How does concentration lead to meditation
If you focus the sun's rays through a lens, they can burn wool or a piece of paper; but the scattered rays cannot do this. When you want to speak to someone far away from you, you form a funnel with your hands and then speak. The sound waves are collected at one point and then directed towards the subject. He can then hear you very clearly. The water is converted to steam and the steam is concentrated in one place. The locomotive is moving. These are all examples of concentrated waves. Likewise, if you bring the scattered rays of the mind together and collect them at one point, you will gain wonderful concentration. The concentrated mind will be like a powerful spotlight to find the treasures of the soul and to attain the highest wealth of Atman, eternal bliss, immortality and immortal joy.
Real Raja Yoga begins with concentration. Concentration turns into meditation. Concentration is part of meditation.
Meditation follows concentration. Samadhi follows meditation. The state of jivanmukti follows the attainment of nirvikalpa samadhi, which is devoid of any thought of duality. Jivanmukti leads to liberation from the wheel of birth and death. Therefore, concentration is the first and most important thing a sadhaka or aspirant must acquire on the spiritual path.
You were born to focus the mind on God after gathering the spiritual rays that are scattered on different things. This is your important duty. You forget this duty because of moha because of family, children, money, power, position, recognition, name and reputation.
Focusing the mind on God after purification can give you real happiness and knowledge. You were born only for this purpose. Through attachment and deluded love, you are drawn to external things.
What is concentration?
Once a Sanskrit student came to Kabir and asked him, “Oh Kabir, what are you doing right now?” Kabir replied, "O Pandit, I detach the mind from worldly things and attach it to the lotus feet of the Lord." That is concentration.
Concentration, or dharana, is centering the mind on a single thought. Vedantins try to fix the mind on the Atman. This is your dharana. Hatha yogis and Raja yogis focus the mind on the six chakras. Bhaktas focus on their Ishta Devata. Concentration is of the utmost importance to all aspirants.
During the concentration, the individual mind rays are collected and directed onto the object of concentration. Then there is no vacillation of the mind. A thought occupies the mind. All the energy of the mind is focused on the one thought. The senses become calm. You are not working. When there is deep concentration, there is no awareness of the body and the environment.
If you read a book with great interest, you won't hear someone yelling and calling your name. You just don't see a person when he's in front of you. You don't smell the sweet scent of flowers on the table next to you. That is concentration or punctuality of the mind. The mind is very firmly focused on one thing. Your concentration must be so deep when you think of God or Atman.
Everyone has a certain ability to concentrate. Everyone focuses to some extent on reading a book, writing letters, playing tennis, and actually doing any job. For spiritual purposes, however, concentration must be developed to an infinite degree.
There is great concentration when playing cards or chess, but the mind is not filled with pure or divine thoughts. The intellectual content is undesirable. You can hardly experience divine excitement, ecstasy and exaltation when the mind is filled with impure thoughts. Every thing has its mental connections. You will need to fill the mind with sublime, spiritual thoughts. Only then will the mind be cleansed of all worldly thoughts. The image of Jesus, Buddha or Shri Krishna is linked to sublime, moving thoughts. Chess and card games are linked to thoughts of gambling, cheating, etc.
Objects of concentration
Sit down comfortably. Put a picture of your Ishta Devata in front of you. Look at the picture without moving your eyes. Then close your eyes and imagine the picture in the heart center or in the area between the eyebrows.
When the picture disappears in your mental imagination, open your eyes and stare at the picture again. After a few seconds, close your eyes and repeat the process.
It is easy to focus the mind on external objects. The mind has a natural tendency to go outside. In the early stages of practice, you can focus on a black spot on the wall, a candle flame, a bright star, the moon, or any other object that is pleasing to the mind.
The mind must initially be trained to concentrate on gross matters; and then later you can successfully concentrate on more subtle things and abstract ideas.
There is no concentration without something for the mind to rest on. Focus on anything you like or anything that pleases the mind. It is very difficult in the beginning to fix the mind or focus on any object that is offensive to the mind.
Practice different types of concentration. This will wonderfully train and discipline your mind. Now focus on the Himalayas, something very big. Then focus on a mustard seed or a pinhead. Now concentrate on a distant object. Then focus on something close. Now concentrate on a color, a sound, a sensation, a smell or a taste. Then concentrate on the ‘tik-tak’ of a clock. Now focus on the virtue of 'mercy'. Then focus on the virtue of patience ’. Now concentrate on the Shloka “Jyotishamapi Tat Jyotih”. Then focus on “Satyam Jnanam Anantam”. Now concentrate on the image of Lord Shiva. Then focus on the Mahavakya “Aham Brahmasmi”.
A tedious task for the beginner
For the beginner, the practice of concentration at the beginning is repulsive and tiring. He has to dig new furrows in the mind and brain. After a few months he will become very interested in the concentration. He will experience a new kind of happiness, Concentration Ananda. He'll get restless if he doesn't succeed in not enjoying this new form of happiness for even one.
The central point in concentration is to bring the mind back to the same point or object by restricting its movements to a small circle at the beginning. That is the main goal. A time will come when the mind will only be fixed on one point. This is the fruit of your constant and continued sadhana. The joy is now indescribable.
