Concentration and mindfulness is a rare achievement. People can have wrong views , wrong intentions but it seems they are able to achieve high concentration and mindfulness.

My question is : Is it possible to achieve wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration?

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    I see wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration all the time with video games. :D – OyaMist Aug 21 '18 at 13:19

I think a lot of wrong mindfulness persists today utilised mainly in a non-Buddhist way. Many attempts were made to separate Mindfulness from Buddhist context. Example is mindfulness for mindfulness sake as in therapy; if people don't know the reason are they mindful, then the problem arises. As in, what is there to be found in the present moment, any why? They often don't know the why and what, and this is confusion.

All of the non-Buddhist approaches as MBSR might go extremely awry. Many charlatans make money by trying to make people to be mindful of the present moment as a "cure-all" therapy for everything. It has caused some cases of depression and people suffering from mental breakdown. Mindfulness like that has long history of creating examples of blind obedience in the East, such as creating Samurai culture in feudal Japan, as means of controlling people without questioning the orders.

In Buddhism however, the reasons are very clear, we want to apply wisdom of the teachings, releasing and transforming karmic seeds, breaking bad habits. It is much safer to do it this way, rather than apply it as a therapy for a specific case. Mindfulness should not be devoid of ethics, for performing good deeds ultimately lead us to a better life. Performing selfless acts destroys clinging and disease of "mine" and therapeutic mindfulness doesn't go that far.

Thus, mindfulness without practising other parts of the path in tandem is wrong mindfulness.

As for Right concentration, there has been a lot of issues recently about mixing Samatha, or mediation in general with psychedelics as it might be profound experience. Many magazines were involved in promoting such ideas. That I would call wrong concentration, the one that goes against composing the mind, but altering it.


Mindfulness can be wrong, according to venerable Yuttadhammo. He gave a short speech about this at the 10th Global Conference on Buddhism. You might want to watch it.

I don't remember him saying anything about wrong concentration. But, since concentration comes up together with mindfulness I would assume that with wrong mindfulness comes wrong concentration.


Is it possible to achieve wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration?

Of course they all can be developed to a "zen" level of wrong practice if the intention is unwholesome. An expert sniper can stay mindful 100% on his enemy target for hours, ready for the right moment to pull the trigger. A master samurai can single-mindedly concentrate on a single spot of his target, ready to strike and kill with one single precision hit.

  • Very well said. Wrong mindfulness can not lead to Nirvana. – Dheeraj Verma Aug 21 '18 at 16:02

No, it is impossible. Because the uddhacca-cetasika (restlessness-mind-factor) arises with every unwholesome-mind, such as diṭṭhi-mind. This mind factor is the enemy of the main keyword of achievement, ekaggatā-cetasika (concentration-mind-factor). See the path of purification samādhiniddeso pathavīkasiṇaniddeso.

This is the reason that why in tipitaka the effects of unwholesome-minds have shorter period than the effects of wholesome-minds. And This is the reason that why the wholesome-minds have more mind factors than the unwholesome-minds.

  • I also want to believe that. But there are people with wrong view and not bad view can achieve higher concentration. For example adult movie director or actor... – Dheeraj Verma Aug 20 '18 at 6:01
  • Actually, while the achiever is in jhāna-state, except abhiññā, they can't use 5 senses because mind-senses are arising continuously. And if they can't achieve 6 abhiññā, special waching, etc., it means they have not achieved higher concentration, too. See the path of purification abhiññāniddeso & samādhiniddeso pathavīkasiṇaniddeso. – Bonn Aug 20 '18 at 6:30

In the first sermon, the budha claims that the citta had samadhi and that there was headaches, tummyaches due to following the breath, but since the citta was in samadhi, the buddha was not troubled by those and he continued to follow the breath like that.

Of course, at the time, the goal of the buddha was not to be disturbed by tummyaches by putting the citta in samadhi, the goal was to stop dukkha so he acknowledges the failure of his actions with respect to his intentions and then with the citta still in samadhi, he turned the citta to know about karma and to know about rebirth.

The conclusion is that there are wrong meditation of following the breath. Even when the citta has all the samadhi that is possible, which prevents being upset by all the aching that humans can endure, it is still not the cessation of dukkha.

The good concentration when you deal with the breath is having the citta in samadhi and then following the breath with knowing annicca like in the Ānāpānasati sutta: getting the citta in samadhi and on this good basis, turning the citta to right view to achieve viapassana. That's for breath mediation.

Besides wrong concentration, there is the incomplete concentration, still about breath mediation, https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn54/sn54.006.than.html

here are chinese parallels about the proper breath meditation https://lapislazulitexts.com/tripitaka/samyukta-agama https://lapislazulitexts.com/articles/anapanasmrti-in-the-agamas

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