The ability of how to concentrate and focus the mind effectively and at will is not, as with deep physical relaxation not only extremely beneficial but is one of the most important of all abilities, and one upon which many other abilities rest.
The benefits of developing the ability to concentrate include peace of mind, self-confidence, inner strength, willpower, focus, improved memory, better ability to make and carry out decisions, more control over your daily life, the ability to learn more quickly, freedom from obsessive or upsetting thoughts, freedom from habits, advanced powers of the imagination, and the ability to meditate effectively. These abilities will also greatly enhance your use of The Principle of Expression, also erroneously known as “the law of attraction”, powers of healing and every situation requiring the power of the mind.
Many people have considerable difficulty concentrating for more than a few seconds at a time, the mind constantly jumping around from thought to thought without any conscious control. People are heard to complain, “I cannot possibly think of a hundred things at once”. Ironically, that is actually the issue. They actually are thinking of a hundred things at once instead of just one single focused thought—the immediate task at hand or, in the absence of such a task, no thoughts at all.
Another expression for this inability to concentrate on a single thought is “monkey mind”. The mind is constantly chattering away with endless noise that dims its true power and effectiveness. In some parts of the world, people who are unable to maintain any single thought for more than a few moments are known as “quinhentos pensamentos”, which literally means, “five hundred thoughts”.
Diluting the mind with thoughts is like diluting anything. The totality of its effectiveness will be reduced in proportion to the amount of dilution. A single focused thought is extremely powerful. As previously discussed, thought is energy, and focused thought is focused energy. The vibrations of this energy can have a profound effect on the object of the thought, and the power of the “thought form”, with results that might appear to the casual observer as “miraculous”.
A graphic example of such immense power of concentration has often been observed and related by those who have travelled in India. They tell of how they have personally witnessed a seed being planted in the ground, which immediately sprouted and grew before their very eyes. Very soon thereafter, the plant produced fruit that could be immediately plucked and tasted. All of this occurred in just a few moments. This “phenomena” was accomplished by the most intense powers of concentration and use of the imagination by the “fakirs” of India.
Controlling your thoughts involves exercising a much higher level of control over every aspect of your life. Lack of concentration and control over thoughts generally can be likened to piercing a sheet of thin paper with a blunt pencil. The paper will simply tear. If the pencil is sharp, however, the point will pierce the sheet of paper very easily, leaving a small neat hole.
The same situation can be applied to concentration. If concentration is blunt and undisciplined, and the mind is crowded by hundreds of different thoughts, the mind will be equally blunt and ineffective. Accomplishing any single objective will then be very difficult. If the concentration of the mind is sharp with the entire Energy of the point of focus in one place towards one single intended objective, the results will be far more effective and experienced much sooner.
The ultimate objective of concentration is to attain a state of “single-pointedness” of mind. Such single-pointedness is the unwavering focus on one single thought or on no specific thoughts at all (total emptiness of mind).
Although almost anyone can develop high levels of concentration and willpower, there are certain barriers to success that should be taken into account. Any inherent physical or mental weaknesses brought about by an ongoing illness, for example, can affect concentration. At the same time, such conditions can be healed, as we will discuss later. A lifestyle too filled with a wide range of activities can make it difficult to achieve any degree of worthwhile concentration. The mind of such a person will always be preoccupied with thoughts of their ongoing activities, to focus effectively on a single objective.
How To Concentrate And Focus The Mind
Initially, concentration can be practiced from any sufficiently relaxed position. You should ideally start by devoting at least ten minutes each day to these exercises, later increasing to at least thirty minutes or as much time as you can find.
There are several progressive stages involved in achieving a high level of concentration. First of all, you need to ensure that you are completely relaxed by performing the deep physical relaxation exercises This will be the subject of a further blog post.
The following concentration exercises of how to concentrate and focus the mind are progressive, so there is nothing to be gained by moving on to the next exercise until the previous exercise has been successfully accomplished.
Concentration exercises should ideally be practiced while sitting upright, with spine absolutely straight in a hard chair, such as a dining chair, without leaning against the backrest.
Commence by sitting up straight with your spine absolutely vertical, not leaning against the back of the chair, with knees together and hands face down on your knees or thighs.
Exercise 1: Close your eyes, and count backwards in your mind from 100 to 0. If you miss any numbers, start again at 100. You should be able to do this exercise 10 times in a row before proceeding to the next exercise.
