In Meditation Essentials 05: The Path to Meditation, the Instructor states that
In the ninth stage, concentration is 100% focused, sharp, unwavering. That is what's traditionally called “one-pointed mind.” That is Dharana, concentration.
From this stage there is much more, which is represented in a poetic way by the three monks at the top. They represent additional concentration phases that you can develop (absorptions, jhanas, etc). They are useful, they have a place, they will inevitably be experienced by any serious practitioner, but they are not the goal. Our goal is not to be entranced by subtle states of concentration. Our goal is to liberate the mind from afflictions.
He then continues,
To liberate the consciousness from suffering, we only need sufficient concentration to not forget what we are doing in meditation, especially when facing difficult or painful impressions.
We need to transform radically, effectively, deeply. For that, we need concentration developed at least to the point where we can sit to meditate for whatever period of time we need to meditate and not forget that we are meditating. That amount of concentration is sufficient to do some good work on yourself. When you sit meditate, you might notice thoughts, emotions, sensations; yu might have some difficulty, but you never forget what you are doing; you do not become distracted. At that point, you can shift gears and develop your imagination.
Is Dharana, or 100% concentration, is the minimum level of concentration that you should possess before you can "shift gears and develop your imagination"? Or is it a lower level? It seems a little strange for the instructor to say that you *only* need Dharana as though achieving this was not extremely difficult. Nonetheless, I have been working on this assumption for some time and only recently have considered doing imagination practises with a level of concentration less than Dharana. This was on the basis of another instructor's advice (I can't recall the lecture but I recall it was the Instructor who did the Teleios Gnosis lecture) that by doing imagination practises, even with imperfect concentration, you are developing concentration as well as imagination, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
I am wondering if this apparent inconsistency points to a difference of view between these two instructors, with the Meditation Essentials instructor advising a sequential or 'diachronic' approach and the Teleos Gnosis one promoting a simultaneous or 'synchronic' approach?