Difference Between Concentration and Meditation (With Table)

In simple words, a mental state is a mental condition. The mental state is connected to our mind, and the mind has several states like love, anger, hate, pleasure, pain etc. The mental state of mind is a hypothetical condition and is related to cognitive psychology. Concentration and Meditation are the mental states of mind. Both are often confused with each other. But it is very different from each other. 

Concentration vs Meditation

The difference between Concentration and Meditation is that Concentration is done to focus your mind or on some particular object, whereas Meditation is something that is not focussed and is done to clear the mind when it is uncluttered. Meditation and Concentration are opposite to each other. By concentrating, our mind becomes self-focussed and self-controlled. While in Meditation, we became self-aware of our mind. There is a process of self-realization.

Concentration is the ability of a person to direct all of the attention or focus on one particular thing using willpower. In concentration, we become self-focussed and attentive that we do not get distracted by another thing. It also means that at a time, all our attention, mind, energy is focussed on one thing and not jumping from one place to another. Only one thought is going on in the mind. To Control your mind and be attentive requires a lot of training.

Meditation is something that uses the concept of mindfulness to achieve a calm and stable peace of mind. Meditation has been performed since early ages in different religious traditions. The earliest record of doing meditation was found in Vedas. Meditation was often referred to as a dhyana. It plays a significant role in both Hinduism and Buddhism. It reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and pain etc. and makes our mind peaceful. Sense of perception and concept of well-being is developed.

Comparison Table Between Concentration and Meditation

Parameters of ComparisonConcentrationMeditation
DefinitionTo achieve a focussed mind, concentration is done. To clear the uncluttered mind, Meditation is done.
FoundThe concept of Concentration was found by William James in 1890.The concept of Meditation was found firstly in Vedas.
ActivityConcentration requires brain activity and a variety of mental exercises like visualization, focusing, and repeated recitation.Meditation requires almost no brain activity or very little.
ConsciousnessIt requires a little consciousness to perform mental activities.In this, an individual doesn’t have a consciousness of action.
UsefulIt recollects our memory, helps on focus, good for studies, faster comprehension etc. It reduces stress, depression, anxiety, and pain and enhances peace, perception, and well-being. 

What is Concentration?

Concentration is the bigger part of Attention. Attention means basically to focus on a task, object or subject. Whereas Concentration means maintaining attention for a certain period. In our day to day life, both concentration and attention are required. Because to do or complete a work, we need to concentrate. If we want to start new activities, want to do something new then also concentration is required.

Concentration helps us in recollecting our memories and information. It is very important to concentrate because if we don’t do it, then all our information will be lost or forgotten. It is very important that while concentrating, one should pay attention and be away from distractions. To increase your concentration, we can do certain activities like reading book, short story or newspaper. Always start with small things. Try to complete the task and concentrate on it while performing.

Power of Concentration has become an essential skill in today’s world. Everyone should possess this skill or try to possess it. Concentration is a spontaneous activity and uncontrolled also. It can happen at any time if you are interested in doing a task. The whole energy of one’s mind gets concentrated on the particular thing, which helps you to focus and attention. A person achieves the desired results. It can cause tiredness and fatigue because a lot of activities are involved in it. It comprises both the inner and outer world, unlike Meditation.

What is Meditation? 

Meditation is related to mindfulness. Record of practising Meditation has been found in Vedas, and also it plays a crucial role in all the religions but specifically in Hinduism and Buddhism. It was in the 19th century when meditation and its techniques began to spread rapidly in Asian countries, first and then in other culture. Now it has found its way even in business and health as well.

The term Meditation is derived from the French and Latin word ‘meditation which means to think, to ponder. Almost in every tradition or culture, meditation was present in one form or other, whether it be Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam etc. Meditation is defined as something which can calm your mind, relax and soothe you. Meditation is something in which you meditate and try to go beyond the world.

There are different types of positions and asanas of Meditation. For example, in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, there are asanas like half-lotus, full-lotus, Burmese, Seiza, and kneeling positions which are popular. Some religions use prayer beads which is a kind of devotional meditation. Meditation is also meant through which one gets enlightenment, as described in Buddhism when Gautama Buddha got it. Meditation is also a means through which you can reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and pain, enhance perception, get peace, self-conscious about yourself and your well-being.

Main Differences Between Concentration and Meditation

  1. To achieve a focussed mind, concentration is done. It requires control and awareness. To clear the uncluttered mind, Meditation is done. It requires awareness for a longer time.
  2. The concept of Concentration comes from Attention which is very much like Concentration and was founded by William James in 1890. The concept of Meditation was found firstly in Vedas and Greek mythology.
  3. Concentration requires brain activity and a variety of mental exercises like visualization, focusing, and repeated recitation. Meditation requires almost no brain activity or very little.
  4. Concentration requires little consciousness to perform mental activities. As you focus on both the inner and outer world. In this, an individual doesn’t have a consciousness of action. Because you only focus on the inner mind.
  5. Concentration recollects our memory helps on focussing, good for studies, faster comprehension etc. Meditation reduces stress, depression, anxiety, and pain and enhances peace, perception, and well-being.

Conclusion

Both Concentration and Meditation is a mental state of mind. Both are opposite to each other. Concentration is done to make your mind more attentive and focussed, whereas Meditation is done to calm your nerves to clear your mind. Concentration’s goal is to believe in controlling the mind, while Meditation believes in self-realization and not control. Meditation helps us to see beyond and open our inner mind.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Pcw6AwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Concentration+and+Meditation&ots=iehig0g9aM&sig=gOHXeAc6cYzE83BdudjbxYaWV1E
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/19/7/1612
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