A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Right concentration

Right Concentration:  Simply put, it’s concentrating on wholesome thoughts. This starts to develop more though meditation, where we learn to concentrate on one object at a time. We have all heard that the mind tends to go down familiar paths. If a person watches a lot of porn, they soon develop an appetite to view more of it, and will start to watch what they would have considered deviant before they started down this path. A lady who goes to the bar looking for company to keep her from being alone that night, will probably not pick the same male, that she would have chosen if she wanted a good partner for a happy home life. Right concentration means thinking not only about what we should be, but with a wholesome view towards the objects of our thought. I know a couple who when they first met, everyone said they would not last. Almost 25 years later they are still happily married. One evening a few years ago, a group of us were at their house. One of the visiting ladies asked our hostess how she ended up being so lucky in love. The lady was complaining she always seemed to pick the guy who was only in it for fun. Our hostess looked at her husband, who I have know about 40 years, and asked him to answer. He told us, that his wife initially accepted his offer of a date because he was safe, not a hunk, not a Romeo, or playboy type. She added, that she had just been though a string of dates with guys who only wanted fun. After a few months, she said, well are we just going to be friends or do you want more? Of course most of the guys teased him, hearing this. He told us his reply was of course yes, but he wanted to know her well enough, which he did at that point. She told us that she had to gently encourage him for a while in that department, he laughed and said it was more like give him lessons. Her final point was that she realized he had all the attributes of a good husband and father, but lacked the savoir faire of a good lover, and she decided that better to choose a good guy and make him a bit naughtier, then to choose a guy who didn’t have the basic characteristics of a good husband and father, but was a great lover. When the lady who started this topic asked, if either had any regrets, the answer from both was nothing important enough to mention. So you might say she used right concentration to choose her husband, knowing he would have a high probability, of being there for the rest of their lives.

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