Concentration in Meditation


At the time of meditation my mind is not one-pointed with God. Why?

—Birakishore Nayak, India


Dear Friend,

One-pointed focus on God, or one His aspects (such as peace, love, joy, Aum, inner light, etc.) is developed by daily practice and the flow of divine grace. Our bodies, nervous system, and mind are designed by nature to be sense-bound: while awake, our hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are always functioning to alert us to danger and opportunity and, in any case, never stop functioning except when we are asleep.

Meditation was discovered long ago in a high age of consciousness when humans had a greater capacity for concentration, including inward focus on God and higher states of Being. The rishis discovered that the key to concentration is control of breath: pranayam. Do you have a meditation method that has been taught to you by a competent meditation teacher?

By slowing the breath and heart rate we are increasingly able to focus the mind in meditation. More than mental concentration is needed, however. We must learn to relax the body and open the heart in devotion and self-offering to that image of God that we hold dear (Ishta Devata). This can be our guru; a deity, or an abstract form of God such as peace, love, joy, etc. But without the DESIRE to meditation, to KNOW God (which “desire” we call “devotion”), we cannot make real progress spiritually. Meditation should be more than a mere mental exercise to develop powers of concentration (or other powers as well). Without devotion, the ego and its endless desires and preoccupations will undermine our efforts to concentrate in meditation.

At Ananda we practice various meditation techniques but the highest of all is the Kriya Yoga technique revived by Lahiri Mahasaya of Benares some 150 years ago (taught to him by the peerless master, Babaji). Therefore, I would encourage you to learn more about Kriya Yoga and the various stages and techniques and study needed to progress to the point of taking initiation in Kriya.

“Make haste slowly!” Be patient with your efforts but also be a little stern with your mind. Synchronize your breath with your concentration; synchronize your heart’s natural love in an upward movement of energy (from the heart) to the point between the eyebrows: the spiritual eye, seat of enlightenment.

Practice concentration during the day, also: while working, doing one thing at a time with attention; while waiting for someone or something. Keep your mind focused at the point between the eyebrows as often as you can remember throughout the day to do so (and, of course, DURING meditation!)

The mind is a wild horse or a mischievous monkey. To tame this creature requires daily practice, coaxing and tricking. “If you give me five minutes of quiet, I’ll address your needs when I’m finished.” Like that. Bargain as you all do in India!

Well, these are many things for you to consider. Be well! Be happy!

Joy to you,

Nayaswami Hriman