Concentration in meditation is the path to success. Concentration leads to meditation. Improve the mind on an object both inside and outside the body. First, cleanse the mind through the practice of correct behavior and then practice concentration. Concentration without purity of mind is of no use. There are some occultists who have concentration. But that doesn’t have good character. That is the reason why a practitioner does not make progress on his spiritual path.
He who has a steady posture and has purified his nerves and the vital sheath by constant practice of control of breath will be able to concentrate easily. Concentration will be intense if you remove all distractions. A true celibate who has preserved his energy will have wonderful concentration.
The mind passes along with the life current from the brain through the spinal centers and then into the many branches of the nervous system and the innumerable cellular points of perception. The ordinary mind is therefore spoken of as being concentrated on the many points of the flesh; it is entangled principally in sensations in the sensory tracts.
The mind and life force engaged in looking at duality through the two eyes, listening through the two ears, smelling through the two nostrils, tasting through the forked tongue and touching through many points of the skin, thus become of perceptions. Man becomes matter-bound, torn by countless distractions.
This is what is meant by making the mind one-pointed, the “single-eyed”. When the yogi meditates more deeply, he finds his mind automatically concentrated at the one point of the spiritual eye, in ecstasy with the Lord.
Some foolish, impatient students take to concentration at once without in any manner undergoing any preliminary training in ethics. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is a matter of paramount importance.
You can concentrate internally on any of the seven centers of spiritual energy. Attention plays a very prominent part of concentration. He who has developed his powers of attention will have good concentration. A man who is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires can hardly concentrate on any subject or object even for a second. His mind will be jumping like an old monkey.
A scientist concentrates his mind and invents many new things. Through concentration, he opens the layers of the gross mind and penetrates deeply into the higher regions of the mind and gets deeper knowledge. He concentrates all the energies of his mind into one focus and throws them out upon the materials he is analyzing and finds out their secrets.
He who has gained abstraction (withdrawing the senses from the objects) will have good concentration. You will have to march on in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. Lay the foundation of right conduct, postures, regulation of breath and abstraction to start with. The superstructure of concentration and meditation will be successful then only.
You should be able to visualize the object of concentration very clearly even in its absence. You will have to call up the mental picture at a moment’s notice. If you have a good concentration you can do this without much difficulty.
In the beginning stage of practice, you can concentrate on the ‘tik-tik’ sound of a watch or on the flame of a candle or any other object that is pleasing to the mind. This is concrete concentration. There is no concentration without something to rest the mind upon. The mind can be fixed on any object at the beginning which is pleasant. It is very difficult to fix the mind at the beginning of an object which the mind dislikes.
Those who practice concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with scientific accuracy and great efficiency. What others do in six hours can be done by one who has a concentration within half an hour. What others can read in six hours, can be read by one who does concentration within half an hour. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration helps a man in his material progress also. He will have a very good outturn of work in his office or business house. What was cloudy and hazy before becomes clear and definite. What was difficult before becomes easy now and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before becomes easy within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything through concentration. Nothing is impossible to a man who practices regular concentration. It is very difficult to practice concentration when one is hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease. He who practices concentration will possess a very clear mental vision.
Meditation is the only royal road to the attainment of salvation or Moksha. Meditation kills all pains, sufferings and three kinds of Tapas (fevers) and five Kleshas or sorrows. Meditation gives the vision of unity. Meditation produces a sense of oneness. Meditation is an airplane that helps the aspirant to soar high in the realms of eternal bliss and everlasting peace. It is a mysterious ladder that connects earth and heaven and takes the aspirant to the immortal abode of Brahman.
Meditation is the continuous flow of one thought of God or Atman, like the continuous flow of oil from one vessel to another (Tailadharavat). Meditation follows concentration.
Practice meditation in the early morning from 4 to 6 (Brahma-Muhurta). This is the best time for the practice of meditation.
Sit in Padma or Siddha or Sukha Asana. Keep the head, neck and the trunk in a straight line, and concentrate either on the Trikuti, the space between the two eyebrows or on the heart with closed eyes.
There are two kinds of meditation, Saguna Dhyana (concrete meditation) and Nirguna Dhyana (abstract meditation). In concrete meditation, a person meditates on one of the manifestations of a God. In abstract meditation, he meditates on his own Self or Atman.
You can first look at the picture for a few minutes and then close your eyes and visualize the picture. During visualization, move the mind to various parts of that manifestation. Look with his mind, his feet first, then in the following sequence, his legs, his clothes and think of the attributes of God as to His omnipotence.
Meditate on Om and its meaning with feeling. This is Nirguna Dhyana. Repeat Om mentally. Identify yourself with Atman. Feel
I am the all-pervading immortal Self or Atman. I am Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman. I am Sakshi or silent witness of three states and all modifications of the mind. I am pure consciousness, I am distinct from the body, mind and Prana and senses, I am the self-luminous Light of lights. I am the eternal supreme Soul
If you have contentment, cheerfulness, patience, unruffled state of mind, sweet voice, one-pointedness of mind, light-body, fearlessness, desirelessness, disgust for worldly things, think that you are advancing in the spiritual path and that you are nearing God.
There is a place where you will neither hear any sound nor see any color. This is the realm of peace and bliss. There is no body-consciousness here. Here mind finds rest. All desires and cravings melt away. The Indriyas remain quiet here. The intellect ceases functioning. There is neither fight nor quarrel here. Will you seek this silent abode through silent meditation? Solemn stillness reigns supreme here. Rishis of yore attained this place only by melting the mind in the silence. Brahman shines in native effulgence.
Forget the body. Forget the surroundings. Forgetting is the highest Sadhana. It helps meditation a great deal. It makes the approach to God easier. By remembering God, you can forget all these things.
Taste the spiritual consciousness by withdrawing the mind from the sensual objects and fixing it on the lotus-feet of the Lord, who is ever shining in the chambers of your heart. Merge within by practicing deep silent meditation. Practice regular systematic meditation during the same hours daily. You will get the meditative mood easily.
The more you meditate, the more you will have inner spiritual life, wherein mind and Indriyas do not play. You will be very close to the source, Atman. You will enjoy the waves of bliss and peace.
All sensual objects will have no attraction in this meditation. The world will appear to you as a long dream. Jnana will dawn in you by constant, deep meditation.
In the beginning, the devotee by meditation succeeds once in a while in quieting the mind. By deeper progress, he finds that half of the time his mind is concentrated on the Divine and half of the time scattered in bodily and material perceptions.
By further spiritual development, he remains in a state of continuous and one-pointed concentration, very seldom experiencing restlessness. In the final or nirudha state (his consciousness fully liberated from body identification and ascended into Spirit) the yogi becomes permanently one with the Absolute.