The myth of meditation and concentration

Acharya Prashant
8 min readApr 11, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: “Acharya Ji, pranam. In shloka 407 of Vivekchudamani, it is advised to dissolve the mind by ‘concentrating it in the Supreme Self which is one’s inmost essence.’ So, is this inmost essence the same as the I am — the natural sense of being felt in the heart? If so, is it enough to fix the attention on this, both in my meditations and as I go through the day, bringing the attention back every time it wanders away? Would that kind of concentration be sufficient or is something more required?”

Acharya Prashant: The flower, can never quite feel the root, or can it? You have talked of the I am — the natural sense of being felt in the heart. Whatsoever is felt is always felt in the mind. The heart is that which enables the feeling. In the heart, there are no feelings nor can the heart be ever felt. Meditation is not about concentrating on the natural sense of being. Meditation is not about bringing the mind back from the world to some ‘I am’ idea.

To meditate is to continuously look for That, for which the eyes anyway are looking. You must understand this. Look at the way one’s eyes look. We don’t just look. We look purposefully, don’t we? The eyes keep on looking. The ears keep on hearing. The mind keeps on processing. The memory keeps on accumulating. One keeps on living. One keeps on breathing. None of that is just happening.

For us, all of that is happening with a purpose. The eyes are looking for something. The mind is processing, traveling, running in order to reach somewhere. That’s what the human being is all about — a dislocation trying to find its home.

You don’t have to bring your mind back from the world to yourself because there is nothing called yourself.

The mind will anyway not be able to look at the Truth beyond its own dimension. The mind is not configured to do that. You don’t have to retreat from the world. You don’t have to shrink away from the world.

You just have to remember that when the eyes are looking at something, they are also trying to look at something beyond that something.

That is why no ‘thing’ ever suffices. Just remembering this is sufficient.