The Task of Concentration
Concentration: it’s such a gift. To be able to sit down at my screen in an undistracted way, to get something done without finding my mind sliding off into email or Amazon or some seemingly “urgent” spreadsheet.
Mindfulness is a training and for me, concentration is one of its big benefits. But it does raise the question of what: what’s the best thing to concentrate on? Sometimes it’s whatever’s in front of me: that memo, that witness, that student.
But sometimes what’s in front of me isn’t something I want to concentrate on, or isn’t something that would necessarily be good for anyone to concentrate on, like a terrible tragedy, or a terrible politician. In that case, it’s also good to remember: mindfulness is a training, and yes, concentration is one of its gifts. But having the choice about what to concentrate on, and making that choice, for our own benefit and for the benefit of everyone: that might be the biggest mindfulness gift of all.