Concentration or focused attention is very much respected by society. Parents want to teach children how to concentrate and memorize. And many people complain that they can not remain focused on one subject. Well, this is a misconception. Anger is concentration, hurt is concentration. All suffering is nothing but focused attention. All of us are having good concentration skills. The problem comes when you want to focus on something in which you are NOT interested. For example a student is not interested in maths but he want to focus on maths only to pass the exams.
You are already master in concentration. If you don’t believe me then watch yourself when you are angry. You are so focused in anger that you forget everything. People can not stop smoking or drinking because of strong concentration. All suffering which comes after breakup is nothing but concentrated focus on a single person. If you can not forgive someone for years means you are totally focused on that person. This shows that you can remain focused on something for years.
Mind automatically get focused on the topic in which it is interested. Whether it is good or bad it doesn’t matter. You feel angry or hurt because it gives your ego good feeling. You feel like you are important.
You don’t need to develop the skills of concentration, instead find the area in which you are most interested and you will get easily successful.
The students which are always on the top in school exams may considered as intelligent just because they are on the top. But in latter years other boys, who are having more social skills, confidence, and common sense, who are more focused on money and power may get more successful. This so called intelligence (which is the outcome of concentration) is relative and only time being. The object of concentration will change according to your change in interest.
You will be considered as a genius as long as you are focused on something in which you are interested and easily getting success. But you can be also considered as a fool if people could not understand your genius. The view of society about a successful man is very narrow. Basically it is based on money or social states. Money can easily hide your stupidity.
Meditation is NOT concentration; a meditative person is not focused on anything. He is just present. That’s why concentration on breathing is not meditation. Suppose you are totally focused on breathing and forget everything, then it is not meditation. Every year thousands of people travel all around the world and waste money to learn such kind of stupid things. What they teach in meditation camps is nothing but concentration. Meditation camps are concentration camps because along with stupid techniques they also brainwash you. Meditation can not be taught in camps. You have to learn it yourself in daily activities.
Earning money, balancing relationships, enjoying life, learning new skills, making new friends and achieving goals everything is part of meditation. It is not running away from life. Meditation is very balancing act. A meditative person is not introvert or extrovert. He is just balanced.
A person trying to concentrate can easily get disturbed, because he is fighting, resisting and trying his best to remain focused on ‘one thing’. A meditative person can not be disturbed because he is not forcing himself to remain focused. He is simply present. Forced alertness or awareness is not meditation, it is concentration.
Meditation is to simply being with yourself in the moment. And concentration is to leave yourself and focus on some point in time and space.