The Seven Factors of Enlightenment - Concentration. Offered by Tuere Sala at SIMS at University Friends on Nov 04, 2019.
Reflections and Practices: This month we will practice with the difference between concentration, the ability to focus the mind, and samadhi, steadiness of mind and mental harmony. When you are practicing concentration (on breath, listening, or focused on something interesting) what happens to your focus when the environment becomes chaotic or loud? Notice how concentration is dependent upon conditions. What value does focusing on what you are doing have in your life? Can you think of any activity that a steady mind does not enhance? What external and internal conditions cultivate this steadiness? How dependent are you on external conditions for your stability of mind? For example, does the house have to be quiet for you to be focused and clear? What internal factors are important? Does daily sitting help generate these internal conditions? Throughout the month, make a study of the conditions that allow you to focus and those which seem to interfere. Watch when your mind is focused and steady and when it is not. Samadhi, on the other hand, has the ability to expand beyond and hold circumstances and remain steadfast. Practice simple exercises that prove this point. For instance, try reading a book in the middle of noise and commotion, and then look up and embrace the entire scene without demands. Which is concentration and which is samadhi?