Developing One-Pointedness
           

            Sit and watch inside until you feel comfortable, quiet and calm.  With your eyes still closed, imagine a beautiful flame in the center of your brow.  It is a clear yellow-white flame sprouting up ward.  It is exactly at the center of your brow.  See it there.

             If this is easy for you to see, make this practice part of your meditation and continue to do it every day.

             Some people find this visual imagery difficult.  If you do not see the flame, or if it will not come easily into you imagination, then light a real candle and set it at eye level in front of you.  This is best to do in a darkened room.  The background behind the candle should be very plain.  Sit and watch the candle for two minutes.  Now close your eyes and visualize the beautiful flame coming in the center of your brow.  Relax and bring it inside you.  If you have difficulty, open your eyes and look at the candle for a short while again.  Do this two or three times for a few moments each time, but no more than that.  Be very careful not to strain or overexert you eyes.

             The candle is a beautiful symbol of ourselves.  The wax is like our body.  The flame is our real Self, our sound or spirit.  What happens if we turn a candle upside down?  We see that the flame turns upward.  The flame will never remain downward no matter what you do to the wax.  Your body is like this beautiful candle and you that which is the center, are like the flame.  The wax melts but the flame moves upward.  Though our body ages, we remain the same.  Visualize symbol.  Don’t identify with changes in the color of your hair or wrinkles in your skin.  We can slow this process down, but we can never stop it.  Nature must work on our body; it is the nature of the body, and the nature of nature.  The body is only the circumference, like the candle melting and changing its size and shape.  At the center is you who, like the flame, do not change.

Questions

1.  Should we concentrate on our body and thoughts for twenty-four minutes or on the flame?

First make the decision that you will sit for twenty-four minutes.  Resolve to remain for the full time.  Then watch your body as it wants to move about.  See your restlessness and your habits and fancies.  When anything comes into your mind, speak to it as you would to a child you love.  Say “Now I have some work to do, so please leave me alone for awhile.  I will have some time for you later, but not right now.” Gently come back to your concentration.

For the first two or three days, do only this.  Then add the visualization on the candle flame for the rest of the week.                                                

 

2.    Should we do this once a day?

Yes, to start with, once each day is fire.  Later, if you choose to, you can do it twice and then increase the length of time.  But now, one time is enough.

 

3.       What is the best time of the day?

When your stomach is light is the best time to meditate.

 

4.         When I first tried this method, I had this problem.  First the image of the candle kept changing and it was very unsteady, as if it were being blown by the wind.  Then it caught something on fire and I had a forest fire beginning in my mind.. … Should I try to keep this from happening? How?

Don’t try to suddenly curb or stop your thoughts. Watch them first and see the tendencies of your mind and imagination.  Be patient with yourself.  Bring yourself back to the image of the steady flame.  But be aware and see the shapes, designs, colors and everything.  See the power of the imagination and go beyond it.

 

5.         What if I get sleepy?

Meditation helps you to drop tension.  You really don’t fall asleep but you lose awareness of your body.  This is called Yoganidra, the sleep which comes from yoga and meditation.  It is a very wonderful state.  Einstein once said that when he had “direct experience of silence” for a few minutes, he was more rested than if he had slept for five hours.  Sometimes people sleep for eight hours, but they are always chasing others and doing business in their dreams, so they are more tired when they wake up than when they went to sleep.  This meditation will make you calm so you will have the best kind of rest each night.

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What is Meditation? |Beinning Practice | Beginning Meditation: calming Down and Observing Yourself and Your Breathing| Developing One-Pointedness |Deeping Meditation: Emtrying and Focusing | Impediments to Growth: The Ego |Continuing Practice: Meditation on Hrim and Breathing |How Shall we Approach Life Through Meditation? |The Use of Mantras: Veerum and Sohum |Seeking Our True Nature |Deepening Meditation: who Am I? |Deepening  Meditation: Eliminating  Negative Traits |Meditation: The Art of Life and Experience of Light | Review |Meditation and the Art of Communication |Guided Meditation: Experiencing Light and Life| Meditation in Jain Philosophy|Sense Beyond the Senses| Perfection Is in Us|Realize What You Are
 

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