Meditation and Concentration

 

Effort means straining endeavour. There can be an action with a will in it in which there is no strain or effort.

Straining and concentration are not the same thing. Straining implies an overeagerness and violence of effort, while concentration is in its nature quiet and steady. If there is restlessness or overeagerness, then that is not concentration.

I have been advised to have some dispersion of mind in order to get over difficulties of sadhana.

Dispersion and sadhana are two things that cannot go together. In sadhana one has to have a control over the mind and all its actions; in dispersion one is on the contrary controlled and run away with by the mind and unable to keep it to its subject. If the mind is to be always dispersed, then you can’t concentrate on reading either or any other occupation; you will be fit for nothing except perhaps talking, mixing, flirting with women and similar occupations.

Mental work during the meditation — is that what you have written? How is that?

The condition of meditation (Yogic concentration) is mental quietude, there can be no mental “work” during meditation. Unless you mean meditation of the mental kind, i.e. thinking about things, but that is a different matter.

Have I a capacity for long meditation?

The capacity is there of course, but latent.

Naturally one does not get tired if the meditation has become natural. But if the capacity is not there yet, then many cannot go on without a strain which brings fatigue.

At present, I spend a lot of time in meditation. People say too much meditation is sometimes not very good or healthy. It makes life too one-sided.

Certainly, if all one’s life one did nothing but meditate, it would be a one-sided affair. But at times to give the first place or a lion’s share to meditation may be necessary. It is especially when things are coming down and have to be fixed.

Do you approve of my long sittings of motionless meditation?

If you can have it, it is certainly desirable at this stage.

Because there is no result yet, should I think that the aspiration, concentration and will used to bring down the higher things are not sincere?

It does not follow.

At 1 p.m. my consciousness became less and less aware of the mind and body. It felt as if it was moving towards some unknown region. At 2 p.m. while getting up from the chair, my body began to stagger as if I had lost consciousness even though inwardly I was perfectly self-aware.

That happens if one gets up too suddenly from a deep concentration.

Too suddenly means before the consciousness has come back into the body.

You wrote, “if one waits, the consciousness comes back.” Waiting for what?

You say that the consciousness had gone too high to come down in order to support the physical movement of going. If so, you have to wait till it comes back before you make the movement.

At times, when I read a piece of philosophy or yogic literature I feel like falling into meditation. Is it not a sign of laziness in the mind?

It is quite natural to want to meditate while reading Yogic literature — that is not the laziness. The laziness of the mind consists in not meditating, when the consciousness wants to do so.

How is it that I can concentrate well only in a sitting posture and not while standing or walking?

That is so with most people.

The sitting motionless posture is the natural posture for concentrated meditation — walking and standing are active conditions suited for the dispense of energy and the activity of the mind. It is only when one has gained the enduring rest and passivity of the consciousness that it is easy to concentrate and receive when walking or doing anything. A fundamental passive condition of the consciousness gathered into itself is the proper poise for concentration and a seated gathered immobility in the body is the best for that. It can be done also lying down, but that position is too passive, tending to be inert rather than gathered. This is the reason why Yogis always sit in an asana. One can accustom oneself to meditate walking, standing, lying, but sitting is the first natural position.

It is not a fact that when there is obscurity or inertia, one cannot concentrate or meditate. If one has in the inner being the steady will to do it, it can be done.

One can have no fixed hours of meditation and yet be doing sadhana.

If it is possible to keep a fixed period for meditation and stick to it, it would certainly be desirable.

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