Q181. What shall I do when I can’t concentrate on the question?

A. People who start Zen meditation can find it somewhat difficult to concentrate on the question in the beginning. You don’t have to be concerned about the matter since that is a very common phenomenon for beginners.

In fact, you should know that this is rather a good time to practise because what you are seeking is revealing itself. The root of the idea that you can’t concentrate on the question is the very thing that you should realise.

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If you, while thinking that you can’t concentrate on you question, take the idea as true, you are being tricked by the illusion. You, however, are practising well if you try to find out where the idea comes from, because the purpose of our practice is to realise the root, or the source of our thoughts.

Try to focus on your question. When your concentration is very weak and it occurs to you that you don’t practice well, don’t agree with the idea but trace the thought back to the root from which it comes. Sooner or later you will find yourself absorbed in the question.

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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