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Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Lesson 263 - The Secret of Yogic Concentration (Audio)
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"
My main quest at this point is to stop the mindless chatter while doing my daily meditation. I tell my ego: "I'll listen to you when I'm done," or, "It's OK, I'm still here for you." But it never stops. I'll be able to concentrate for a minute or two but I always seem to find myself back listening to my ego nonsense. I've heard it can take many years to make the connection I'm seeking, maybe even lifetimes. It does not matter, I will continue. I'm just stuck at the moment.
I'm not going to stop my practice. At this point, I'm wondering if you can you give any suggestion for my situation?
A: There is a funny thing about "concentration." In order to achieve it we have to learn to let go. It is just the opposite of what most people think. Letting go is, of course, the essence of deep meditation, and it is also a primary factor in all the other AYP practices. We just pick something up, and that's it. When we realize we are off it, we easily pick it up again. Like that. We don't hang on to it.
How does this cultivate concentration in the yogic sense? It is because, through this process of letting go, we become gradually more quiet inside, and then we are becoming a witness to all that is going on around us. Then when we want to put our attention on something, there is no question about concentration, because our awareness has become so all-encompassing that it totally penetrates whatever we put our attention on -- and it stays like that until we move our attention somewhere else. We instantly become that which we put our attention on. That is concentration. It is all in the letting go into inner silence we have been cultivating in our practices. Once the nervous system becomes a mirror of silence, concentration is an automatic side effect.
As for the mental chatter in meditation, the mind can do that. But we don't have to fight against it. And we don't have to have an inner dialog with it. We have the means to go beyond it. We always have the choice to easily come back the mantra in meditation, or to our spinal breathing, or our work, or whatever.
In meditation, if the chatter keeps coming back, that's okay. We just keep doing the procedure of meditation. The procedure is what it is -- no negotiations with thought streams are necessary. We just go on with the procedure, and we become a little more silent inside (behind the thoughts) each day. Eventually all of life is lived in that easy way of inner silence. Silence and real concentration are not acts of the mind. They are born in the systematic practice of letting go on a daily basis, beyond the mind. That is the secret. By developing the habit of letting go, we gain everything.
Someone said to me recently, "All the questions disappear during meditation." That really captures the essence of it. If we are doing the procedure of meditation, we will lose track of all the questions, whether we are having thoughts or not. Remember, thoughts are objects. We can focus on them like any other objects, or just shift our attention back to the mantra.
There can be no failure in following this procedure. Relax and take it one day at a time. I wish you all success on your chosen spiritual path. Enjoy!
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the AYP Deep Meditation book, and AYP Plus.
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