Concentration is a powerful mental skill which one may cultivate and strengthen by various methods. The one who does will benefit in all aspects of life. What most people are not aware of is that those who are able to harness the powers of concentration to such a tremendous degree may indeed develop mystical mental powers by exercising their mental faculties using yogic practices. Let us discuss how this is possible.
" When you learn how to concentrate and reinforce your thought, you control your mental creations; they in turn help to mold your physical environment, and you become the master of circumstances and the ruler of your kingdom." - Theron Q. Dumont (Yogi Ramacharaka)
Concentration is the act of being able to hone your attention onto a single point, phenomena, subject or thought without any distraction. When I mention the power of concentration I am not merely talking about being attentive and focussing better at whatever it is your are doing at a given time. Although being attentive in many situations in life itself will be very rewarding, I am specifically talking about the development of the concentration faculties of the human mind to the point in which one is able to shut out all distractions to the point in which there is nothing left in the persons awareness except themselves and the point, phenomena, subject or thought which they are concentrating upon.
This is very possible and have been achieved by many individuals who have undergone arduous mental training. These is a branch of yoga dedicated to practices which shall enhance the mental faculties and especially that of concentration and that is known as Raja yoga. In certain Raja yogic practices one is made to concentrate upon either a point, a thought, a feeling or sound for a given time everyday until with practice one will be able to keep their attention on that phenomenon for a long period of time without distraction.
In yogic philosophy, the act of concentrated attention is known as Dharana and it is one of the eight limbs of yoga. This reminds me of a story of a man who visited a monastery in Asia, and in this monastery was known to be the home of some of the worlds greatest archers. The man wanted to learn about archery and asks one of the masters to teach him, having agreed the master takes him into the forest with one of his senior students. They stop by a large tree where there was a beautiful but small red fruit that hung from the highest branch of the tree. The master asked the man to draw his bow and shoot down the fruit. The man aimed carefully and fired his arrow, the arrow missed the fruit and hit the bark of the tree. The master without flinching asks his senior student to shoot down the fruit. The student holds his gaze and without blinking with a deep breath in and on the out breath he fired his arrow piercing the small red fruit as they then watched it fall down from the tree. The man was awestruck, the master smiling asked the man, 'when you shot your arrow, describe to me what you saw', to which the man replied 'I saw a tree with a red fruit, with many green leaves, branches and the streams of sunlight that pierced through the openings in the leaves'. The master then asked his student 'what did you see when you fired your arrow' to which the student replied 'I saw an red fruit, everything else disappeared'.
With serious practice you too would be able to reach such a degree of concentration using the exercises that I shall describe below. The art of concentration will also help in your manifestation ability after all remember the famous saying "where attention goes energy flows". When your powers of concentration are exercised you shall be able to hold onto a single thought in your mind helping you charge that thought with your energy and intention bringing it into manifested reality.
Let's get right to it!
Exercise 1: Concentrating on a point
1. Draw a black dot on a wall or paste a piece of white paper with a dot (1.5cm in diameter) drawn on it on a wall.
2. Place a chair in front of the wall with the dot and make sure is placed around eye level.
3. Sit on the chair with your legs touching the floor and your spine straight and your head steady, place your hands comfortably on your lap faced down. This is known as the Pharaonic posture.
4. Gaze at the black dot on the wall and do not move or change this posture for the duration of the exercise. Do not blink either.
5. Now gaze at this dot and attempt to keep all your awareness on this point. Whenever you notice a thought arising just acknowledge it and immediately bring your awareness back onto the point.
6. Do this daily starting for about 30 seconds then move onto 1 minute a few days later and keep increasing the duration until you can sit there without moving or blinking for 10 minutes. It is difficult in the beginning but you will get better as you practice.
The above exercise as mundane as it seems, it is a key yogic practice to develop serious levels of concentration after all if you can gaze at something like a dot for 10 minutes with utmost concentration you can focus on anything else in the world with absolute ease. This practice is also a key which can be used to unlock the hidden powers of the gaze for whose who persevere. This practice strengthens the optic nerve and develops the minor chakras of the eye which will develop a powerful magnetic gaze which in time may result in the development of a mesmeric gaze. This practice is the fundamental practice for individuals who want to develop mesmerism or mental fascination.
Exercise 2: Concentrating on a thought
1. Sit or lie down comfortably.
2. Bring all your attention onto your thoughts and think of a shape, perhaps a circle, a triangle or square.
3. Visualise this 2D shape and keep your awareness on it and hold onto this thought without letting any distractions or other thoughts break your concentration.
4. If you get distracted immediately go back onto concentrating on that 2D shape, do this everyday for 5 minutes a day.
The above exercise is training ones abilities of visualisation and of concentrating on a single thought. Another powerful yogic technique. The student who perseveres with arduous practice may get to a level of mastery where they are able to mentally 'see' the shape as if it is physically there in their inner vision. This is a truly powerful level to be at as any object or visualisation can be see with utmost vividness thereby sending your manifestation skills through the roof because you will then be able to focus with utmost concentration on a single thought that you'd like to manifest, where attention goes energy flows.
The one who is able to concentrate is well on their way to being in the top 1% of powerful personalities in the world. Concentration may sound like such a mundane thing but this ounce of banality is nothing but an illusion to veil the true hidden powers that one may achieve when truly becoming a master of the sacred and magical art of concentration.