If we know the divine art of concentration, if we know the divine art of meditation, if we know the divine art of contemplation, easily and consciously we can unite the inner world and the outer world.
~ Sri Chinmoy
Concentration is not my forté. In fact, while writing this post I’ve switched browser tabs about 15 times, checked Twitter, tweaked some code on my blog, and responded to about 5 emails. I guess one could argue that doing all this takes a great deal of concentration. Yet, at the end of the day, I often feel like I’ve lit a thousand fires and am struggling to put them all out. By the time I go to bed at night, my mind is still focusing on all the projects I’ve started, the emails I didn’t respond to, and, too often the fact that I didn’t get any exercise because I was working all day on the computer. (I work in technology so my job requires me to be online.)
I watched the videos and then sat quietly meditating for several moments. I heard the rhythm of the crickets outside, the humming of the refrigerator, and the spinning of the fan. And then …the image of Miley Cyrus twerking
popped into INVADED my head!!!
WHY did I watch that Miley Cyrus video on YouTube today last night???!!!
Again, I returned to meditating. Using the technique of focusing on the inhale and the exhale.
Then, I decided to use a concentration technique my yoga teacher Max Strom taught me:
Let’s say you are trying to meditate and keep remembering you need to go to the grocery store. Whenever that image pops into your head, just picture yourself there (in this example, at the grocery store) sitting in meditation position. It is a way to remind your brain to return to the meditation.
So, this time when Miley Cyrus entered my brain (as I knew it would since I was trying so hard to push it out!), I imagined myself sitting on the stage next to her meditating, and pretty soon she calmed down and sat right next to me. I actively replaced the obnoxious image with the calming, meditating image.
Meditation is painful in the beginning but it bestows immortal Bliss and supreme joy in the end.
~ Swami Sivananda