Concentration (dhyana)

The meditation practice of focusing the mind uninterruptedly upon an object
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    Mindfulness and Concentration Paid Member

    20 Years, 20 Teachings: The Tricycle 20th Anniversary E-Book. It's free to all Supporting and Sustaining Members. Get the e-book.                         Vipassana meditation is something of a mental balancing act. You are going to be cultivating two separate qualities of the mind-mindfulness and concentration. Ideally, these two work together as a team. They pull in tandem, so to speak. Therefore it is important to cultivate them side by side and in a balanced manner. If one of the factors is strengthened at the expense of the other, the balance of the mind is lost and meditation becomes impossible. More »
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    Disconnect the Dots Paid Member

    THE PAINTING WAS GEORGE SEURAT’S Neo-impressionist work A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, his famous scene of Parisians in a waterside park. As my eye scanned the canvas, jumping from boats to people to clouds, it caught on a tree.Here were no seamless bands of color, no blended patches of tint as in so many other paintings. The tree was made up of countless specks—a smattering of separate orange, yellow, and blue dots. The boats on the water, the people on the lawn, their faces and clothes—all were a sprinkling of motes, as if the canvas had been caught out in a rain of paint. More »
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    Bliss is a By-Product Paid Member

    Most of what we are told about awakening sounds like a sales pitch for enlightenment. In a sales pitch, we are told only the most positive aspects; we may even be told things that are not actually true. In the sales pitch for awakening, we are told that enlightenment is all about love and ecstasy, compassion and union, and a host of other positive experiences. It is often shrouded in fantastic stories, so we come to believe that awakening has to do with miracles and mystical powers. One of the most common sales pitches includes describing enlightenment as an experience of bliss. As a result, people think, “When I spiritually awaken, when I have union with God, I will enter into a state of constant ecstasy.” This is, of course, a deep misunderstanding of what awakening is. More »
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    Stepping Towards Enlightenment Paid Member

    THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM is the enlightenment of the Buddha. Many centuries ago in India, the wandering monk Gautama remembered a childhood experience of jhana, mental or meditative absorption, and realized that jhana is the way to awakening. He went to a quiet stretch of forest on the banks of a great river, sat on a cushion of grass under a shady fig tree, and meditated. The method of meditation that he used is called anapanasati, mindfulness of the in and out breaths. Through this practice, he entered jhana, emerged, and quickly gained the insights of enlightenment. Henceforth he was called the Buddha, the Awakened One. More »
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    Full Body, Empty Mind Paid Member

    In many Buddhist groups, the body is addressed only in basic instructions on posture for meditation, sometimes lasting no more than a few minutes. Many practitioners are drawn to body-based practices such as yoga, martial arts, or the Alexander technique to complement or even enable their sitting practice, but they are often on their own when it comes to integrating these traditions with their larger spiritual path. What is being lost in this gap? One of the most convincing voices for the importance of the body in meditation belongs to Will Johnson, author of several books on the topic, including The Posture of Meditation; Aligned, Relaxed, and Resilient; and Yoga of the Mahamudra. More »