Excerpt From: Catherine, Shaila. “Focused and Fearless.”

  
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The characteristic stability of ekaggata transforms the hindrance of desire.
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Desirous energy tends to want more: it lurches to reach for the next good thing or clutch at present experience hoping it will last longer.
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Based in craving, desire is never satisfied, and the mind affected by desire cannot rest.
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No matter how much a person possesses, as long as greed arises the mind is discontent.
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The Buddha remarked that even if the Himalayas were turned into gold, it would not satisfy one man’s greed.
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After one pleasure is attained, the next is sought, perpetuating the fantasy of future fulfillment.
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In contrast, the focused intensity of one-pointedness needs nothing more.
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With ekaggata there is no sense of deficiency, nothing lacking.
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The mind is completely unified and “one with the experience.”
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“EKAGGATA: ONE-POINTEDNESS OF ATTENTION: “Focused and Fearless”

  
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The fifth jhanic factor, ekaggata, describes the capacity of mind to remain focused and one-pointed with a chosen object.
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Ekaggata’s characteristic quality is to lock on to the chosen object with an intimacy that rivets the attention, stills the mind, and settles into unwavering focus.
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The connection is so steady there is no impetus to wander.
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This singularity of attention does not diverge; it is not lured from its meditation subject by the seductive force of desire, lust, or craving.
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It is not thrown off its focus by the rattling energies of restlessness.
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Although it is described in terms similar to the sustaining factor of vicara, ekaggata has a steadier texture; it does not possess the explorative quality inherent in vicara.
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Whereas vicara is compared to a bee entering a single flower and buzzing around in the pollen, ekaggata is compared to a nail or post that is anchored to one spot.
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Ekaggata brings certainty, deep stability, and clarity: its one-pointed focus completely unifies attention with the object until consciousness feels virtually undifferentiated from its object.
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Continued:
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My two cents: Be your breath, become your breath. Focus.
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Attachment: Sheila Catherine

  
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“Find an experience that is pleasant: looking at a sunrise, feeling the smooth fur of a cat, holding a warm cup of tea, or any other such simple thing.
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Practice moving the attention between the object and the pleasant feeling it elicits.
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Shift your attention between the object of pleasure (the visual image, feeling of warmth or softness) and the pleasurable feeling it evokes.
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Practice allowing the attention to settle within the experience of pleasantness without adding attachment.
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If the desire for more arises, notice that attachment.
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Ask yourself—what is this feeling of attachment?
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Does attachment increase the pleasure, or decrease it?
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Many people will recognize attachment by a characteristic feeling of contraction or separation.
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How do you notice attachment to pleasure as distinct from a simple experience of pleasure?
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Breath is the bridge


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Breath is the bridge
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which connects life to consciousness,
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which unites your body to your thoughts.
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Whenever your mind becomes scattered,
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use your breath as the means
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to take hold of your mind again.
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-Thich Nhat Hanh-
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Make sometime each day to soothe your nerve endings, to empty the mind of thought, to be present, now, here.
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See what life looks like beneath the ever discerning ego.
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We have a vital need to bring silence into our mind for short periods of time.
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If we want happiness, peace of mind, he/she can not be a stranger.
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Sit today and introduce yourself.
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Whoever I am right now, it is enough!

  
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“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already I am.”
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– Thomas Merton –
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Rather than task your being with needing further achievement, accomplishment or approval, accept all of you, right now. Your current skill level, standing in the community and self worth are more than enough to be happy.
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Letting go of the need(ego) to seek recognition, frees us.
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We need not look for an exit, a way of escaping life’s awkwardness, we need only look for a quiet place to set and observe ourselves.
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We run from our own body mechanisms, fight or flight, anxiety and panic.
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There exists no fear in the mechanism of fear itself.
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Our thoughts, our storyline filled with emotion brings fear to life.
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Get to know the difference between real fear (danger) and created fear.
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90% of fear is created by us. No real danger is present, it is imagined though our dissociative rumination.
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Work on integrating these toxic judgments, daily.
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Four quotes about ——–NOW!

  

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“The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now.” Robert G. Ingersoll
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“The future is always beginning now.” — Mark Strand
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“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” — Eckhart Tolle
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Life is a journey not a destination!
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Now, houses happiness, cradles our peace of mind, and offers opportunity.
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We have a choice.
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Pick now.
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Let go of thought, empty the mind, live in the present, vulnerable and free.
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Yes, we are vulnerable to sickness, death, external circumstance. (car accident)
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Control is a myth, being vulnerable reality.
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Sit today, get to know vulnerable, uncomfortable and awkward intimately.
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Thought is a prison, judgment a penitentiary! .

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“Be empty of worrying.
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Think of who created thought!
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Why do you stay in prison
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When the door is so wide open?”
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― Rumi —
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Thought is a prison, judgment a penitentiary!
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Acceptance holds the key to one door, letting go the key to another.
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“Think of who created thought”, the Ego, left hemisphere, our cognitive engine.
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The door opens when we sit, let go, empty our mind and just be.
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