DHARANA – concentration

Once the body has gone through the asanas and has been hardened and disciplined by them, once the breathing has been lengthened and the prana or vital energy has been expandedinside us,  once the mind has been able to detach from the senses and to draw them inside through PRATYAHARA, there comes the time of DHARANA, concentration.
Concentration requires a focused attention on one single object. or one single point or one single thought. Nothing else matters, nothing else is seen, nothing else exists.
The concentrated mind is aware of the thought bubbles floating around but it can fix its attention on one single bubble,seeing the details inside it, the folds of the single thought without letting the bubble pop and become intrusive, without letting it attach to other bubbles and create a chain of molesting thoughts.
Concentration requires discipline, patience, rigor. But it can and should be practiced at a simpler stage in every moment of our life. Focusing our full attention on a single action, immersing ourself in what we are doing and forgetting about what came before and what will come after, fixing our eyes (and our inner eyes) on that ball we are playing, on that word we are reading, on that scene we are watching, on that voice we are hearing, on that concept our kids are trying to explain is – in itself – a form of concentration. And devoting our full attention to it will make us awake, aware and much sharper even in our reactions, judgements and actions. And it will allow us to see the deeper truth.
Alex, TTC 200hr, January 2016

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