(Parts of the following questions and answers have been paraphrased from Sri Chinmoy’s writings)
In order to learn meditation, we often teach beginners a few concentration exercises, as that leads people most easily towards the discipline necessary to truly meditate.
What do you mean by “concentration”?
Sri Chinmoy: Concentration is the well-known practice of focusing all one’s attention on a single object or person in order to enter into and feel a connection with that object or person. The final stage of concentration is to discover and reveal the highest Truth in the object of concentration. What concentration can do in our daily life is unimaginable.
What is the best point we can use to fix our gaze for concentration?
Sri Chinmoy: It depends on what works best for you. Some people find it easier to gaze at a candle-flame and concentrate, while others find it easier to focus on a beautiful flower. You may prefer to look at the rising sun and concentrate. So if the individual receives a kind of inner happiness when concentrating on a particular object, he should concentrate on that object in order to practice this technique.
Please be aware that the practice of concentration & meditation techniques requires regular effort, preferably daily, as well as a patient attitude.
What is patience?
Patience is an inner virtue. Unfortunately, not only are we often somewhat lacking in this divine virtue, but also we neglect it to our own detriment.
Patience can never be forced upon you from outside. It represents your own inner wealth, wisdom, peace and victory.
Patience will never convince us that something is a hopeless task. Patience will tell us either that we are not ready or that the time is not ripe. We may have the feeling that we are ready, but we have to know if our inner being, our whole being, is not ready.
We have to feel that patience is not something passive. No, it is something dynamic. In patience we develop our inner strength & our inner will power. It is true that if we have will power we can definitely acquire patience. But it is also true that when we have patience, our inner will power develops itself in a special way.