- Active Concentration
- Selective Concentration
When we practice selective concentration, we choose a specific thing to focus on. This sort of concentration is about learning to hone and control our thinking. For example, the specific focus of the technique may be our breathing or our heartbeat. This sort of practice helps us to become better at ignoring external stimuli when studying, working, driving, or doing any other activity that should take our full attention.
TNH makes a point of telling us that the act of concentration should not be used as an escape mechanism from our problems. Concentrating to avoid issues of conflict within your life is not Nourishing Concentration.
Nourishing Concentration leads to Nourishing Action and happiness. We cultivate the ability to be deeply still and present in the moment or focused on our tasks. This brings us joy and allows people to see the stability and strength within us.
The Buddha taught many different concentrations. One that I liked from the book was the Concentration on Impermanence. So you practice Nourishing Concentration by being fully aware of how impermanent everything and everyone is. TNH says that you see your loved ones as impermanent and do what you can to make them happy today. In doing so, you free them to grow, change, and release themselves from suffering in the future. I like this idea very much.
*This post is a piece of a larger discussion that begins with the post: Lessons from the Heart of the Buddha's Teachings.*