open dharma meditation retreats
~ One-pointed concentration

Returning attention again and again to a fixed, relatively unchanging object sharpens and strengthens our ability to pay close attention to life.
With concentration on seeing, the object is visual, and the practice is to see while being awake to the fact that seeing is taking place.

1) Choose an object that you like or love: a photograph of a loved one, a beautiful stone, dried flower, or leaf, a candle, a piece of jewelry...nothing too large. Stay with the same object in each sitting.

2) Place your object far enough away so that the neck is not strained.

3) Rest the eyes while seeing: practice relaxation whenever tension in the body-mind becomes noticeable. If there is pressure on the eyes, unusual visual effects, such as seeing colors or losing focus, may occur. Blinking the eyes helps. Notice how little effort is needed for vision to "happen."

4) Neither fight with nor entertain any images that seem to appear in the object.

5) Sometimes it can be useful to pinpoint the vision on a tiny detail of the object.

6) Beginning meditators may notice that their power of concentration, or energy to keep returning to "just seeing," runs out after ten or twenty minutes. In that case, take a mental break, while maintaining physical stillness. After a few minutes, begin again the practice of continually returning the attention to simple seeing.


open dharma meditation flower
Once we can gather the mind in one-pointed concentration, just for a couple of minutes, then we are much better equipped to continue the inner journey.