‘Whether you want to meditate, contemplate or create, concentration is essential.
Concentration does not belong to one particular faculty; it consists in engaging all one’s faculties in the pursuit of a definite goal and of keeping them trained unwaveringly in that direction. Meditation, prayer, contemplation and identification all presuppose the ability to concentrate.
Concentration is indispensable; no work can be effective without it. A person who allows their mind to wander in all directions will never get anywhere; ask an acrobat or a surgeon. You cannot become the creator of your own future if you are weak, dissipated and disorganized.
Concentration is indispensable for spiritual life
Concentration is an indispensable element of spiritual life. If you do not try to experience some truly spiritual moments in your life, when you get to the next world, you will be naked and destitute. Some people may say, ‘Yes, but I do not seem to be able to. My brain has never learned the habit. My thoughts are always all over the place!’ Yes, I know, but you must learn to discipline your mind. You must practise, for if you cannot concentrate, you will never get results.
There are thousands of examples in life that demonstrate the effectiveness of concentration. Perhaps, for example, you have already amused yourself by focusing the sun’s rays through a magnifying glass on a piece of paper and holding it there until the paper bursts into flames. But why have you never transposed this phenomenon on to the psychic plane and seen that thought too can be focused on one point, and that if it is trained steadily on that point for long enough it too can set fire – symbolically speaking – to things?
Concentration is something that you should practise tirelessly and for years without even questioning whether you are capable or incapable of it. Once you have developed the capacity to concentrate you will be in a position to remedy all your deficiencies and improve every aspect of your life. If there is one thing that you must believe in, it is the power of concentrated thought.
The ability to concentrate survives in the spirit for the rest of eternity
When a human being leaves their physical body, this ability survives in their spirit, for it is the spirit that thinks, feels and acts. In this world it does so through the medium of the physical, material body, but you must not think that it can no longer feel, think or act when it is released from the body. On the contrary, it is then that it is free to act most effectively.
A person who has acquired the habit of concentrating on luminous subjects will be very powerful on the other side: they only need to concentrate on the Lord or on light to scatter difficulties and darkness. But if they have never developed this ability during their life on earth, they will be unable to use it on the other side. This is why you must get into the habit of concentrating every day on the most elevated subjects. It is this that will enable you to continue your progress in peace for the rest of eternity.
Exercises in concentration
One of the best exercises in concentration that I have given you is to meditate in front of the rising sun; to focus all your powers of concentration on the sun to the exclusion of every other thought, and to remain in this best-of-all attitudes for a long time. After an exercise of this kind, you will feel strengthened, enlightened, happier and more fulfilled.
And, as I have already told you, if you are ill, you can concentrate on a particular organ of your body and do it a great deal of good by sending rays of sunshine into its cells; rays of light, love, kindness, vitality and joy.
Well, there you are! Never forget how important it is to practise concentration. Practise concentrating on truly celestial things every day and you will feel extraordinary effects in your life. Instead of perpetually stagnating in the same sufferings and difficulties, you will begin to grow, to free yourselves and to live lives full of harmony, light and peace.’
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Complete Works Vol. 18, Know Thyself: Jnana Yoga – Part 2
Chapter 6, Concentration, Meditation, Contemplation and Identifiation