Today I want to talk about my thoughts and opinions on maintaining Right Concentration in difficult times. To cut to the bottom line, we’re talking about meditation here. Not just the “sit quietly for a few minutes to clear my head” kind of meditation. This is about the long-term goals and affects of meditation. Frankly, that’s a far deeper subject than I can begin to tackle effectively in a short blog post. So I’m going to take a slightly different tack.
We need to learn to detach from the world while still being part of it. This means being able to see objective reality, so that when we do engage it’s to do the right things for the right reasons. This requires letting go of ego, of presupposed notions, and even of ideologies. It’s not a matter of questioning. It’s a matter of setting aside biases and filters and allowing ourselves to see things as they are.
Reality and Balance
In our current world, it means being informed without becoming obsessive. I need to know if there are a lot of new COVID cases in my area, or if it’s under control. That affects the decisions I make about going out, the risks and precautions that I will take. I want to stay aware of protests, of issues I can vote on, and ways that I can support causes I care about. Those things are important.
Yet they can’t be all-consuming. I don’t need to know every foolish thing that comes out of a politician’s mouth. I don’t need to know the precise number of coronavirus-related deaths in a particular city half a world away from me. The details of the latest atrocity committed by American police doesn’t change my belief in and desire for criminal justice reform. It’s wretched excess, and it does not benefit my physical, mental, or emotional well-being.
Right Concentration, then, can be thought of as seeing things as they are, placing them in proper context, and making informed decisions. If we did this, more people would see that not wearing a mask isn’t a political stance. That the actions of American police warrant the outrage they’re gathering. No one would put up with being lied to, blatantly and continually. In other words, we wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.
May we all be well, happy and peaceful, may no harm come to us, may we all also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life.