Awareness through the bodyawareness through the body

UIT : Questions and Answers.
Wat is het belang van concentratie en de capaciteit het vermogen van je concentratie te vergroten
?

Je bereikt niets 'groots' in het leven zonder concentratie! 
En...  vanuit volledige concentratie is niets onmogelijk of onbereikbaar. 
In praktisch iedere spirituele discipline wordt deze ´waarheid´ bevestigd.

 

De spirituele compagnon van Sri Aurobindo , Mirra Alfassa (de moeder):

"Whatever you want to do in life, one thing is absolutely indispensable and at the basis of everything: the capacity of concentrating the attention. If you 're able to gather the rays of attention and consciousness on one point and maintain this concentration with a persistent will, nothing can resist it.......
But this discipline must be followed in a constant and, it may be said, imperturbable way; not that you should always be concentrated on the same thing - that's not what I mean, I mean learning to concentrate.

And materially, for studies, sports, all physical or mental development, it is absolutely indispensable. And the value of an individual is proportionate to the value of his attention.
From the spiritual point of view it is even more important. There is no spiritual obstacle which can resist the penetrating power of consciousness. For instance, the discovery of the psychic being, union with the inner Divine, opening to the higher spheres, all can be obtained by an intense and obstinate power of concentration - but one must learn how to do it.

Concentration is the key. Concentration makes you the best athlete, the best student, an artistic, literary or scientific genius, .... 
Everybody has a tiny little beginning of it - it is given to everybody, but people do have to cultivate it."


The Meaning of Concentration


But what precisely is the meaning of concentration?

Mira Alfassa:

"Concentration is to bring back all the scattered threads of consciousness to a single point, a single idea.
Those who can attain perfect attention succeed in everything they undertake; they will always make a rapid progress."

Sri Aurobindo:

"Concentration is a gathering together of the consciousness and either centralising at one point or turning on a single object, e.g., the Divine; there can also be a gathered condition throughout the whole being, not at one point.


How to Concentrate


The next question that naturally arises is "how to concentrate?" 
Sri Aurobindo explains:

"Ordinarily the consciousness is spread out everywhere, dispersed, running in this or that direction, after this subject and that object in multitude.When anything has to be done of a sustained nature the first thing one does is to draw back all this dispersed consciousness and concentrate. It is then, if one looks closely, bound to be concentrated in one place and on one occupation, subject or object - as when you are composing a poem or a botanist is studying a flower. The place is usually somewhere in the brain if it is the thought, in the heart if it is the feeling in which one is concentrated. 

The yogic concentration is simply an extension and intensification of the same thing. It may be on an object as when one does Tratak on a shining point - then one has to concentrate so that one sees only that point and has no other thought than that. It may be on an idea or word or a name, the idea of the Divine, the word OM, the name Krishna, or a combination of idea and word or idea and name. But further in yoga one also concentrates in a particular place. There is the famous rule of concentrating between the eyebrows - the centre of the inner mind, of occult vision, of the will is there. 
What you do is to think firmly from there on whatever you make the object of your concentration. Or else try to see the image of it from there. If you succeed in this you feel that your whole consciousness is centred there in that place - of course for the time being. After doing it for some time and more often it becomes easy and normal.

In this yoga, you do the same. Not necessarily at that particular spot between the eyebrows, but anywhere in the head or at the centre of the chest where the physiologists have fixed the cardiac centre. Instead of concentrating on an object, you concentrate in the head in a will, a call for the descent of the peace above or, as some do, an opening of the unseen lid and an ascent of the consciousness above. 
In the heart centre one concentrates in an aspiration, for an opening, for the presence of the living image of the Divine there or whatever else is the object. There may be Japa of a name but, if so, there must also be a concentration on it and the name must repeat itself there in the heart centre.

What becomes of the rest of the consciousness when there is this local concentration? 
When the concentration is reasonably succesfull, it falls silent as in any concentration. Or if it doesn't, then thoughts or other things may move about, as if outside, but the concentrated part does not attend to them or notice. 

One has not to fatigue oneself at first by long concentration if one is not accustomed, for then in a jaded mind it loses its power and value. One can relax and meditate instead of concentrating. It is only as the concentration becomes normal that one can go on for a longer and longer time."

And this capacity can be cultivated and developed to such an extent that nothing can resist it. All systems and methods can be used according to one's nature and inclination but one must take a decision and then persevere. As the Mother (Mirra Alfassa) says:

"Concentration can be developed exactly like muscles; you may follow different systems, different methods of training. 
Today we know that the most pitiful weakling, can use discipline to become as strong as anyone else. One should not have a will which flickers out like a candle.
The will, concentration must be cultivated; it is a question of regular exercise. If you will, you can."

Mira Alfassa