A Talk on Concentration by Sri Chinmoy
Dear seekers, I wish to give a short talk on concentration. In the spiritual life concentration is of paramount importance. Without concentration we cannot make any satisfactory progress With concentration we can run like a deer. Concentration accelerates our progress toward the Golden Beyond.
Concentration in the physical is attention.
Concentration in the vital is penetration.
Concentration in the mind is observation.
Concentration in the heart is assimilation.
Concentration in the soul is illumination.
Concentration in God is perfection.
Concentration is a seeker’s capacity. His capacity is reality, his reality is divinity and his divinity is Immortality.
Concentration is the connecting link between man’s aspiration and God’s Compassion, between earth’s excruciating pangs and Heaven’s liberating Smile.
Concentration is at once the power of rejection and the power of acceptance. A seeker, on the strength of his concentration, rejects the superficial body substance. On the strength of his concentration, the seeker accepts the inner soul essence. Concentration is the seeker’s unfailing companion. It is the seeker’s commanding captain and his illumining liberator.
In the morning, when we concentrate on God, we come to realise where God is: God is in the inmost recesses of our hearts. In the afternoon, when we concentrate on God, we come to learn why God exists: He exists precisely for our satisfaction. In the evening, when we concentrate on God, we come to learn who God actually is: God is our unrealised depth; God is our unmanifested height.
Concentration is at once the evolving man’s triumphant success and the manifesting God’s continuous progress here on earth and there in Heaven. Man concentrates on God. He fights against his teeming doubts and brooding ignorance; therefore, he is a divine hero warrior. God concentrates on man. In spite of knowing man’s weaknesses, imperfections, limitations and ignorance night, God concentrates on man with His infinite Love, eternal Compassion and immortal Life; therefore, God is the Supreme Lover.
When we concentrate on the past, the past awakens our sympathy, our concern, our love for our old life. But a seeker of the highest Truth says that the past is dust. He says so precisely because he sees that the past has not given him God realisation, so he feels that the past is of no avail. But again, the seeker feels that he needs a solid foundation. If the past had something special to offer him and if he still carries that momentous, precious wealth, then that wealth adds to his present capacity.
When this same seeker concentrates on the present, if he has a free access to his heart and soul, then his spiritual journey is safe. But if he still remains most of the time in his mind-his doubting, suspicious mind, his earth bound physical mind- then this seeker is suspected by the present itself. The present questions his motives for meditating on the present. The present examines his sincerity to see if he really wants to see the face of Reality in the heart of the present.
Finally, the seeker concentrates on the golden future. This future is in the immediacy of today’s aspiration and tomorrow’s realisation. The future tells the seeker that in today’s heart God is his Dream boat, and in tomorrow’s heart God will be his Reality shore.
Concentration has two brothers: meditation and contemplation. Concentration paves the way for the seeker to walk along the path. This path is sunlit, for concentration does not permit any shadow of doubt, any iota of thought to enter in as we proceed to our transcendental Goal. Meditation makes our mind calm and quiet and empties our heart so that the Inner Pilot can have free access to His Throne. Contemplation tells the seeker to play the cosmic Game together with the Supreme Pilot. Concentration is the first rung on the ladder of highest realisation. Meditation is the second rung on the ladder of highest realisation. Contemplation is the last rung on the ladder of highest, supreme realisation.
Each seeker has a specific way to concentrate. Each seeker has a specific thing to concentrate on. Each seeker has a specific way to offer his concentration power to the world at large, to aspiring humanity. Each seeker has the power of concentration to give constant, dedicated, devoted and unconditional service to God.
– Sri Chinmoy
April 23rd, 1974
University of Wyoming