit and relax, bringing our awareness to this very moment, this very place, and then for 10 minutes or so we will bring our awareness to the process of concentration. From there once we are settled, we will release that concentration and just sit in silence, letting our awareness expand and whatever comes to this awareness to do so without any conflict, which means: if a thought comes, don’t try to wrestle with it, just let it be a part of your awareness and a part of your meditation.

 

Meditation Steps:

Here is the step-by-step process for this guided meditation:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Take a deep breath, inhale and exhale through the nose. Keep your back straight, shoulders and neck relaxed. Take a moment to sit comfortably. Continue to keep breathing naturally.
  3. Feel the flow of breath through the nostrils, keep your awareness at the entrance to the nose, and feel the flow of air as it comes in. Notice if it is warm or cold. Allow your awareness to settle.
  4. If you get distracted, simply come back to your awareness, to the entrance of your nose. Draw your attention from anywhere else, and just focus on your nostrils. Body and mind are calm and settled, concentrate all of your awareness on your nose. Feel the flow of the breath, in and out.
  5. Next, release this focus. Seek your awareness, with everything coming to your notice. Notice your breath rising and falling on its own. Accept everything, as it comes within your awareness. Simply seek this awareness.
  6. Allow your body to become more silent. Allow your mind to become more silent. In this silence, remain aware.
  7. Stay like this for as little or as long as you wish. Try not to touch your body, mind, thought or sensation. Stay here, aware and silent. Stay passive, letting go of everything except awareness.
  8. Slowly, bring awareness back to your body, and feel the sensation, the silence, movement, tingling in your fingers. Awareness in your mind. Take this moment to be thankful.
  9. Very gently open your eyes.
  10. Give yourself a moment to reflect on the experience. Stretch your body, your legs. We have completed the meditation.

 

If you find it difficult, it’s not the end of the story – there are many other ways in which you can move from ordinary states to meditativeness.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey into further techniques of meditation.

Dhyanse

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