If we watch ourselves carefully we could say that "we do not think". In fact, how can we think if we are not able to stop thinking?
There is a close relationship between thought activity and eye movement: If we can calm the eyes, our imagination will also become calm. Our thoughts have an extraordinary influence on our emotional states and on our reactions.
Our thoughts have an extraordinary influence on our emotional and nervous states. They serve as guidelines for nervous tension and our emotional and mental condition.
The thoughts which regularly cross our mind are real cornerstones upon which we construct our material life, and the emotional state they evoke is equivalent to their intent and quality.
If we are watching a violent scene in a movie, our muscles unconsciously imitate the action we are viewing.
We inadvertently reproduce muscular tensions we observe in other people. Therefore, people copy the tense state from all individuals they deal with on a daily basis.
One of the most damaging habits with regards to our thoughts is when we let our imagination wander, when we day-dream, or build castles in the air. After a time practicing this habit, the person gradually drifts away from reality, to such an extent that they confuse their imagination with reality.
One of the most important characteristics of thought is the lack of control we have over it. But, thought can be educated to a certain degree with our willpower.
There is an intimate relationship between imagination and the movement of one's eyes. Therefore, if we can calm our imagination, we can also calm our eyes. Consequently, if we relax our eyes, our imagination will become less active. One's eyes, therefore, are the instrument of control with which to dominate the imagination.
Mental concentration is defined as the capacity to focus our attention on one thing at a time, and exclude everything else. The more things an individual needs to attend to at once, the more divided his or her “I” will be.
Techniques for achieving concentration of the mind are invariably based on the individual voluntarily selecting a special emotional activity to which the person assigns complete importance, exclusivity, concentration and focus. When this happens, the individual is totally indifferent to everything outside of the object of interest.
The process of concentration by nature involves “a patient focusing of the imagination” that is deliberately carried out.
The only mental rest that is truly effective is when one can “make one’s mind blank,” which is a state of mental void where the flow of thought is temporarily suspended. A mental void is a momentary “paralysis” of the thought process. This is achieved voluntarily.
The following exercises are used to:
Why does the pendulum move? The movement of the pendulum follows the direction of the experimenter's imagination showing that slight unconscious movements made with his/her fingers give form to the image that existed in his/her mind.
What is revealed by the fact that the eyeballs move in the imagined direction? The movement of the eyeballs shows that there is a close relationship between thought and eye movement.
Exercise No. 1 - Relaxation and Thought Control
Exercise No. 2 - Mental Concentration
Take any object; place it on a table and observe it closely for three to five minutes until you perceive all its details. There must be no haste or worry about how long the exercise takes. You should rather be absorbed in the contemplation of the object.
After having observed it, close your eyes and try to reproduce it in your imagination as accurately as possible. Open your eyes and now compare the degree of likeness that you attained mentally with the actual object before you.
Exercise No. 3 - Mental Void
Sitting comfortably or lying on your back, close your eyes and begin to focus your attention upon them. After a while, you will notice contractions and movements of your eyeballs and a tendency to blink continuously, despite the fact that your eyes are closed. By using your willpower, you should try to stop the slight fluttering of your eyelids and the muscular tension of the eyes.
Persevere until you observe that all the nervous activity in both eyes and eyelids has disappeared. This ends the first stage.
Now, forget your eyes and fix your attention on your breathing, that is, feel each inhalation and exhalation, trying to identify with the slight movement of the expansion and contraction of the thorax.
Clearly feel the alteration of breathing in and out, in and out, in and out. You should NOT breathe deeply, just breathe normally.
After a while, when you feel that you have reached perfect identification with your breathing, you should forget the respiration process and focus your attention on the imaginative visualization of the color black, which should continue until it vanishes.
In order to evaluate the results of this training, please fill out the first stage of the self-evaluation before beginning (see below).
The student or practitioner should be able to:
During this first stage, the individual achieves physical and mental relaxation. This exercise allows one to achieve a parallel vision, that is, vision that does not converge, but which is precisely what provokes the desired state of relaxation.
During this period, the intent is to increase the intensity of the attention. This reinforces the unity of the “I” by observing an object for a certain amount of time.
This period strives to achieve complete rest of the mind without the presence of thought.
Do all the exercises deliberately throughout the day, integrating them with your activities.
Education of thoughts for improving concentration
To assist with the self-evaluation process, we will point out some characteristics that indicate a high level of consciousness.
We recommend that you print this self-evaluation and complete it twice.
Evaluate these aspects and choose the appropriate answer:
|Level of Vital Energy||High||Average||Low|
|Level of Relaxation||Good||Average||Bad|
|Ability to Concentrate||High||Average||Low|
|Level of Anguish||Low||Average||High|
|Level of Tolerance||High||Average||Low|
Come to your own conclusions about what you have achieved through your experience of practicing the exercise:
Check whether most of your answers were A, B, or C and according to the results read the corresponding paragraph.
If your final answers were mostly A, it means that you are carrying out a conscious and real work. Keep it up! Increase the frequency and impeccability of each of these exercises. You have discovered a new way to consolidate yourself as a person focused on forming an individual identity.
If your final answers were mostly B, it means that your level of achievement is moderate and it shows that perhaps you need to commit yourself more in order to be more constant. Even though you have been able to improve certain aspects, there is still room for further improvement.
If your final answers are mostly C, it implies a deficient level of achievement. Remember that the unconscious mechanisms of our behavior are difficult to overcome unless we use a great deal of willpower and are highly motivated from within. Try again, because, while practicing these exercises you will surely discover that you actually did feel inner peace and harmony. The results that will improve your life are waiting for you. It is all up to you.
In any case: compare your results and notice where you improved and where you did not improve. This will give you an idea of the direction you must take from now on. We all have aspects that are more difficult for us to overcome. These are the things we are stuck on and that drain our vital energy.
Raising one's level of consciousness permits the individual to get closer to reality and face life's difficulties with power and firmness. When one raises one's level of consciousness, one can remain optimistic and full of "joie de vivre," understanding that all experiences can be used for one's spiritual, moral and intellectual improvement, in other words, for one's total and complete development.