Concentration will increase as the number of thoughts decreases. Of course, reducing the number of thoughts is a painstaking job. Just as you must carefully loosen a cloth that has fallen into a thorny plant by loosening one thorn at a time, so you will have to carefully and laboriously recollect the scattered rays of the spirit that have been over the for many years Sensory objects were thrown away. In the beginning, this will take a lot of effort out of you. The task will be very uncomfortable.
A mental process, not a muscle exercise
Concentration is a purely mental process. The mind must be turned inward. It's not a muscle exercise. Inappropriate pressure should not be placed on the brain. You shouldn't struggle and wrestle with the spirit by force.
When you focus on anything, avoid tension anywhere in your body or mind. Gently think about the object in a continuous manner. Do not allow the mind to wander.
How to increase the ability to concentrate
Concentration can only be practiced when one is free from all distractions. A person whose mind is full of passion and all sorts of fantastic desires can hardly concentrate on anything for a second. His mind will jump like an old ape. Japa of any mantra and pranayama will firm the mind, eliminate fluctuations and increase the ability to concentrate.
Too much physical exertion, too much talking, too much eating, too much company with unwanted people, or restlessness will result in distraction of the mind. People who practice concentration have to give up these things.
Do whatever work you do with complete concentration. Never leave a job if you haven't completely finished it.
When you sit down to pray or meditate, never think about your office work. When you work in your office, never think about the sick child or other household chores. When you take a bath, don't think about the game. When you're at dinner, don't think about the work waiting in the office. You have to practice doing the work at hand with complete punctuality.
Celibacy, pranayama, restricting needs and activities, doing without things, loneliness, silence, sensory discipline, extinguishing lust and desire, controlling anger, not having intercourse with questionable people, giving up the habit of reading newspapers and going to the cinema, all of these things pave a long time Way to increase the power of concentration.
You must try to be kind and peaceful at all times. Only then will you have concentration of the mind. Friendship with equals, compassion with people inferior or in need, serenity towards higher-ranking and virtuous people and indifference towards sinners and bad people create serenity and cheerfulness and destroy hatred, jealousy and envy.
You must really and deeply thirst for God-realization. Then all obstacles will be removed. Concentration will then be very easy for you. Pure emotional whipping for the moment out of mere curiosity or to gain psychological powers cannot bring any tangible result.
Concentration and Pranayama
The practice of concentration and the practice of pranayama are interdependent. When one does pranayama one gets concentration. Natural pranayama follows the practice of concentration. A hatha yogi practices pranayama and then controls the mind. It rises from the bottom to the top. A Raja Yogi practices concentration and thus controls his prana. He comes down from above. In the end, both meet on the same level. There are different practices depending on ability, taste and temperament. For some it will be easy to begin the practice of pranayama; for others, practicing concentration will be easier. The latter had already practiced pranayama in their earlier births. Therefore, in this birth, they attack the higher link of yoga, concentration.
The importance of an ethical foundation
First purify the mind through the practice of right behavior and then move on to the practice of concentration. Concentration without purity of mind is useless.
There are foolish, impatient students who immediately begin concentration without undergoing any ethical preparation beforehand. That is a serious mistake.
There are occultists with concentration. But they are not of good character. That is why they are not making progress on the spiritual path.
Concentration - The main key to success
People who practice concentration develop quickly. You can do any work with scientific accuracy and great efficiency. What others do in six hours can be done by a focused person in half an hour. What others read in six hours can be read in half an hour by a concentrated person. Concentration cleanses and calms the emerging feelings, strengthens the flow of thoughts and clears the thoughts.
Concentration also helps people in their material advancement. He will have very good results in his work in the office or in his business. Those who practice concentration will have a clear mental vision. What was previously cloudy and hazy now becomes clear and unambiguous. What was difficult before is now easy. And what was complex, confusing and previously misleading is now easy to grasp mentally. Anything can be achieved through concentration. Nothing is impossible for the person who practices concentration regularly.
It helps scientists and professors to do great research. It helps the doctor and the judge do a lot of work and make more money. She develops willpower and memory; it sharpens and clears the mind. Concentration gives mental serenity and calm, inner spiritual strength, patience, a great ability to do tremendous work, cheerfulness, acumen, dynamism, beautiful appearance, a soft voice, bright eyes, a powerful voice and language, the power to influence others and to attract people, serenity, joy, bliss and supreme peace. It removes restlessness, mental rush and laziness. It makes you fearless and arrestless. It helps in attaining God Realization.
The more the mind is fixated on God, the more power you will gain. More focus means more energy. Concentration opens the inner chambers of love, the realm of eternity. Concentration is a source of spiritual strength.
Be slow and steady in concentration. By practicing concentration, you will become superhuman.
People who practice concentration now and then will only have steady minds occasionally. Sometimes the mind will wander and be inapplicable. Your mind must obey you absolutely at all times and carry out all your commands in the best possible way. Continuous and systematic practice of Raja Yoga will make the mind very reliable and obedient. You will succeed in every attempt. You will never meet failure.
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