I started meditating because I thought that learning to “live in the moment” could put an end to the treadmill of dissatisfaction that seemed to characterize life. After about a year of that, I discovered the book Mastering The Core Teachings Of The Buddha, from which the basic message I derived was “enlightenment is real, this is what it is, it’s every bit as good as you suspect, and you can have it if you work hard enough.” That lit me on fire, and I became a disciple of the “pragmatic dharma movement,” and have been ever since. My favorite teachers are Shinzen Young, Upasaka Culadasa, and Daniel M. Ingram. I highly recommend checking them out if you are interested in this.
The primary purpose for this tradition is insight practice, but that requires that you first develop stable attention. Culadasa’s The Mind Illuminated is by far the best manual for learning to do this. (Stable attention has lots of powerful applications outside of insight practice, by the way, so I’m into it for numerous reasons.) Well, I’ve been trying to learn to concentrate for a few years now and I’m still in the beginning stages. Don’t worry, many people learn faster than me. I’ve had an uncommonly difficult time with it. But once I finally figure it out, I bet I’ll have lots of interesting things to say about it, especially about its connections with music and authenticity of course. Stay tuned.