FAQ's = Frequently Asked Questions

Meditation

I've been trying to develop concentration for a long time but just can't, my mind keeps slipping away from any object I chose [breathe, abdomen, mantra, visualization] after a few seconds no matter how many times I bring it back.

This is very frustrating, I keep reading-hearing things like 'everyone can meditate', 'everyone can concetrate' but I can't seem to. (I've always had a bad memory/concentration all my life, and made it worse by doing drugs)

I keep the 5 precepts strictly.

  1. Since I can't concentrate, then what is the most I can achieve in this lifetime in Dharma practice ?
  2. Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of obtaining a human brain in a future lifetime which has the potential to concentrate ?

I'd say that it is simply a fiction that everybody can and should meditate. I've written an article about part of that problem actually: risks of meditation.

On the other hand, just because your mind keeps wandering, that doesn't mean you can't meditate. It just means you haven't achieved the highest form of concentration yet. Since most meditators never reach that high level, you really have nothing to worry about.

The aim of concentration meditation isn't perfect concentration, it's to become more concentrated.

More about meditation

As a theosophist I would say that your chances of a better brain (and life) in a next lifetime are excellent, if you keep doing the best YOU can do in this lifetime. Keeping the five precepts is good and not at all trivial, as you seem to think.

Also, perhaps you can concentrate on other things, beside meditation. Are you a good listener? That is a very useful skill when doing volunteer work with the elderly, for instance. You could also use your experience as a former drug-user to help people who are in that situation now. It may not sound spiritual, but it certainly is, from my perspective. You may already be doing things like that which do require major strength of character and perseverance and build up good karma. In fact staying clean requires strength of character as well.