In general terms, Right Concentration means establishing the mind rightly. On one level, this can apply to all the factors of the path. You have to start out by setting the mind on Right View. In other words, you use your discernment to gather together all the Dhamma you've heard. Then when you set the mind on Right Resolve, that's also a way of establishing it rightly. Then you set it on Right Speech, speaking only things that are right.
For the beginning meditator I believe it would be helpful to establish an order in the various steps taken in meditation. First, then, it would be wise to establish a place of quiet to which one may retire daily and not be interrupted in his endeavors. Then wash carefully face, hands and feet. Better yet, if time permits, take a cleansing shower and put on loose, comfortable clothes. It is wise to meditate at the same time daily to establish a habit.
In this chapter we will look at the steps of the Noble Eightfold Path that fall into the group known as mental development. We have already noted the interdependent nature of the steps of the path, and in this context it is particularly important to understand the position of mental development. Placed as it is between good conduct and wisdom, mental development is relevant and important to both. You may ask why this should be so. Indeed, people sometimes think simply following the precepts of morality is sufficient for leading a good life.
Not a philosophical odyssey into the realm of what we can imagine about the kingdom of God or the realm of Nirvana, Zen in Touch, rather, is a spiritual journey that directs us individually to penetrate deeply into the miraculous world of self-realization by applying the techniques of Zen. As an essential guidebook for practitioners covering both the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation, Zen in Touch, with its seven provoking topics and seven factors of living happiness, offers the clearest guidance regarding how readers may reach the state of Nirvana—true happiness—in one’s daily life by liberating the great potentials of the Buddha nature from inner bondage and the hindrances of the impure mind.
The definitions in this glossary, which was the original internet posting of the Kwan Um School's glossary, are in the process of being replaced by definitions developed by the Universal Zendo. This is an ongoing project, with new items appearing on an approximately weekly basis. In the mean time, definitions due to the Kwan Um School are flagged by the notation "(KU)".