A question came in to me on email asking for some insights on concentration. “I can’t concentrate. Please help.”
Here are some of my thoughts on concentration.
Most people can’t concentrate because they have not been taught how to concentrate and they do not practice the art of concentration. If you haven’t been taught it and you don’t practice it how can you be good at it?
In order to learn how to concentrate you must first learn how the mind works. This is absolutely essential and very simple.
First you have to understand the difference between mind and awareness. You are pure awareness flowing through the mind. By using your will and powers of concentration you can consciously move your awareness to any area of the mind that you would like to go to.
You hear people often saying “my mind wanders all the time”. Technically that is a false statement. Your mind is not wandering rather your awareness is moving from one area of your mind to another. This is really an important concept to understand. With your will you can take your awareness to any area of the mind you want and hold it there with the powers of concentration. More on the mind and awareness later.
So, if I were to simply define concentration then I would say that concentration is the ability to keep your awareness on one thing for a prolonged period of time.
So you’ve learned two things. One is that awareness moves through various areas of the mind. Two, is that you can use your will and powers of concentration to hold awareness in a given area of the mind for an extended period of time.
Now that you’ve learned what concentration is and how it works, the next step is to learn how to concentrate better.