If you have the power of concentration, then you have the ability to be free from obstacles. Concentration is of two kinds. One is intellectual concentration, and many people, working in fields such as information technology and science, are able to have very deep, focused concentration.
However, there is another kind of concentration, which is spiritual concentration. Even if we try to concentrate and feel that we are doing so, subtle thoughts and feelings emerge. So, what do I have to do, on the subconscious level, to make my concentration pure, clean and free from influences?
This means going beyond these kinds of influences and being internally focused.
We have to create a deep stage of stillness, a silence. We can stay very still inside, very calm, and create that kind of experience, like a very still, clean, body of water. When water is like that, you can even see through it – it is transparent.
When we are stable in this way, emotions and feelings cannot disturb us. When we make spiritual efforts in this manner, it means that we are able to take less than a moment to create a stage like this. It is based on the quality of our thoughts.
We use thoughts to practise this and it is thoughts that are able to create this stage. Thoughts of being a spiritual being, consciousness, are the practice, but it is the deep experience of being this, and not the body, that brings this deep inner calm.
This is a wonderful spiritual aim to have. Sometimes though, there is an actual need to be in this stage of consciousness. For example, when we have bodily pain, or when we are confronted by something fearsome. So, first we need to practise and then accumulate the experience, and then we can emerge that state of being with just one thought.
Then, how one responds to those situations will be very beautiful. We notice then how differently we are responding, from how we used to respond.
For example, the ability to use the power of tolerance. Often, we are aware of our ‘tolerance’ – in other words we tolerate, but it feels like an effort, a burden. Once we have practised and accumulated, then it just feels easy and natural, it has become a part of me. If I practise being cheerful, whatever the circumstances, then it will become a natural, easy way to behave and respond to life’s challenges.
So, how do we do this? One way is to take one thought and ponder over it, and practise it for some time each day. We can all be peaceful some of the time, but not all the time. We can take the thought of peace, think of what it really means, practise it in quiet contemplation.
When we practise that with the Supreme Ocean of Peace, God, in meditation, then we will absorb that virtue, that quality, and it will become part of us. Not only that, it will have become such a part of us that everyone around us will benefit from that vibration of deep peace.