Meditation Tip: Finding the Sweet Spot
This week’s tip is a follow up from last week when I suggested replacing the words concentrate or focus with notice to help you find the sweet-spot between intensive concentration and thinking about what you are supposed to be doing.
Intensive concentration can be described as focusing so hard you think you're going to burn a hole through something with your mind. During intense concentration we focus both our awareness, and our physical thinking/reasoning mind on a task. When the thinking mind is held in place by our intense concentration, it’s not free to behave as it normally does, robbing you of the opportunity to learn how your mind goes about it’s business.
The middle ground is that sweet-spot I was referring to, where you aren't putting so much effort into concentrating, noticing takes the place of intense concentration, and the thinking mind behaves naturally so we can observe how and why it does the things it does. This degree of concentration is characterized by a quiet, relaxed, body and mind. Some readers may be familiar with the story of the Buddha who was said to have discovered this middle-way between the two extremes of intensity and negligence, resulting in his attaining enlightenment.
When we don't exert enough effort, we loose our awareness and get caught up in thoughts concerning meditation, or anything else. Ironically, being caught up in your thoughts is about he same as concentrating intensely, both engage the thinking mind, preventing us from seeing how and why our minds do what they do.
If you find yourself struggling to find your sweet-spot, feel free to contact me directly. Since everyone’s experience is a little different, we should schedule a time to get together face to face, via phone or computer. Either reply to this newsletter, or visit http://appliedawareness.org/contact
-by Todd M. Robinson, Meditation Master, and founder of Applied Awareness ™