Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to Develop Concentration and Focus to Lead Peaceful Life

MeditationMeditation is easily the most effective way of enabling one not only to face life’s challenges, but to overcome them. The deep power of concentration that comes through daily meditation enables a person to resolve an issue in minutes perhaps, where, otherwise, he might have fretted over it for weeks.
Deep concentration is possible only in a state of relaxation. Where tension exists, whether physically or mentally, there is a separate commitment of energy, like the stray strand of thread that refuses to enter the eye of the needle. If, for example, the brow is furrowed in worry, or if the jaw or the hands are clenched, these are signs that this much energy, at least, is not being directed toward one’s true objective.


What is Concentration?
Concentration means being able to free the mind from all objects of distraction — including one’s own thoughts and emotions — and to direct it toward a single object — whether reposing it in a single state of awareness, or directing it toward a single goal. — Swami Kriyananda (ananda.org)

To many people, such mental control implies effort. And so it does, of course, in a sense. In another sense, however, they are mistaken. For as long as one tries to concentrate he will not be able to concentrate really effectively.

That is why the best way to develop high-powered concentration is to practice meditation regularly. The concentration that comes due to regular meditation generates with perfect naturalness the strength of will that is necessary for success in any undertaking.

The physical seat of the will is located at the point between the eyebrows. That is why, when a person wills something strongly, he often knits his eyebrows.In meditation one is taught to concentrate at that point, since this is also the seat of concentration in the body. The more frequently and deeply one focuses the mind at that point, the more powerful his will becomes.

Another important point in developing concentration, and therefore will power, is inner clarity: crystal clarity of reason and feeling. Meditation is a great aid in the development of such clarity.

When the mind is clear, one naturally addresses issues one at a time. It is equally true to say that, by limiting oneself to doing or thinking about one thing at a time, one finds that the mind, in turn, gradually develops clarity.

Concentration, I said, involves, on the negative side, the practice of shutting out of the mind all distracting thoughts and impressions.

Do one thing at a time, and, as you do it, give it your full attention.

Related Articles
Here are a few tips to help you Improve your concentration by Robin Sharma.

1. To enhance your concentration and powers of focus, count your steps when you walk. This is a particularly strong technique. Take six steps while taking a long inhale, hold your breath for another six steps, and then exhale for six steps. If six steps is too long for the breaths, do whatever you feel comfortable with. You will feel very alert, refreshed, internally quiet and centered after this exercise. So many people allow their minds to be filled with mental chatter. All peak performers appreciate the power of a quiet, clear mind which will concentrate steadily on all important tasks.

2. Enhance your will-power; it is likely one of the best training programs you can invest in. Here are some ideas to strengthen your will and become a stronger person:

a) Do not let your mind float like a piece of paper in the wind. Work hard to keep it focused at all times. When doing a task, think of nothing else. When walking to work, count the steps that it takes to get all the way to the office. This is not easy but your mind will soon understand that you hold its reins and not vice versa. Your mind must eventually become as still as a candle flame in a corner where there is no draft.
b) Your will is like a muscle. You must first exercise it and then push before it gets stronger. This necessarily involves short term pain but be assured that the improvements will come and will touch your character in a most positive way. When you are hungry, wait another hour before your meal. When you are laboring over a difficult task and your mind is prompting you to pick up the latest magazine for a break or to get up and go talk to a friend, curb the impulse. Soon you will be able to sit for hours in a precisely concentrated state. Sir Issac Newton, one of the greatest classical physicists the world has produced, once said: "if I have done the public any service, it is due to patient thought." Newton had a remarkable ability to sit quietly and think without interruption for very long periods of time. If he can develop this so can you.
c) You can also build your will-power by restraint in your conduct with others. Speak less (use the 60/40 Rule = listen 60% of the time and speak a mere 40%, if that). This will not only make you more popular but you will learn much wisdom as everyone we meet, every day has something to teach us. Also restrain the urge to gossip or to condemn someone who you feel has made a mistake. Stop complaining and develop a cheerful, vital and strong personality. You will greatly influence others.

3. Become a highly disciplined time manager. There are roughly 168 hours in a week. This surely allows plenty of time for achievement of the many goals we desire to accomplish. Be ruthless with your time. Set aside a few minutes each morning to plan your day. Plan around your priorities and focus on not only those tasks which are immediate but not important (i.e., many telephone calls) but especially on those which are important but not urgent, for these allow for the greatest personal and professional development. Important but not immediate activities are those which produce long-term, sustainable benefits and include exercise, strategic planning, the development of relationships and professional education. Never let the things which matter most be placed in the backseat as compared to those that matter least.

4.The Two Minute Mind is an excellent exercise for developing concentration. Simply stare at the second hand on your wristwatch for two minutes and think about nothing else for that time. At first your mind will wander but after 21 days of practice, your attention will not waver during the routine. One of the greatest qualities a person can develop to ensure his success is the ability to focus for extended periods of time. Learn to build up your concentration muscles and no task will be too difficult for you.

5. To enhance your concentration, read a passage in a book you have never explored. Then try to recite it verbatim. Practice this for only 5 minutes a day and enjoy the results which follow after a few months of effort.

6. 83% of our sensory input comes from our eyes. To truly concentrate on something, shut your eyes and you will remove much distraction.



Just A Minute(JAM) Meditation to Improve focus and concentration:
Point of Focus - One Minute Meditation