Thursday, 11 March 2010

What is the art of concentration?

Put simply, art is the product of human creativity. In this context, the art of something – be it medicine, conversation, or concentration – is a skill improved upon by study, observation and practice. It becomes a product of that personal creativity and application.

We may understand how the brain works and what it needs to concentrate. We may also have quite a clear idea of what we habitually do to prevent it from concentrating!

Those are the facts. We can now choose whether to apply this knowledge – and that is when it becomes an art.

The art of concentration is to apply the knowledge we have of ourselves – our abilities, our personality types, what works for us, and what we do to prevent ourselves from concentrating, and what we could do to create a better chance of concentrating – through study, observation and practice. It becomes an active choice, and something we can have control over.

Some people may find that the art of concentration comes more naturally to them than to others, but it’s probably just as much a learnt skill for them as it is for the rest of us. They may just have learnt it more readily, perhaps because of their personality type, their style of learning, or their motivation – whatever it is, they have found it and are benefiting from it and the rest of us can, too.

Teachers often write on school reports – must learn to concentrate better – implying that through study, observation and practice, we can all learn the art of concentration.

And we can.

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