Friday, December 18, 2009

6. Cultivating Meditation Concentration

"Dwelling on the teaching without distraction is called meditation concentration.

"Buddha said, 'O monks, if you concentrate the mind, it will be in a state of stability and you will be able to know the characteristics of the phenomena arising and perishing in the world. Therefore you should energetically cultivate and learn the concentrations. If you attain concentration, your mind will not be distracted. Just as a household careful of water builds a dam, so does the practitioner, for the sake of the water of knowledge and wisdom, cultivate meditation concentration well, to prevent them from leaking.' "

(From "The Eight Awarenesses of Great People," translated by Thomas Cleary in "Shobogenzo: Zen essays by Dogen.")

(Photo: Cold day, leaky faucet! East 30th Street, about a week ago)


  1. I need to work on plugging up a few leaks. These 8 awarenesses are so simple but so instructive in their approach to life.

  2. I like the metaphor of the dam. And the comparison between concentration and conservation; for me, concentration often involves the choice to refrain (whether from spinning out a thought, answering yet another e-mail, obsessing, etc.)...Perfect photo!