Wednesday, June 6, 2012

VI: 11, 12

Chapter 6, Verses 11, 12

"They are to hold
The senses and the imagination
In check
And keep the mind concentrated
Upon its object.
Practicing meditation in this manner
Purifies their minds and hearts."

Swami Shivananda:

Through the practice of Yoga meditation, the mind becomes one-pointed through the gathering of all its dissipated rays.  Withdrawing it from sense-objects again and again, it becomes fixed on the point of meditation at the center.  Gradually, one-pointedness is achieved.

During meditation, when you are deliberately attempting to control the thought-waves, all kinds of worldly thoughts will arise in your mind and cause disturbances.  Old memories of past enjoyments will bubble up and cause the mind to wander.  The trapdoor of the vast, subconscious mind will flap open.  Be not discouraged.  Through regular practice, you can purify the subconscious mind and its memories.  You will learn how to clearly observe the rapid shiftings of the mind from one line of thought to another.  This provides an opportunity for the mind to be molded properly, by directing the thoughts and the mental energy into the divine channel.  Be certain of this!

The gardener pulls weeds and throws them away.  In a similar way, you will be able to throw out the useless thoughts and cultivate sublime, divine ones in the garden of your divine nature.  This requires patient effort, a stupendous task indeed.  For a faithful and devoted Yogi who has the grace of the Lord, success is assured.

Give a new orientation to your thoughts and feelings by gradual and systematic practice.  You can entirely transmute your worldly nature into the divine nature.

Paramahansa Yogananda:

Mind passes along the life current from the brain through the spinal centers and then into the many branches of the nervous system.  The ordinary mind is spoken of as being concentrated on the many points of the flesh, entangled in sensations in the sensory tracts.

The mind and Life Force are principally engaged in looking at duality through two eyes, listening through two ears, smelling through two nostrils, tasting through the tongue and touching through many points of the skin.  The tendency is to become matter-bound, influenced by countless distractions.

When Yogis gather the mind and Life Force together and concentrate them at one point, they begin to experience the omnipresent sphere of the Infinite.  This is what is meant by making the mind one-pointed, the "single-eyed vision" referred to by Jesus.  When Yogis meditate deeply, they find their minds becoming concentrated at one point.

In the beginning, students succeed in quieting the mind only once in a while.  With deeper progress, they find that roughly half of the time the mind is concentrated on the divine and half of the time scattered in material perceptions.  Through further development, they remain in a state of continuous and one-pointed concentration, very seldom experiencing restlessness.  In the final state, the consciousness fully liberated from body-identification and ascended into spirit, Yogis merge permanently with the Absolute.  This is Self-Realization.

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

Krishna again emphasizes the importance of one-pointedness.  Our mind is ordinarily like a grasshopper, chirring and jumping from one blade of grass to the next.  To train the mind to be one-pointed it is helpful to cultivate the practice of doing one thing at a time.  People whose attention wanders are often subject to one of the most common forms of suffering:  boredom.  An effective way to relieve boredom is to give more concentration to whatever we are doing, because it is the quality of attention we give to something that makes it interesting.

Eckhart Tolle:

"Doing one thing at a time" is how a certain Zen master defined the essence of Zen.  Doing one thing at a time means being total in what you do.  This is empowered action.  From another angle, it can be understood as surrendered action, where the absence of distracting thoughts allows one to blend with the universal flow of life.   

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