Techniques for Sustained Concentration
According to the eight-limbed yoga system, focused attention prepares the mind for meditation practices and their resulting integrated awareness.
Meditation depends upon the focused mind as its instrument. The practice of mental concentration before meditation allows the mind to engage, integrate and concentrate fully. It strengthens the mind to gather thoughts and digest them, incorporating universal consciousness rather than being disturbed by the ideas that can arise through meditation. Sustained meditation naturally results in Samadhi, which is total concentration or deep meditation. Samadhi, the highest limb of the yogic path, represents a state of balanced integration, which acts to develop higher consciousness and more profound awareness and is expressed as personal peace and wellness.
Focus the Mind with Guided Meditation
Focusing the mind on yoga is called “Dharana.”
Focusing attention inward is primarily about locating and understanding the spiritual heart or “hridaya.” ” This is not simply a physical place located within the chest, but it is a link to the universal consciousness. Meditating on the spiritual heart brings a deeper connection to the leading light within all things. There are ways to begin to open the spiritual heart and unlock the door of more profound meditation.
For example, draw attention to a flower. Relate it to the spiritual heart by asking, “is my recoloured colour of this flower or a different colour?” “Is my heart/flower open like this flower or not?”
Focus the mind on a candle flame, and relate it to the universal inner light that burns brightly within each of us.
Meditation practices may focus on Nataraja, who is Shiva as the dancing Lord.
Shiva Nataraj represents the inner dancing light of consciousness and more profound awareness, which is the goal of all yogic practice. This supreme light dances within all things.
Meditation Techniques to Sustain Focus and Concentration
Meditation sustains the focus and concentration of Dharana, advancing the yogi on her spiritual journey into deeper self-realization. There are several ways to support meditation practice so that it becomes deeper.
Mantras, during meditation, help bring the mind back to focus. Some yoga teachers will initiate their students, giving each a personal “bija mantra” or seed sound to use while meditating.
Meditating upon that heart quality that is most desired in life is another way to cultivate a connection between the deeper awareness within the spiritual heart and its physical manifestation in reality.
Samadhi- The Natural Result of Sustained Meditation
Unity consciousness or “Samadhi” is a consciousness that is completely absorbed and at one with a purpose or action, making the knowledge gained in the condition of Samadhi very efficient and valuable practice. Samadhi is total concentration or deep meditation, resulting naturally from sustained meditation, bringing personal peace and wellness.
Meditation is a deep inner practice that depends upon a focused mind and a proper foundation of health and wellness. Physical or emotional disturbances can become even more aggravated by meditation if external factors such as diet, lifestyle and deep-seated issues are not resolved first. Meditation is not an isolated discipline on its own; it is a component of the more significant yogic path and may also be used as part of a personal plan of practices for inner peace and well-being.