The essence of mental focus

Italian version

This exercise is the natural continuation of the two previous meditations: after learning to observe the flow of thoughts and regulate its use by applying it exclusively to the activity carried out, the time has come to focus our attention on a single point.

Sit in your usual position, close your eyes and choose a thought connected to an object, a representation, an idea, what you prefer or that comes to your mind at that moment. Exclude everything that is not relevant to the choice; for example, if you choose an object, you can see its shape, colour, how to use it, and so on. When dealing with a symbol, we investigate the thoughts it arouses, the connections, the branches, etc.

Unlike the previous exercise, you draw attention to the sequence of ideas aroused by the chosen thought. The first mental exercise taught us to keep attention emotionally detached from the flow of thoughts. It is what we need to do here, applying it this time to the background buzz that surrounds our attention when we focus on a specific theme.

The most common mistake is to drive out parasitic thoughts forcefully. By doing so, we focus our attention on the obstacles and not on the object of interest; the mind is distracted from wandering along secondary paths. If we compare the focus of thought with an increase in frequency, irrelevant thoughts become like a disturbance on the lower frequencies, which are always present but cannot affect our higher attunement. In this way, a little at a time, the centre of attention is no longer hindered by the outline of intrusive thoughts. In case of distractions, it is sufficient to bring attention back to the chosen thoughts by raising the frequency without worrying about isolating the background noise, which will disappear by itself.

As Bardon notes, the ability to concentrate will likely vary from a few seconds to a few minutes at first. When you reach at least ten minutes of applying the practice, you can consider the exercise finished, which shouldn’t take more than a week or two.