Distracting Thoughts, Attention and Concentration

I have been recently asked how to proceed when one is distracted by thoughts. The questioner asked, referring to the exercises at: www.successconsciousness.com/index_000005.htm When doing the concentration exercise number 1, which is counting words in a book, I always keep on counting, and if a negative thought comes, I ignore it and keep on counting. … Continue Reading…

Concentration and Holding Your Breath

Do you hold your breath while concentrating intently on something? Many do so, as if holding the breath helps to concentrate. This of course is done unconsciously, but it causes physical and mental strain, which is absolutely not healthy and disturbs the concentration. You have to be aware of this tendency of holding your breath, and when it happens, relax your body and start breathing normally. After all, how long can you hold your breath? After a little while you will feel strained and exhausted and will have to breathe in.

One of the website visitors asked the following question:

“Whenever I want to concentrate, I have to hold my breath. Otherwise I can’t concentrate properly. The problem is I want concentrate more than a minute. Can you help me?”

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Visualizing and Meditating Without Words

People often ask me questions about meditation and visualization. One common question is, “How to visualize and meditate without words?” Here is a question someone has asked me a few days ago, which is a typical question:

“How can I meditate or visualize without words? My meditations, visualization etc. are always accompanied by explanatory words in my mind, and I find it difficult to remove them.”

It is very common for people to use words when they visualize or meditate. This habit often distracts the mind and disturbs the concentration. Instead of focusing on the subject of visualization or meditation, you constantly find yourself explaining to yourself what you are doing, or thinking about other related or unrelated subjects.

This happens because the mind is constantly active with thinking, comparing, analyzing and commenting on everything it is aware of. It is a deeply embedded habit, and while it is useful for certain activities, visualization, and especially meditation are more effective without it.

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Sensations and After Effects of Concentration

People starting to practice concentration exercises, sometimes experience certain peculiar sensations, and wonder about their cause, and whether they should keep exercising.

Several days ago someone asked me about these sensations, and I decided to share with you this information, as I believe many have probably experienced these or similar sensations.

Here is the question:
“I started concentration exercises some time ago, and I know I have improved, but the question is regarding the after effects of concentration. After a 15 minutes session I feel a kind of heavy numb feeling in my head and face at the front. It is not bad (not painful), but it is just there and it goes away later. Sometimes I feel like there is nothing in my head. I feel really light and have a lot of clarity. I am more concerned of the first feeling, is this common or is it just me?”

These, and other similar experiences, such as headaches or physical tension are not uncommon, and there is nothing to be concerned about. Years ago, when I first started to work on improving my concentration, I had the same exact sensations and feelings.

There are several factors that cause these sensations:

1) When beginning to practice concentration exercises, the brain is not accustomed yet to focus intently on one thought or object, and this puts some strain on it. The mind and the nerves in the brain are not able to stay quite, and it takes time to discipline them and teach them new habits.

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Obstacles to Concentration

Do you find it difficult to hold your attention fixed on one subject or thought longer than a few seconds, before getting distracted by other thoughts or sense impressions? There are several obstacles to concentration that everyone faces, but these obstacles can be surmounted.

What are the obstacles to concentration?

# Lack of enough willpower

# Lack of enough self discipline

# Impatience

# Undisciplined mind

# Too much interest in other thoughts

# Physical and mental restlessness

# Lack of understanding of what concentration is

# Inability to sit still

# Ill health

# Lack of motivation to improve the concentration

#  Too much stress and lack of enough rest

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Ophiel

Ophiel ( Edward c. Peach )was an occultist and teacher, who taught and wrote about esotericism and the occult during the 1960 – 70’s. His books focus on the practical side of the occult, and are like a precious gold mine of practical information and instructions.

I have read most of ophiel’s books several times, many years ago, and though his style is somewhat unusual, he delivers his message quite clearly.

Ophiel gained his knowledge through experiments and practical work. He said that because he was not a member of any group or fraternity, he was not sworn to secrecy, and therefore could reveal all the secrets and laws concerning the occult and magic, the subjects about which he wrote.

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William Walker Atkinson

William Walker Atkinson was a prolific writer, well known for his books on the power of the mind. Though his books were written in the early years of the twentieth century, they are still popular up to this day.

William Walker Atkinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 5 1862, and passed away on November 22 1932. He was an influential figure in the early days of the New Thought Movement, and for a certain period of time edited a magazine by this name. He was an attorney, a publisher, ab author and an occultist.

In some of his books, William Walker Atkinson used his name as the author, and in others he used pseudonyms, such as Theron Q. Dumont and Yogi Ramacharaka.

I became acquainted with the books of William Walker Atkinson many years ago, and have learned a great deal from them.

I like his books for their clarity, practical approach, clear instructions, and for their inspiration and motivation. His language is simple, well understood, and to the point.

I have read his books many times, each time new truths were revealed, which were not perceived in the previous reading.

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The Importance of Concentration

The ability to focus the mind is one of the most important abilities one should possess. However, most people lack the ability to concentrate. Their attention usually wanders, without being able to fix it on one subject for any reasonable period of time. Concentration is the ability to focus the attention on one single thought … Continue Reading…