When I try to concentrate when studying, I end up with a wandering mind, but when I'm watching a video, I forget all the other things. Why is it hard to focus on things I really need? Is it some kind of practise? This was a lot easier to do for Lord Buddha, Ven. Arahant Moggollana.

Is focusing on Akusala than Kusala in samsara the problem? Do I have to build up practise of focusing to overcome this?


If we were completely separate from the world, completely independent - then the perfect focus on virtue would be easy.

But we are not separate, not isolated. We are connected with people and events around us. We are part of the web of influences.

These influence create context for our existence. Our desires and decisions come from this context. A lot of time we are carried away by these impulses, despite our best intentions.

The easiest thing we can do to overcome this is to choose which influences we expose ourselves to. Move to kusala city, make kusala friends, watch kusala movies etc. Surround yourself with kusala and it will be easier to focus on it.


Yes, kusala is against the natural instinctual stream of akusala

For example, if you a hetero man, you see a sexy lady and very quickly sensual desire arises immediately, without any thinking about the lady. this is natural instinct

The suttas explain there are seven underlying tendencies in people; the 1st and most powerful is the tendency to sensual lust (kāmarāga)

The suttas explain there are five hindrances to concentration; the 1st and most powerful is the hindrance of sensual desire (kāmacchando)

Watching a video is an example of sensual desire.

You overcome it by thinking deeply about the harm of it. For example, if you do not study, you do not get an education, you get a poor job, you make little money, and no sexy ladies want to marry you because you are poor and just watch videos


Sati (mindfulness) should be a gentle, effortless endeavour. If it feels like you have to concentrate to understand sati, then you're heading in the wrong direction.

"Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness.

"Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been gathered into the village, a cowherd would look after his cows: While resting under the shade of a tree or out in the open, he simply keeps himself mindful of 'those cows.' In the same way, I simply kept myself mindful of 'those mental qualities.'

Another excerpt from that same sutta that is worth highlighting is...

"Just as in the last month of the Rains, in the autumn season when the crops are ripening, a cowherd would look after his cows: He would tap & poke & check & curb them with a stick on this side & that. Why is that? Because he foresees flogging or imprisonment or a fine or public censure arising from that [if he let his cows wander into the crops]. In the same way I foresaw in unskillful qualities drawbacks, degradation, & defilement, and I foresaw in skillful qualities rewards related to renunciation & promoting cleansing.

In any case, I would suggest you go and delight in the Dvedhavitakka Sutta yourself. There is such a great simile at the end.

  • sati cannot neither be gentle or excessive. sati means recollection rather than concentration – Dhammadhatu Feb 24 at 3:27
  • @Dhammadhatu - Yes, I partially agree. I hope you are well. I hope your practice is easeful. – NeuroMax Feb 24 at 7:03
  • full agreement is best – Dhammadhatu Feb 24 at 11:58
  • @Dhammadhatu - It might be possible for my partial agreement to evolve in some undefined chronological spectrum somewhere in space. This might show promise for you. – NeuroMax Feb 24 at 12:59

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