Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Right Stillness

Samma samadhi, one of the factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, is usually translated as “right concentration”.

Ajahn Brahmavamso, the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia, visited Malaysia recently. He mentioned that he no longer referred to Samadhi as “concentration”, but preferred the term stillness. Concentration, according to him, gave us an impression that one has to put in a lot of efforts, which was not so accurate.

Now this is my personal opinion:

“Concentration” may also imply focusing one’s attention to one point. Many meditators don’t focus on a single point, but instead mentally note whatever which arise in their mind. As such, “stillness” may really be a better term in this context too.

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