Key Difference – Concentration vs Meditation
Concentration and Meditation are two words that are often confused due to the similarity in their meanings, although in actuality there is a difference. Most people, however, tend to use the words interchangeably. First let us define the two words. Concentration amounts to focusing all one’s attention or mental ability. On the other hand, Meditation is the process by which the thoughts that arise in the mind are cut. This highlights that there is a clear difference between concentration and meditation. In this article let us comprehend the difference in depth.
What is Concentration?
Concentration amounts to focusing all one’s attention or mental ability. In short it can be said that concentration consists in the act or power of focusing one’s attention. Observe the sentence ‘The student needs to develop concentration’. Concentration is very important for students. For instance imagine a situation where you have to study well in order to pass an exam. You will only be able to study well if you concentrate on the work alone. If you are distracted by others, the voices around you, other thoughts then t is difficult to concentrate. Hence developing one’s ability to concentrate can be of extreme advantage for students.
Occasionally the word ‘concentration’ is used in the sense of ‘something brought together’ as in the sentence ‘the town has a concentration of resources’. In other words, concentration would mean something brought together or gathered together.
Philosophers would say that the concentration is possible only when the mind is controlled. One of the main differences between concentration and meditation is that concentration involves thoughts whereas meditation does not involve thoughts.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the process by which the thoughts that arise in the mind are cut. In fact, the thoughts are cut as and when they arise in the mind. The practitioners of the Yoga system of philosophy recommend certain methods of meditation. They say that the eyes have to be half closed, and they have to be aimed at the tip of the nose.
Experts of Yoga say that meditation consists in the retention of the state of thoughtlessness for a stipulated period of time. Thoughts tend to rise in the mind time and again. The duty of the Yogi is to stop the thoughts from developing further.
The word ‘meditation’ is expressive of exercising themed in contemplation and is heavily used in the religious sense. The word ‘meditate’ is usually followed by the preposition ‘on’ or ‘upon’. The word ‘meditate’ is derived from the Latin ‘meditari’ which means ‘contemplate’. It is interesting to know that many types of meditation techniques are coming up these days. In Buddhism, many techniques are used for meditation. This allows the individual to gain peace of mind. As you can observe there is a clear difference between concentration and meditation. This can be summarized as follows.
What is the Difference Between Concentration and Meditation?
Definitions of Concentration and Meditation:
Concentration: Concentration amounts to focusing all one’s attention or mental ability.
Meditation: Meditation is the process by which the thoughts that arise in the mind are cut.
Characteristics of Concentration and Meditation:
Concentration: When concentrating the attention is on a single thought.
Meditation: In meditation thoughts that come to the individual are cut off.
Concentration: Concentration can be very beneficial for students.
Meditation: Meditation is practiced in various religions and also in yoga.
1. US Navy 040311-N-2413T-002 Sailors assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68) concentrate on taking the Navy-wide Second Class (E-5) Advancement Exam By U.S. Navy photo by Airman Maebel Tinoko. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2. “Meditating in Madison Square Park” by Beyond My Ken – Own work. [GFDL] via Wikimedia Commons