The Liberating Power of Insight

I am sharing this thought from Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Concentration helps us focus on just one thing. With concentration, the energy of looking becomes more powerful, and insight is possible. Insight always has the power of liberating us. If mindfulness is there, and we know how to keep mindfulness alive, concentration will be there, too. And if we know how to keep concentration alive, insight will also come. The energy of mindfulness enables us to look deeply and gain the insight we need so that transformation is possible.”

How many of us are guilty of encouraging ‘multi-tasking’ – putting it as a virtue to be nurtured in our lives?

I feel that when we ‘multi-task’, our focus is divided and often diluted to the point that we may end up doing all these tasks, mindlessly. And to a certain extent, we pay little attention to the details and often ‘rushed through them’ – mistakenly thinking that by getting them done fast (and all at the same time), we are being efficient.

Though some segments of our work culture puts a premium on such ‘efficiency’, I feel this way of living is quite dysfunctional as it will eventually eat into other areas of our lives. When we are with our loved ones, how often are we truly present in their presence? Not just loved ones but also when we are with others in a meeting or with colleagues at work, do we find ourselves ’somewhere else, and not in the here and now, with them?’ The idea of ‘multi-tasking’ gives the impression that we are paying attention to them and at the same time, able to ‘manage other matters’; but are we really? What is the quality we devote to these numerous tasks? How much insight do we gain when there is a skew towards quantity over quality?

Being able to fulfill many tasks entrusted to us is good but when our concentration is diluted, there is a good chance the quality of work is compromised. And if we do not correct it soon enough, this mindless living becomes a part of us in every areas of our lives. And it would not be a surprise that many of us will live our lives in mediocrity instead of showing excellence in everything we do, and being who we are.

Leave a Reply