Simple Technique of Mental Concentration for Learning to Meditate

Posted: July 9, 2014 / in: Meditation, Spirituality / 4 comments

Sit in a comfortable position (on a chair for example), keeping the back and shoulders straight, with the head up so the spinal column is vertical. It is recommended to face the Magnetic North Pole if possible. Choose a simple object that will become the “support” for your mental concentration. Place the object in front of you so that you can observe it easily. Close your eyes and prepare to follow these steps:

• Relax rapidly and profoundly, from the feet upwards. The relaxation takes every part of the body in a gradual process.
• Observe your respiration and deepen the relaxation until it becomes calm and quiet.
• Focus your attention inwards, withdrawing the senses from any exterior stimuli that might distract you. Start by isolating the mind from any thought that may appear. Observe “from outside” any thought that might appear and observe how the thought observed long enough dissolves into the mental background.
• Focus the mind upon the chosen object.
• Empty your mind from all thoughts, then bring the chosen object into the field of attention, without allowing the mind to jump to another object or thought. If this happens, bring it back with calmness and patience.
• Maintain the attention on the object chosen for concentration. It is advisable not to force it or to be tense. Be calm, quiet and focused.
You will realize that in fact mental concentration is a static process: during concentration, the mind is blocked, thinking ceases and mental activity is suspended. The only mental activity that is permitted is to bring the mind back to the object of the concentration when it loses its focus.
• Focus attentively on the object of concentration: approach it with amazement and the curiosity of a child, as if you did not know a thing about it. This approach should not be rational or intellectual, but rather you should get to the essence through feeling and intuition.
• Explore the object in a state of creative silence, without any goal, only waiting for impressions. Then only you and the object will exist:
• Get into a state of continuous euphoric expectation, accompanied with a high degree of perception. Allow your being to be absorbed in and by the object. Do not try to define, to form opinions or to understand, only be permeable to that object, looking at it as if it were for the first time. This will open you towards the object itself and will create the state of mental receptivity in which intuition (or the supra-consciousness) is able to function. By following this process, you will soon notice that surrounding objects have many meanings and messages that you usually miss. Everything becomes pure wonder, a fascinating mystery that you will gradually unravel completely. You will discover that everything is sustained by an invisible energy and that you can get to feel and control this in time.

If you notice that this exercise fails lamentably in the beginning, accept this fact as normal. Remember that in Yoga there is no useless effort. In other words every effort will be fruitful, as the wise men say, “the mud is as valuable as the lotus flower it feeds”.

About Silence

silence and meditation“Silence is golden”, says a folkloric proverb.
The practice of SILENCE for a long time (hours and maybe days) is extraordinary for the effortless control of the mind. It allows us to observe the mind’s processes and to gradually become aware of them.
Silence can be at different levels. It can be only physical, or it can be deeper, going all the way to non-thinking. These are the extremes we can define our daily life by.

We can say that the power of the mind is given by its silence. A person that knows how to be silent is a person with a powerful mind. Silence leads to a state of luminosity inside and acuity in perceptions. For the spiritual path, silence is a very good discipline and goes very efficiently together with any other practice.
But the best way to understand the amazing power of Silence is to try it as an exercise. We recommend choosing one day a week in which you practice Silence for the whole day. It is a radical change

Meditation – Effects

The beneficial effects which result from the constant practice of meditation are due to the resonance with the subtle energies of the Universal Mind.
Ancient texts together with the modern studies indicate certain effects that are specific to meditation, no matter the form of training that is performed.

