Tuesday, April 16, 2013
As a child, I observed how a magnifying glass could burn a piece of paper, when the rays of the sun were focused through it. The fire could start only when the sun's rays were concentrated to a small point. When the magnifying glass was moved too far away or too close to the paper, the rays were not focused enough and nothing happened. This experience describes vividly the power of concentration.
This power can be described as focused attention. It is the ability to direct the attention to one single thought or subject, to the exclusion of everything else.
When our mind is focused, our energies are not dissipated on irrelevant activities or thoughts. This is why developing concentration is essential to anyone who aspires to take charge of his or her life. This skill is essential for every kind of success. Without it, our efforts get scattered, but with it, we can accomplish great things.
Uses of Concentration :
1. It assists in studying and understanding faster
2. improves the memory
3. Helps in focusing on any task, job, activity or goal, and achieving it more easily and efficiently.
4. It is also required for developing psychic powers, and is a powerful tool for the efficient use of creative visualization.
The Restless Mind
Thoughts claim our attention incessantly, and waste our time and energy on unimportant and useless matters. They actually rule our life. We have become so used to this slavery, that we take it for granted, and have become unconscious of this habit, except on certain occasions.
While breathing, we do not need to pay attention to each inhalation and exhalation. We become conscious of the process of breathing, only when we have some difficulty with breathing, such as when our nose is clogged, due to a cold, or when we are in an unventilated room.
It is the same with thinking. We become conscious of the constant onslaught of our thoughts, and of our inability to calm them down, only when we need to concentrate, solve a problem or study. We are also acutely aware of them when we have worries or fears.
Look at the following familiar situation. You need to study something for your job or for an exam. You sit comfortably on the sofa with the book in your hands and start reading. After a while you feel hungry and go to the kitchen to eat something.
You return to read, and then hear you people talking outside. You listen to them for several moments and then bring your attention back to the book.
After a while you feel restless and switch on the radio to listen to some music. You continue to read for a little while, and then remember something that happened yesterday, and you start thinking about it.
When you look at your watch, you are amazed to find out that one complete hour has passed and you have hardly read anything.
This is what happens when one lacks concentration. Imagine what you could have accomplished, if you could control your attention and focus your mind!
HOW TO DEVELOP FOCUS?
SOME SIMPLE EXRECISES: START WITH ABOUT 10 MINS EVERY DAY AND AS YOUR STAMINA INCREASES, YOU CAN INCREASE THE TIME SPAN TO 15-20 MINS.
1. Take any small object like a spoon, toy, even your mobile(on silent) and gaze at it from all sides. Just focus on that object till the world around becomes a blur. Do not verbalise any words about it.
2. Count backwards from 100 to 1
3. Take a book. Count the words in any paragraph. Do it again to recheck. Take a short para first and increase length gradually. You may use finger to track in beginning. Elevate yourself to visual scanning later. Just count with your eyeballs moving.
4. Count backwards from 100, skipping 2 nos like 100, 97,94 3\etc till 1.
In about 10 days you will notice the vast improvement in your restlessness and ability to sit still at one activity for a longer time.