Meditation is all about innocence. That was the message of the previous article in this series. Effortlessness in meditation allows us to come into the center of the flow of grace, for it allows the very nature of the mind—which is to go towards more happiness—to take us within, to the blissful experience of our own inner nature. Meditation is surrender, innocence, faith; meditation is allowing God to meditate through you.
But then, what about concentration? We hear so much about the need for concentration in meditation. How can concentration be achieved without effort? To answer this question, we must recognize that true concentration is the fruit of meditation, not the means. That is, we don’t furrow our brow in an effort to achieve concentration; rather, we allow the mind to become subtle through our innocent practice. Then the mind naturally becomes absorbed in bliss, in a concentrated state—one so powerful and deep that we could never imagine it from the gross conscious thinking level.
Subtle levels of nature are always more powerful than gross levels. There is hardly any energy apparent at the gross level of, say, the desk in front of you. Yet at the subtler levels of the desk, the atomic level, there is a great deal of energy. At the subatomic levels, where electrons whiz around the nucleus billions of times each millionth of a second, there is almost unlimited power. Likewise, as thought becomes subtler and subtler, it exhibits far more energy and power (as well as intelligence, love, and bliss). As we cultivate our ability to think at these subtle, powerful levels through childlike, innocent faith, immense concentration follows naturally.
Those who do achieve true concentration know very well that although one’s intention and attention has played an important role, concentration cannot be manufactured by the ego or intellect. Profound concentration simply is impossible to achieve at the gross levels of the mind, because there thought is simply too weak and impotent. Real concentration can only arise at the subtle levels of the mind where a simple intention stirs and directs the awesome power existing at or near the source of creation of this universe—the universal Self, pure consciousness.
That power is within us. It is our own innermost nature. No amount of effort or strain will bring us there; only the innocence and effortlessness of Being. Concentration is not something we do; it is a gift of grace. We open ourselves to receiving this grace through our childlike innocence and faith.