Exercise 2: Close your eyes, and count backwards from 100 in increments of two: 100, 98, 96, 94, 92, 90 and so on down to 0. If you miss any numbers, again, start again from 100. You should be able to succeed with this exercise 10 times in a row before proceeding to the next exercise.
Exercise 3: Repeat exercise 2, but this time counting backwards in increments of three: 100, 97, 94, 91 and so on. As before, start over if you miss any of the numbers. You should be able to succeed with this exercise 10 times in a row before proceeding to the next exercise.
Exercise 4: Select any word of your choice, one that you find interesting is better, and repeat the word over and over in your mind. If another word enters your mind, start over. When you can repeat the same word in your mind for at least 10 minutes without interruption, this exercise is complete.
Exercise 5: Select a convenient object such as a fruit, and spend at least 10 minutes examining it from all sides. You must apply your entire unwavering attention to this exercise, the objective being to memorize the object as completely and in as much detail as possible from every perspective. Do not allow any other thoughts to intrude during this exercise. Your entire focus should be on memorizing your chosen object. Only when you have completely memorized this object from every perspective should you move on to the next exercise.
Exercise 6: Close your eyes, concentrate, and visualize your chosen object from Exercise 5 as realistically as possible. Visualize the object from every perspective, exactly as it appeared when you were previously examining it, making it appear so lifelike that you believe you can reach out and touch it. Should you have difficulty with this, return to exercise 5. This is also an extremely valuable exercise for visualisation and other abilities that we will discuss later in this book. Once you have successfully completed this exercise with the original object, repeat the same exercise again with a range of objects of various shapes, sizes and colours.
Exercise 7: Obtain a fruit of your choice, and divide it into sections. Examine your fruit thoroughly, not only with your visual senses, but with your senses of smell, touch and taste. Commit all of these received impressions to memory in as much vivid detail as possible.
Exercise 8: Close your eyes, and imagine exactly how the fruit appeared while you examined it, utilizing all of your senses, sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch. Imagine you can smell, taste and feel the texture of the fruit, completely recreating it in your mind in every detail.
The fruit should appear to be so solid and lifelike that you desire to actually reach out and eat it. As with the previous exercises, should you not be able to achieve this task, return to Exercise 7 and try it again before progressing with Exercise 9.
Exercise 9: Close your eyes, and imagine you can hear the sound of a clock ticking loudly. The ticking must seem completely real as if there is actually a clock in your room. Once you have established the sound of the clock ticking in your imagination, maintain the ticking for a full 10 minutes without interruption. If your concentration is broken and you miss a few ticks of the clock, you should either start over again or leave the exercise for another day until you can imagine the ticking with total reality for a full 10 minutes.
Exercise 10: The objective of this final exercise is to achieve a state of total emptiness of mind. This is an extremely valuable state and is the basis for achieving many inner abilities including meditation. Close your eyes, relax, and vigorously reject any thoughts attempting to enter your mind. At first, this might seem difficult as thought after thought tries to encroach upon your imposed silence. Simply passively observe the thoughts, and allow them to drift through your Consciousness without giving them any focus or emotion. If you do latch onto a thought and start to give it any importance, it will occupy your mind and become more difficult to remove.
The objective of this exercise in how to concentrate and focus the mind is to hold your consciousness completely clear of all thoughts for at least ten minutes. This exercise might well take several weeks of practice before fully achieved. Eventually, it will become possible to maintain this state of mind for as long as you wish, and certainly for many hours at a time, during which profound experiences can occur.
After you have successfully completed all of these exercises, your concentration and willpower will have increased considerably and will prove to be an excellent asset in the future. It is important to practice these exercises regularly—ideally every day, otherwise, you could very easily start to diminish your powers of concentration. If you find this happening, repeat the necessary exercises to bring your concentration levels back to those of exercise 10 once again.
It is also highly beneficial to be able to control all of your thought processes throughout the day. This involves focusing your thoughts exclusively on what you are doing and never allowing your mind to wander to any other activities. Thought control will further enhance your concentration abilities and sharpen your levels of consciousness and powers of memory.
The ability of focussed concentration will open the door to many other abilities such as telekinesis, telepathy and Astral and Mental Projection.
In conclusion, the ability of how to concentrate and focus the mind, together with imagination, deep physical relaxation and meditation is extremely beneficial, and how to concentrate and focus the mind is well worth learning.
And So It Is.