An excerpt from Chapter 1 of a book (A Beginner’s Course in Meditation) by Devaki Groulx:
(please see previous article, ABC’s of meditation, ch1, part 2.)
ABC’s of meditation, ch1, part 3: Concentration Exercises
Technique # 2: CONCENTRATION ON A FLOWER
Any flower will do, but I find a rose is best because of its beautiful fragrance and large petals. Make sure your back is straight and you are breathing normally and quietly. Concentrate on the entire rose. Identify with what the rose represents – beauty and self-giving. Feel these beautiful qualities within yourself.
Now look at one petal of the rose and see nothing but that petal. Now go back to the entire rose and see only it. After a few minutes close your eyes and see the rose inside your mind. See its perfect shape, its colour, and its fragrance. See nothing but the rose.
If unrelated thoughts come to you, ignore them and they will stop bothering you. They can only disturb your concentration IF YOU GIVE THEM IMPORTANCE.
Now FEEL the beauty, purity and joyfulness a rose exudes.
Identify with these special qualities and see them inside yourself. Picture the rose inside the very centre of your chest. This is where the real YOU abides. See the beautiful rose there and feel and know that your soul or spirit is beautiful.
Any time during the day that you may feel a little down, remember the beauty of the rose inside your mind and inside your spiritual heart (situated in the centre of your chest), and it will comfort you. This means the real YOU is starting to come forward. Sometimes you may find it difficult to concentrate on an object. If this is the case, you can try concentration on a WORD.
I find this very effective for focusing and quieting the mind.
TECHNIQUE # 3: CONCENTRATION ON A WORD
This word should evoke a positive and productive feeling inside you. I find the most effective words are spiritual qualities such a joy, happiness, peace , light, sincerity, honesty or anything you feel you NEED in your life. If you repeat this word out loud or silently, you will soon feel the essence of that quality filling your being. This is because you already have these special qualities within you and you are now recognizing them.
For a very special experience try repeating the name of God in whatever form you see or feel ‘Him’ or ‘Her’ or ‘It’. I have found the repetition of the word ‘Supreme’ over and over invokes a very special presence within myself and leads me directly from concentration into meditation. When you invoke a powerful word, it must be done with utmost sincerity and feeling. Repeat the word slowly and in a soulful manner. FEEL the essence of the word as you say it. FEEL it spreading throughout your entire being. If your mind tries to intrude with other thoughts, ignore them and go back to your special word.
Now you are ready to try meditation. In the following chapters we will explore various ways of achieving this wonderful state of being.
(please see next post, ABC’s of meditation, ch2, part 1.)