An aspirant has two genuine teachers: concentration and meditation. Concentration is always strict with the student; meditation is strict at times. But both of them are solemnly interested in their student's progress.
When we concentrate, we try to feel that the soul's light is coming from the heart and passing through the third eye. Then, with this light, we enter into the object of concentration and identify with it. The final stage of concentration is to discover the hidden, ultimate Truth in the object of concentration.
Concentration means inner vigilance and alertness. There are thieves all around us and within us. Fear, doubt, worry and anxiety are inner thieves that are trying to steal our inner poise and peace of mind. When we learn how to concentrate, it is very difficult for these forces to enter into us. If doubt enters into our mind, the power of concentration will tear doubt to pieces. If fear enters into our mind, the power of concentration will chase away our fear. Right now we are victims to unlit, obscure, destructive thoughts, but a day will come when, on the strength of our concentration, disturbing thoughts will lie afraid of us.
Concentration is the mind's dynamic will that operates in us for our acceptance of light and rejection of darkness. It is like a divine warrior in us. What concentration can do in our life of aspiration is unimaginable. It can easily separate Heaven from hell, so that we can live in the constant delight of Heaven and not in the perpetual worries, anxieties and tortures of hell while we are here on earth.
Concentration is the surest way to reach our goal, whether the goal is God-realisation or merely the fulfilment of human desires. A real aspirant sooner or later acquires the power of concentration either through the Grace of God, through constant practice or through his own aspiration.
When we concentrate we are like a bullet entering into something, or like a magnet pulling the object of concentration toward us. At that time we do not allow any thought to enter into our mind, whether it is divine or undivine, earthly or Heavenly, good or bad.
In concentration the entire mind has to be focused on a particular object or subject. If we are concentrating on the petal of a flower, we try to feel that nothing else exists in the entire world but the petal. We look neither forward nor backward, upward nor inward; only we try to pierce the object with our one-pointed concentration. This is not an aggressive way of entering into something. This concentration comes directly from the soul's indomitable will, or will power.
When you want to practise concentration on an object, you should choose something that gives you immediate joy. If you have a Master, your Master's picture will give you immediate joy. If you do not have a Master, select something that is very beautiful, divine and pure, like a flower, for example.
Very often I hear aspirants say that they cannot concentrate for more than five minutes. After five minutes they get a headache or feel that their head is on fire.
Why? It is because the power of their concentration is coming from the intellectual mind or, you can say, the disciplined mind. The mind knows that it must not wander; that much knowledge the mind has. But if the mind is to be utilised properly, in an illumined way, then the light of the soul has to come into it. When the light of the soul has entered into the mind, it is extremely easy to concentrate on something for hours. During this time there will be no thoughts or doubts or fears. No negative forces can enter into the mind if it is surcharged with the soul's light.
When we concentrate we have to feel that our power of concentration is coming from the heart centre and then going up to the third eye. The heart centre is where the soul is located. When we think of the soul at this time, it is better not to form any specific idea of it or try to think of what it looks like. Only we will think of it as God's representative or as boundless light and delight.