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concentration and inquiry

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At the heart of Buddhist meditation is concentration and inquiry. When you cultivate these two qualities in meditation, you develop your ability to be quiet and clear and to offer understanding and love.

photo
Stephen Batchelor

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Concentration is the ability to remain focused for a sustained period of time on one type of object within a wide-open awareness in the background, in order to develop an inclusive type of concentration, which is stable and open at the same time.

Inquiry is the ability of the mind to notice clearly what is happening and look deeply into its nature. By cultivating inquiry you will be able to free yourself from destructive and negative habits. We have a tendency to make up stories in our minds that are not necessarily true but may be either remnants from the past or created out of fear insecurity. Meditation gently helps us to let these stories go.

Cultivating inquiry and concentration together enables us to develop a meditative awareness, which is characterized by acceptance. This acceptance is borne of knowing ourselves in a stable and open manner.