By Remez Sasson
How is it possible to focus the mind when it is so restless?
When you try to stop thinking, do really stop thinking, or do you just hold to the thought that you are not thinking, which is itself a thought?
Who and what it is that orders the mind to concentrate or get silent?
Can the mind concentrate itself, or is there something higher than the mind that focuses or silences it?
Concentration exercises and meditation eventually awaken something inside, some kind of silent consciousness, and it is this consciousness that focuses the mind on any chosen subject or object, and it is this consciousness that is able to cleanse the mind of thoughts and silence the mind.
This Consciousness-Awareness, Higher Consciousness is the Inner Self, and is beyond and above the mind. It is always here, but sort of hidden behind the thinking mind. There is too much focus on thoughts and sense impressions coming through the five senses, so that this Consciousness, “forgets” itself, and tend to “get involved” with the mind and the impressions coming through five senses. This is what makes it so difficult to focus the mind.
In time, as concentration gets stronger, one is able to cleanse the mind of thoughts, but this takes time and a lot of work. At this point you don’t say to yourself, “I am silencing my mind”, because this is itself a thought. You just stop thinking, but something else is there that stops the thinking. At this stage, when you stop thinking, there is no vacuum or the thought that “you are trying to stop thinking”. There is just Pure Consciousness, joy and inner peace.
From this perspective, concentration becomes simple and easy, and you are able to focus your mind easily on anything, a thought, a point on the wall, a flower, an inspiring quote, prayer, or on your work, studies, reading book or any other activity, or just enjoy being conscious, but without thoughts.