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    Thread: What is the difference between concentration and meditation practices?

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      What is the difference between concentration and meditation practices?

      I thought both were meant to train the mind, or control the attention, and now i'm reading on google that their two different things and it doesn't really make sense to me...how are the practices different?

      What do you focus on in meditation, i know concentration focuses on external objects
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      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      There are probably as many different answers to this as there are people meditating. Personally, in meditation I try to focus on awareness of my stream of perceptions and my attachment to them or lack thereof. In my concentration, I try to focus on some concept that I think would improve my understanding and to keep it in mind as I go through my daily life so as to better grasp its connections to the rest of reality.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

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      Hungry Dannon Oneironaut's Avatar
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      Meditation is both an umbrella term for exploring consciousness including the technique of concentrating, and it is its own technique distinct from concentration. Concentration begins by concentrating on an external object, then refining attention until it rests on an internal object, like a word, visualization, etc. and then when even the internal object can be discarded without attention disintegrating, then it is meditation. The whole process is called meditation, but strictly speaking, the last step is proper meditation. In order to concentrate, you need to not be distracted. This is the first step, to calm your mind and focus it so that it isn't distracted by thoughts, sounds, sights, smells, bodily sensations, etc. Then you focus your mind on the object, perhaps a candle flame. Now you need to hold your attention on the candleflame as if it is a matter of life or death. BUT, you cannot get tense. You need to stay relaxed and vigilante. If you get tense, then your mind gets tense, and you will be defeated. After a few minutes, your mind gets used to it and there is less effort to remain focused than there was before. Now you can see parts of the candle flame that were invisible to you before, namely the radiance of it. But that is not important, don't pay attention to that, keep concentrating. Then you can close your eyes and concentrate on the negative image of the candle flame behind your closed eyelids. Eventually that will fade away, and if you have been concentrating well it should leave you in a state of meditation. Another popular method is to bang a gong or a bell and concentrate on the sound as it slowly becomes quieter until you are left in silence just listening. Or you can concentrate on your breathing.

      One becomes better at concentrating the more they practice, and it is the best way to develop will power and lucidity. However, meditation is not something that can really be practiced actually. It is the state you are left in afterwards. Concentration is like tunnel vision and meditation is like all vision including the peripheral vision. Does that make sense? If there is any effort at all then it is not meditation. Effort is part of concentration, meditation is just basking in your own brilliance. However, it seems paradoxical, because meditation is anything but a lazy mind.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dannon Oneironaut View Post
      One becomes better at concentrating the more they practice, and it is the best way to develop will power and lucidity. However, meditation is not something that can really be practiced actually. It is the state you are left in afterwards. Concentration is like tunnel vision and meditation is like all vision including the peripheral vision. Does that make sense? If there is any effort at all then it is not meditation. Effort is part of concentration, meditation is just basking in your own brilliance. However, it seems paradoxical, because meditation is anything but a lazy mind.
      Ok, so basically we need to practice both. Meditation is the mindfulness part ( being aware of everything going around you ) which can be done basically anywhere or anytime, walking, swimming etc.

      One becomes better at concentrating the more they practice, and it is the best way to develop will power and lucidity.
      Yes your right about this. At one point I was doing concentration practices, every night, I can't believe how beneficial this is. Like you said it's great for will power and lucidity. It's like the longer you hold your attention in one place, and the deeper into it you are, the more your subconscious creeps out and merges with your conscious mind. One night while practicing concentration, after what seemed like 5 or 10 minutes of no-thought, having a complete one-pointed mind, I started seeing imagery...vivid imagery..more like mental pictures, i wasn't asleep, no distractions, no break in consciousness...it takes work, dedication, i haven't achieved it since

      Another time I started becoming lucid in a dream, I mean like really lucid, but it seemed different than waking life. Like I'm in a dream, and I'm on autopilot, no control over what I"m doing, until consciousness and awareness just comes in..like I"m waking up in the dream slowly for the first time... more and more awareness and control of what I"m doing. It's strange.

      Your right though, concentration is the key to dream lucidity. Your post cleared up a lot of things for me.
      Last edited by Majestic; 07-22-2011 at 05:18 AM.
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