Three Category Concentration

A Simplified Three-Stage Map Toward Access Concentration – Three Category Concentration

The mind is in either of three different types or levels of general mindfulness and continuity of attention. At each category different practices are employed, in order to maximize the continuity of mindfulness and encourage flow, with vivid mindfulness.

Category I Concentration – Interrupted attention, frequent dullness and distraction, gross manifestations of the 5 hindrances. The meditator is stabilizing the mind and generating a positive foundation for the practice. We capitalize on repetition and intention building. Themes and key goals of the early practice include:

II – This intermediate category has more subtle manifestations of the grosser hindrances defeated in the previous category. There is relatively continuous attention, with a tendency toward either subtle dullness and/or subtle distraction. The key training is to maximize the alertness and clarity while maintaining awareness and steadiness.

III – In this category there is continuous attention, vivid mindfulness and clarity with infrequent subtle dullness and distraction, but effort is continually needed to maintain this level of mindfulness. The ability to stay centered and alert simultaneously is a valuable state, and in this level of concentration the following themes are adressed:

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