6. HOW TO INCREASE YOUR POWER OF CONCENTRATION
Concentration can be done only if you are free from all distractions. A man whose mind is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires can hardly concentrate on any object even for a second. His mind will be jumping like an old monkey. Japa of any Mantra and Pranayama (breathing exercise) will steady the mind, remove tossing, and increase the power of concentration.
Too much physical exertion, too much talking, too much eating, too much mixing with the opposite sex and undesirable persons, too much walking, will cause distraction of mind. Those who practise concentration must abandon these things.
Whatever work you do, do with perfect concentration. Never leave the work without finishing it completely.
When you sit for prayers and meditation, never think of your office work. When you work in the office, never think of the child who is sick or of any other household work. When you take bath, do not think of games. When you sit for meals, do not think of the work that is pending in the office. You must train yourself to attend to the work on hand with perfect one- pointedness.
Celibacy, Pranayama, reduction of wants and activities, renunciation of objects, solitude, silence, discipline of the senses, annihilation of lust and greed, control of anger, non-mixing with undesirable persons, giving up of the newspaper habit and of visiting cinemas, all these pave a long way in increasing the power of concentration.
You must try to be always cheerful and peaceful. Then only you will have concentration of mind. The practice of friendship with equals, compassion towards inferiors or distressed persons, complacency towards superiors or virtuous persons, and indifference towards sinners or wicked persons will produce cheerfulness or serenity and destroy hatred, jealousy, and dislike.
You should have real and intense thirst for God-realisation. Then all obstacles will be obviated. Concentration will be quite easy for you then. Mere emotional bubbling for the time being out of sheer curiosity, or for attaining psychic powers, cannot bring any tangible result.
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To be continued ..