The specific effects of the meditation can be synthesized as follow:
• Makes the amplification and inner directing of mental and psychological processes possible.
• Gradually eliminates nervousness, shallowness, and lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, prejudice, psychosomatic diseases, and inferiority complexes.
• Eliminates stress and simultaneously offers a state of calmness and harmony, both inside and outside us, which is reflected in improved relationships and communication.
• Removes doubt, suspicion, psychological troubles, lack of spiritual energy, physical exhaustion.
• Harmoniously activates the creative imagination.
• Rapidly and profoundly regenerates the personality.
• Establishes self-knowledge of the innate potential of each individual.
• Makes one aware of the depth of consciousness, sub-consciousness and supra-consciousness.
• Accelerates spiritual evolution.
• Increases the capacity to control emotions and thoughts.
• Strengthens the mind and by revealing its potential, leads to growing self-confidence.
• Improves rapidly the memory and intuition.
• Opens the gate of supra-consciousness; that of intuitive knowledge and countless paranormal powers.
• Creates changes not only in mental and emotional states but also in sensory perceptions: the individual becomes more open to ambience, more conscious of nature’s beauties and colors, of others’ happiness and sadness. He feels the texture of life as the gardener feels the petals of a bud opening.
• Leads to a decrease of the metabolic coefficient, diminishing oxygen consumption and carbonic gas production.
• Lessens the percentage of lactose in the blood which is determined by anxiety and stress; meditation does this almost 4 times faster than if the subject was resting calmly.
• Increases skin resistance up to 400%. Interior agitation, anxiety and stress control the level of skin resistance to electricity.
• Tends to slow down heart rhythm.
• Dramatically increases the number of slow alpha waves (8-9 per second).

Psychologists who have used meditation in treating patients under clinical conditions demonstrate that for certain individuals, meditation reduces stress, anxieties, stress associated psycho-pathologies (insomnia, stammering, high blood pressure) and self-blaming. They also predict that meditation is useful for decreasing drug dependence, increasing self identity perception, improving mood, facilitating the expression of emotions, and increasing activity and energy in general. Furthermore, meditation results in a calmer mind and a decrease of the impact of suffering.

Physiologically, Dr. Lawrence Le Shan states: “Meditation essentially produces a physiological state of deep relaxation, along with a state of hyper-awareness. The metabolic coefficient decreases, as well as cardiac and respiratory rhythm. The model of physiological responses of meditation differs from sleep or hypnosis. The physiological state produced by meditation appears to be opposite to that produced by rage or fear. From a technical point of view, we can say that meditation determinates a hyper metabolic state, completely different from the “alarmed defense” state, corresponding to the reaction of “fight or flight”. “

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Comments (4)

  1. Kasey says:

    Hello, this is an interesting way to approach meditation, but you have to keep your attention upon the object during the whole meditation without closing your eyes? I feel like i need to close them to go deeper and relax myself. And about the silence, the hours that i tried this, seems like completely the opposite, is when my mind goes crazy than ever. How you deal with this?
    Thanks

    • Advaita Stoian Advaita Stoian says:

      @ Kasey
      You can as well choose an object that you know very well and begin visualizing it. Then you can keep your eyes closed and still practice this exercise.
      If you are using an external object the inferior mind is fixed by the perceptive act of seeing therefore the intuitive faculty of your consciousness will emerge from the “background”. This intuitive faculty is only blocked by the inferior mind and its almost permanent agitation and while you are focusing your attention upon the external object the inferior mind ceases most of its movements.
      Regarding the silence … do it more and in combination with simple exercises for mental concentration. You have the impression that your mind goes crazy more than when you are chatting and communicating all the time because IN SILENCE YOU CAN HEAR THE INNER NOISE. Paying attention mostly to the exterior reality, communicating and being busy doing it, reacting to what perceptions are constantly bringing you from outside world, all these are preventing you from seeing the sad reality within. When you take this austerity of remaining perfectly silent for a little while you begin to acknowledge the inner storm.
      On the other hand you need to consider here the “principle of compensation”. When you are attempting to practice such an austerity (like not talking for a while) you create a force of action that trigger a reaction within. It is analogically like attempting to put a dam across a tumultuous river. When you look of the flow of the water you will only guess its power, but when you put the dam you will feel the power of the whole river that you try not to stop. But this is only the sensation of little practice. In time you will notice that you can easily control the river of your attention and use its power to create inner power.
      I hope you can use these suggestions for a successful practice of your meditative training.

  2. Kasey says:

    Hi Advaita, thanks very much for your answer, i´m for sure more aware about my inner storm and the practice is always fruitful.. so i will follow your advice. 🙂

  3. Lore says:

    Hello
    I participated sometimes in dynamic meditations where you express in a very intense way emotions such as anger, for example, and through the release of these ones you can find this inner silence more easily. What is your opinion on this?
    Is a good way to start? When you cannot just seat and focus properly.
    Thank you.

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