Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Power of Concentration

There are many health benefits to honing our powers of concentration; from increasing mental capacity, improving memory and, some studies suggest, even stalling the effects of aging. I find that perspective another of its gift.

During a particularly deep meditation, I was concentrating on an object. I wanted to see into the essence of that object. As my state deepened, my mental focus loosened and my conscious focus increased. This means that instead of willing my mind to concentrate on the object, I let go and felt it, surrounded it with my consciousness and moved through it.

In the next moment, I understood myself and my relationship to the object. I perceived the distance between us, then the distance between us and everything else in the room, then the distance between us and everything else in the universe. Next I felt the present moment. The object and myself were here and now in space and time. By concentrating on the object, I better understood my own essence.

This type of perspective offers peace and tranquility to one's being. The ancient philosopher, Patanjali wrote about the four steps of concentration:

  1. examination
  2. discrimination
  3. joyful peace
  4. simple awareness

During this meditation, I moved through each of those steps. It is a powerful process that offers each practitioner a moment of joyful peace and simple awareness – extremely valuable attributes in today’s world.

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