Concentration and Inquiry

Concentration and Inquiry

It is essential that you cultivate together and in harmony these twin elements of concentration and inquiry. Concentration will bring stability, stillness, and spaciousness; inquiry will bring alertness, vividness, brightness, and clarity. Combined, they will help you to develop creative awareness, an ability to bring a meditative mind to all aspects of your daily life. In this way, meditation becomes both a refuge and a training: a refuge into being, and a training into doing.

– Martine Batchelor, “A Refuge Into Being”

A question came up during the first of my two-weekend MBCT course in London yesterday:

“How can you say meditation is a ‘settling into a radical acceptance of the way things are; a dropping into the ‘being mode’, when, on the other hand we need to regularly DO our daily mindfulness practices in order to most benefit from a mindfulness course”

This apposite quote from Martine, a much-respected Zen/Mindfulness teacher, brings together not only concentration and inquiry, but at the same time transcends the ‘doing’ & ‘being’ question.

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