Aspects of Sitting Meditation
Meditation versus Concentration
Concentration is not sitting. Concentration is mind.
The mind and the conditioned situation which the mind is dealing with are one thing.
So concentration is actually another word for samadhi.
In other words, if you a doing something, and utterly devoting yourself to it,
that is what concentration is. So in a larger sense, sitting itself is perfect concentration.
But in general, you cannot say sitting is concentration,
because there are hundreds of millions of concentrations
The problem here is any kind of concentration makes you ignore anything other than that concentration.
So when you concentrate on something, don't become afraid of your ignorance.
You had better now that you are going to become ignorant about hundreds of things, because you picked this one.
The reason I said sitting is not concentration is that
concentration still involves the self who maintains self-tendency.
Sitting is to destroy hat kind of thinking.
Just be there, exist there as something that was from beginningless beginning.
From beginningless beginning everything grows, and now will be so.
So there are dimensional differences between sitting and concentration.
When you cook something, you do not concentrate you attention on a particular thing.
Concentration is like clear blindness, you are acting in it; when the work is done, the food is there.
If you concentrate , saying, "I'll cut this squash in a real nice way,"
with that kind of mind you cannot move your knife so well.
If you forget the idea that, "I'll do a good job," then the surface consciousness may be blind,
but a very intuitive, very clear order is always working.
So you naturally know when to cut, when to stop the fire, and when to stop cooking.
In this sense, practice and repetition of training are always needed for concentration.
Meditation is very different.
Many times people mix up meditation and concentration.
In meditation you cannot control yourself. If you try to control yourself, you never get into meditation.
Your concentration is controlling you when you are "doing" some form of meditation.
Instead, you have to ask your meditation, "please, please come to me. Please work for me."
Otherwise, if you chase to get it, it will never come to you.
Even if meditation is always is covering and accepting me, whatever I'm doing, I don't feel it.
Recognition of the feeling of meditation is like feeling our inhalation and exhalation.
Air is everywhere and you just breathe a very little amount of it.
When you inhale, your whole life is exhaled by air.
If you exhale, you are inhaled by the whole air.
So there is no conception of small and big : "I am small and meditation is big," or
"Meditation is small and I am big." And there is no you, there is no sense of inside or outside.
In the big world of meditation, when two or three elements are communicating, that is concentration.
If you concentrate on every direction, that is meditation.
You do not do it, but it happens when you are ready to accept it, or when you are ready to be accepted by it.
Back to Talks on Aspects of Sitting Meditation, by Kobun Chino Otagawa Roshi.
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