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28-Day Meditation Challenge Day 5: Concentration

The process of concentration is one of gathering. We gather all our scattered attention and energy, and we bring it together, we bring it home. The result of that gathering is that we attain access to all the energy that is not usually available to us because it's flying all over the place. -- Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by keeping track of all the things you have to get done, only to write them down and discover that there are only four. It's the keeping track -- not the number of things -- that overwhelms me sometimes.

I know that I do one thing better when I am doing only that one thing. And that I enjoy it more. Even doing dishes or sorting laundry has a sort of charm when I am simply doing them, not complaining to myself about doing them or rushing to finish so that I can do something else or judging myself for how long it took to get around to doing them.

It's easy to lose touch with that when I feel like I have sooooo many things to get to. But placing my attention on one thing -- usually my breath -- makes it easier to tackle the to-do list. When my mind is settled, it's easier to prioritize, to see what's important and what is not. When my attention is gathered, I can decide where to direct it instead of throwing it to the wind.

The Buddha said, When you are breathing in, know that you are breathing in. When you are breathing out, know that you are breathing out.

IDP is participating in Sharon Salzberg's 28-Day Meditation Challenge, along with other groups and independent bloggers. See what others are experiencing as they meditate for February's 28 days.

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