Meditation Vs Concentration

Meditation in its Simplest, Natural and Original form does not involve any concentration technique, any suppression, struggle, controlling, fighting or wrestling with the mind !

Swami Vishvas Ji explains, "True meditation is not concentration. Concentration is only a by-product of meditation. Meditation is the Source of concentration. Through meditation one can achieve all mind powers including concentration. However, concentration techniques alone will not be able to help you master your mind. They only give you temporary relaxation but they cannot bring about any major transformation in your attitude, behavior or mindset. The biggest example of this is the warrior 'Arjuna' in the Mahabharatha, who was at the peak of concentration. However, when it came to the final test, his concentration failed him miserably. Even he fell prey to his mind's dualities and became a victim of fear, escapism and deep depression. Concentration is limited. Concentration is just a solace. Meditation is the real solution."

Concentration is a practice, a mental exercise. Meditation is a process, a direct approach to the mind.

In order to understand this, we must first understand the different stages of the mind:

Cogitation

Thinking is undirected; try to go back from your thinking to where the thought came. Go back retrace the steps, and then you will see that another thought was there and that led to this and they are not logically connected. One thought leads to another without any direction from you. The thought itself leads to another because of association. There is no logical connection-only association in your mind.

Contemplation

It means thinking-directed thinking. We think but that is not contemplation. That thinking is undirected, vague, leading nowhere. Thinking becomes contemplation when it moves not through association, but is directed. The mind always tries to escape from one side path to another, from one bypath to another, to some association. You cut off all the side ways. On only one road, you direct your mind, then you bracket out all associations. This is called contemplation. As a scientist, a logician, a mathematician, a poet, a musician working on something, say any problem, are in contemplation. Many things from the sideways will attract, but he does not allow his mind to move any where, mind moves in one line, directed. This is contemplation. Science is based on contemplation, it is logical and rational, it is not absurd.

Concentration

Then there is concentration, to stay at one point, being at one point, not allowing the mind to move at all. It is not thinking, it is not contemplation. In thinking, in ordinary thinking, mind moves like a madman. In contemplation the madman is led, directed, he cannot escape anywhere. In concentration the mind is not allowed to move; in ordinary thinking, it is allowed to move only somewhere. In concentration it is not allowed to move. It is only allowed to be at one point. The entire energy, the whole movement sticks to one point. Yoga is concerned with concentration. The yogic mind has its thinking focused, fixed at one point; no movement is allowed.

Meditation

In ordinary thinking, mind is allowed to move anywhere; in contemplation, it is allowed only in one direction, all other directions are cut off. In concentration, it is not allowed to move even in one direction, it is allowed only to be on one point. And then comes, Meditation. In Meditation, mind is not allowed at all.

Meditation is 'no-mind', not even concentration is allowed. Mind itself is not allowed to be, that is why meditation cannot be grasped by the mind. Up to concentration, mind has reach, an approachable reach. Mind can understand concentration, but not meditation. Mind is not allowed at all really in meditation. In ordinary thinking, all directions are open; in concentration, only one point is open-no directions. In meditation even that point is not open, even that point is taken away. Mind is not allowed to be. Thinking is an ordinary state of mind and meditation is the highest possibility. The lowest one is ordinary thinking-association, and the highest, the peak, is meditation i.e. no-mind.