Use breath, visualisation and mental chanting or repetition of mantras as a tool to develop concentration
Instructor: SandeepLanguage: English
We are living in a time of constant technological advancement. While improving our lives in many ways, technological progress also makes us accessible and so easily distractible and interruptible throughout the day. In this digital age, most of us are struggling with our ability to concentrate and it becomes even more vital to inculcate a practice to get back that lost art of concentration. Concentration is the ability to deliberately maintain the focus on something without being affected by internal and external stimuli. In the material sphere, concentration assists in studying, enables faster comprehension, improves memory, helps in focusing on a task, job or goal, and enables us to ignore meaningless and irrelevant thoughts. Now, in the spiritual sphere, the terminology used for 'concentration' is 'dharana'. Patanjali, the father of Yoga psychology, explains dharana as "the binding of attention to the object of concentration while excluding everything else". Dharna is the sixth Limb of Patanjali's Ashtanga, or the eighth limbic path to enlightenment. The person who brought for the first time the spiritual path of Yoga and Vedanta to the West, Swami Vivekananda, saw concentration as the very core of education and had this to say: “To me, the very essence of education is the concentration of mind, not the collecting of facts. If I had to do my education over again and had any voice in the matter, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument I could collect facts at will.” He also said that the "difference between an ordinary person and a great person lies in the degree of concentration". In this course, the meditation practice we are to follow is called Ajapa Japa Dharana. It is a traditional dharana practice to improve concentration. The word ‘japa’ means "the continuous repetition of a mantra". When the suffix ‘a’ is added, it implies that the process of mantra repetition becomes spontaneous. Ajapa dharana is, therefore, one-pointed concentration on the spontaneous repetition of a mantra. In this, we use breath and mental chanting or repetition of mantras as a tool to develop the concentration of mental energy. Origins of this practice can be found in ancient Indian Upanishads, like Yogashiksha Upanishad. Its reference can also be found in the Gita. The Ajapa Japa Dharana is complete in itself. Through it one can have direct experience of samadhi, enlightenment, or everlasting bliss, even without the help of a guru. Now, who is this course for? This course is designed in such a way that it will help you perform better in your study and work. It will also be a useful tool to advance in your spiritual journey. Course requirements: The previous experience with meditation may help in this course, but it is not a requirement. This course is for you, whether you're new to meditation or an experienced practitioner.
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