Find Your Center: A Beginner's Guide to Concentration Meditation

Find Your Center: A Beginner's Guide to Concentration Meditation

Concentration meditation, also known as focused attention meditation, is a practice that involves focusing the mind on a specific object, thought, or activity in order to train attention and awareness. This type of meditation is often used to improve concentration and mental clarity, as well as to reduce stress and anxiety. If you're interested in learning more about concentration meditation, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to get started with this popular meditation technique, including tips and techniques to help you make the most of your practice. 

Why do we choose breath as the focus?

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The focus of concentration meditation is typically the breath, but why?

1. It’s always available. From the moment you’re born until the moment you die, your breath is going to be your companion.

2. The breath always offers an opportunity to establish a felt connection with what is happening right here and right now.

3. There is a direct relationship between your brain, emotions and breathing patterns. If you find that your breath is shallow, fast, and uneasy, chances are very high that your mind is feeling stressed out (as is the case when you’re feeling scared or frustrated).

4. It helps us to relax and let go. The art of letting go lives in our exhale. By exhaling with the intention of release, it becomes significantly easier to let go of problems and focus instead on what’s right in front of us.

Getting Started

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Steps for Practicing Concentration Meditation:

  1. Find a comfortable seated position and take a few deep breaths to settle into your meditation practice.
  2. Examine your mind and notice any distractions or thoughts that arise. If you find your mind is particularly busy or agitated, you can try focusing on your breath as a way to calm your mind. You can also try reading or listening to a mantra or sacred text to help anchor your attention.
  3. Establish a good motivation for your meditation practice. Ask yourself why you are meditating and what you hope to achieve through this practice. This can help provide a sense of purpose and direction for your meditation.
  4. Begin focusing your attention on your breath. As you inhale and exhale, pay close attention to the sensation of the breath moving in and out of your body.
  5. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath. You can also try counting your breaths, starting at one and working your way up to ten. When you reach ten, start again at one. This can help deepen your concentration and keep your mind focused.
  6. Don't get discouraged if you find it difficult to concentrate or if your mind wanders. This is normal, especially when you're just starting out with meditation. Just gently bring your attention back to your breath or mantra and continue with your practice.
  7. As you become more comfortable with concentration meditation, you can gradually increase the length of your sessions. However, it's important to start with shorter sessions and work your way up gradually, rather than trying to do too much too soon.

Tips for Success:

  • Be patient with yourself. Meditation is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Don't get discouraged if you have trouble focusing or if your mind wanders. Just gently bring your attention back to your breath or mantra and continue with your practice.
  • Notice any feelings of disappointment, frustration, or irritation that arise. These feelings themselves can be distractions. Notice the feeling, acknowledge it, and then return your attention to the object of concentration.
  • Use concentration meditation as a way to prepare for other types of meditation. Spending a few minutes focusing on your breath at the beginning of your meditation session can help calm your mind and improve your concentration, making it easier to transition into other types of meditation.
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Concentration meditation is a powerful practice that can help improve focus, reduce stress and anxiety, and cultivate a sense of calm and clarity. By focusing your attention on your breath or a mantra, you can develop the skills of concentration and mindfulness that will serve you in all areas of your life. With consistent practice, you'll be well on your way to reaping the many benefits of concentration meditation.


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