For him who has no concentration, there is no tranquility.
We live in a world that constantly urges us to multi-task, overload mentally, and over exert all around!
No matter how many studies are released that show that doing the opposite is actually more productive, we still have the “Oh look, a squirrel!” mentality!
We sit at lunch with our minds in multiple places: Facebook, email, the person in front of us and Words With Friends!
Our world, in a way, makes us feel as though we are proven worthy by just how much we can take on at once. In reality, it’s a habit, that once disassembled, will give you more clarity, more energy, and more ability to get the tasks at hand (mentally and emotionally) done in a calm, non-agitated manner.
Need more convincing? Listen to this stats! :
- Multitasking can reduce productivity by approximately 40-percent according to some researchers.
- Switching from one task to another makes it difficult to tune out distractions and can cause mental blocks that can slow down your progress.
- When people focus on two tasks simultaneously, each side of the brain tackles a different task. This suggests a two-task limit on what the human brain can handle. Taking on more tasks increases the likelihood of errors.
- The people who multitask the most tend to be impulsive, sensation-seeking, overconfident of their multitasking abilities, and they tend to be less capable of multitasking.
So take 5-10 minutes, close the 15 tabs open, the texts with 4 different people and stop the hustle and bustle of the hamster wheel that is your mind and try this tratak exercise!
Tratak, also known as gazing, not only helps in building your concentration, but helps to deepen anyone’s current (or just starting) meditation practice (winning!).
Let’s do this!
1.) Sit in a comfortable position (on the floor or a chair with your feet flat on the ground) making sure your spine is in an erect position, sans any straining.
2.) Place a lit candle (or open on your iPhone/iPad/Computer screen to the YouTube video provided makinf sure everything is silenced), at eye level and about 3 feet away from you.
3.)Steady your breathing, then start to gaze at the candle without blinking (kind of like the game you played as a kid…minus the lost lunch money if you blinked first).
4.) Look steadily and softly at the flame, eyes softened and no straining. If you eyes go out of focus, bring them gently back to the flame.
5.) When you’re ready (i.e. you’re eyes are watering, blinking sounds as good as an ice cream on a summer’s day, or straining as if you’re eyeballs just did a 100 crunches), close your eyes and keep the inner gaze steady, visualizing the flame.
6.) When the image of the flame has gone from your mind’s screen, open your eyes and repeat the process.
7.) When you’re ready to conclude/set timer goes off, take a few deep breaths and note how your mind feels.
Pretty simple! You can use other objects (flowers, buddha statue, etc.) for this exercise, as well! The directions aren’t cemented, so feel free to adjust to your comfort level/environment.
Try this a couple of times a week and see just what effect it has on your life!