Concentration Exercises for Training the Mind

Sharpening the needle of concentration requires practice, like everything else in life.
Do you go to the gym? If you do, how many times a week and for how long?
Have you studied a foreign language? If you did, for how long did you practice, until you had a basic knowledge of the language?
It is the same with developing your concentration. You need training and practice. Even only ten minutes a day of concentration exercises will do you good.
Your mind does not like discipline, and will resist your efforts to discipline it. It loves its freedom more than anything else, and won't let you master it. It will make you forget to do the exercises, tempt you to postpone performing them, or make you feel too lazy. It will find many tricks to occupy your attention with something else.
The choice is yours, to be mastered by the mind and its whims, or to be its master. Below, you will a few simple concentration exercises. By practicing mental exercises, it is possible to train the mind and master it, and put it in its proper place, as your servant, and not as your boss and master.
You are not the mind, nor the thoughts that pass through it. Though it might be hard to accept this idea, the mind is not you, the real you, but only a tool that you use. It is an instrument, which has great value, but it has to be taught to obey you.
Most people believe that they are the mind, and erroneously believe that controlling the mind means holding themselves back and denying their freedom. They feel that controlling their mind is not natural, and that it is some sort of repression. These beliefs are not correct.
The proof that we are not the mind comes with training. Accept the idea in theory, and in time, as your control over your thoughts grows, you will know it as a fact. In reality, you, the real you, is the one mastering the mind. It is not the mind mastering itself.

Advice for Practicing the Concentration Exercises

Find a place where you can be alone and undisturbed. If you wish, you may sit crossed legged on the floor, but most people would find it more comfortable to sit on a chair. Sit with your spine erect.
Take a few calm deep breaths and then relax your body, by directing your attention to it, and relaxing each muscle, from head to toes.
Practice each of the exercises below for about 10 minutes, and after a few weeks of training, lengthen the time to 15 minutes.
Start with the first exercise. Practice it every day, until you are able to do it without any distractions or forgetfulness, and without thinking about anything else, for at least three continuous minutes. Read more...

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