Joseph continues his exploration of the awakening factor of concentration, how it can be cultivated through virtue and morality, and the methods that can help deepen it further.
Listen to Part 1 of Joseph’s talk on concentration on Insight Hour Ep. 71
The Foundation of Concentration
Joseph continues his exploration of concentration by looking at the foundation of concentration, which is Sila, or morality. He talks about the power of Sila to help let go of the unskilled and unwholesome memories that cloud the mind.
“If there’s no virtue in our lives, the basis for concentration is destroyed.” – Joseph Goldstein
Mindfulness of Breathing (13:12)
The Buddha outlined four steps of how to work with the breath. Joseph goes over each of these steps as a way to see how mindfulness of breathing can deepen the enlightenment factor of concentration.
“The breath is always with us, it’s not that we have to go searching for it or find something that’s not there. If we’re alive, we’re breathing.” – Joseph Goldstein
Awareness of the Knowing Mind (31:15)
Joseph reads from the work of Thai teacher Upasika Kee, whose techniques go from the awareness of breath to the awareness of the knowing mind. This is another step in developing concentration.
“So we practice in this way, and as we learn both to recognize and trust this simplicity of knowing, we can stabilize our awareness in the knowing itself.” – Joseph Goldstein
Lost in Thought (40:45)
Joseph ends the show with a discussion of the way we relate to thoughts as they arise in the mind. He talks about how it’s not the thoughts, but your attitude about the thoughts, and goes over some of the very subtle ways we can get lost in thought.
“In the development of momentary concentration, we don’t see thoughts as a hindrance or a problem, they are simply something else to be aware of.” – Joseph Goldstein