7 Tips to Improve Your Power of Concentration
AUDIO of article
Any form of meditation, prayer or contemplation often needs to have a foundation of some body of knowledge. This knowledge, information or insight enables us to gain a better focus and to get the most out of the creation of our sacred space and time of silence.
Yet, we often do not realize when we begin to hone our concentration powers. It starts the moment we begin listening to that information, about learning how to develop concentration. Because as we tune our ears to the data being shared we already have diverted our attention away from all other things and focused it on the subject matter at hand.
Whether at school or in college, it is important to pay attention to the content of the lecture. For this, it is important not to be distracted. Not to have the mind wander off in other directions. Day dreaming is a good example of the mind wandering off and doing its own thing.
It is important to focus all our attention upon listening, and staying present whilst being focused. It might also mean giving up other things we may prefer to be doing in the moment. But when we know this will be of great benefit to us at some time, in the present or even in the future, then we give it our full attention.
So too in life, it is important to stay focused on why we are here. For this, one needs to define our life’s purpose. The emphasis on the purpose is not a doing verb, even if it may be defined as one, but the living quality behind the verb. For example, we are here to love, care, share, stare, dare, to dream and beam! We are here to experience the fullness of our being. Once we are clear on our focus, we can then divert all our energies toward that. That is concentration!
I don’t believe that one can work 18 hours a day and still be happy, even if that does bring in several thousand dollars per day. I believe somewhere we justify our stress and busyness. We convince ourselves that it’s worth working so hard and such long hours, just as long as we are reeling in the money! Why? Because we see money as a measure of success. But is it? Surely a successful life is a happy life, not just a busy life.
We understand that when we achieve something, we have to give up something else. Nothing is free. All our life is governed by the choices that we make. We may lose relationships to gain time. We may lose time to gain power. We may lose power or our health to gain money. And the perpetual cycle goes on and on.
In life too, we need to focus and concentrate, if we are to have peace of mind and a feeling of true success in life. This means not to expand, and not to diversify our energies to such an extent that it is difficult to manage. Then instead of giving us the elixir of happiness, it causes us one big headache and a lot of stress. When we expand our lives too much in several directions, like creating several businesses, owning multiple houses, or having numerous relationships, spreading our money into various accounts, keeping several pairs of shoes and hand-bags, and the list goes on, then we do expend energy and we do not preserve it.
Ask yourself: In what ways do you preserve your energy all day, every day? How much energy are you expending and where? Can you stop the loss of energy?
This is why the hermits and the sages go to the other extreme by giving up everything! They believe that by relieving themselves of all such worldly affairs they will have more time to work on their spiritual endeavors. Although there may be benefit in this and there is a deep message here, I don’t believe it needs to be such a drastic move.
Just as in the example of a tightrope, there needs to be the correct balance of enough tension and enough elasticity so that one can walk on the tightrope. In life too, we need to live amongst our creation and attachments and this creates the tension, and we need enough peace of mind, which creates the elasticity so that we can excel every day and feel a sense of mastery.
In meditation, we do the same thing. We set aside all other things for that duration of time, and just focus on the inner being. We focus on what matters most in life, which is our peace, our happiness, our big heart, our good wishes and our love.
Here are 7 tips to improve your power of concentration.
1) Simplify your life – get rid of all excess… so you have to think less generally about your life… start to declutter… both mentally and physically.
2) When you sit to concentrate, set all other things to one side. Tell yourself, you are giving yourself alone time. Free up some time and space in your head so that you can ‘just be’!
3) De-stress the body, loosening all muscles from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Get a massage and relax more.
4) Try some good breathing exercises. Take a deep breath and begin to focus on what matters most – such as the divine qualities within you. By focusing on these one develops spiritual strength and accumulates power.
5) Sit still – no part of your body or mind needs to pull you. Be still in your mind and your body. Be at peace with yourself.
6) Withdraw all attention from the body, direct your thoughts towards the soul, the being that is you. Sit in your seat in the centre of the forehead. This is your seat of consciousness.
7) BE the GREAT BEING that you are. Go within and find yourself in the stillness and the silence. This is where your power lies. Not in the noise and confusion of the external world. Remember, that your inner power is expressed outwards, it comes from within to the outside world and not vice versa.
It’s Time… for us to concentrate and to find our purpose in life. Create the right balance and you will walk the tightrope of life with joy and calm.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK