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Concentration vs. Mindful Meditation


In popular meditation, there exists a continuum of two modes of practices. The first mode involves one-pointed attention techniques that cultivate a form of voluntary, effortful, and sustained attention on an object. The second mode involves the cultivation of a more broadly focused, non-judgmental mode of free-floating attention.

These modes differ from typical relaxation techniques because they exist to achieve a balance between hypoarousal (i.e. activating the default network) and excitation (i.e. activation of attention and other cognitive processes). This balance is assumed required to maintain a sufficient clarity or meta-awareness throughout the meditative process.

The first mode often derives its techniques from Indian yogic concentration meditation, where the individual concentrates their attention on a single object such as breath, a mantra, a chakra center, or an internally visualized image. The second mode often derives its techniques from a meditative practice called Zazen.

The aim of zazen is to suspend all judgmental thinking and allow words, ideas, images, and thoughts to pass by void of further involvement. Techniques also include mindfulness meditation techniques, where the individual does not focus the mind on a single object, but rather observes a wide range of passing thoughts, emotions, sensations, or images.

If an individual feels they have a shortcoming, lacking concentration or the ability to let go, they should attempt the most challenging type of meditation. This is because of a lack of equilibrium in the brain. The goal in meditation is to reach a level of effectiveness in regards to both concentration and mindfulness meditation.

It should be noted that while concentration meditation is advantageous in many regards, it is not psi-conducive in the sense concentration “shuts-off” the free-floating mindset required to receive psi information. Therefore, concentration meditations are not advantageous for most experients pre-performance.

Professor Emerita at the University of Alternative Studies. A process-oriented qualitative researcher in the area of psychic experiences. An author of 6 books including university-level textbooks, and various technical papers on psychic experiences. A distinguished expert in Scientific Parapsychology and Clinical Parapsychology.

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