The Power Of Concentrated Thought

Concentration

The thoughts that we create are of different nature, different intensity and their quantity also varies from time to time during a particular day as well as night and also depending on what action we are performing at that particular moment of time or not performing any action at all. They possess immense potential or power, both positive and negative. They can either liberate (or empower) us or limit (weaken) us. This depends on what we think and how much we think.

The mind tends to jump from one place to another. Many of our thoughts filled with doubts, dejection, fears, insecurity, irritation, worry, comparisons which give rise to emotions like jealousy or inferiority / superiority complexes, desires, un-enthusiasm, etc. are useless thoughts and weaken us. They defocus us and cloud our inner clarity. Sometimes we keep repeating certain type of thoughts inside our mind, we keep going round in circles. Most of the time, these repetitive thoughts are negative or waste in nature related to the emotions mentioned above. Sometimes the repetitive thoughts can be necessary or positive also. Even necessary and positive thoughts, when repeated again and again, turn into the superfluous (excess) or waste. So it’s important to think in a higher, concentrated way – think less and think powerful; such thoughts have a lot of clarity, focus and spiritual force that help us to put them into practice more successfully. A single thought or a series of thoughts can block the capacity to feel content and awakened spiritually and make us sorrowful. On the other hand, a single thought or a series of positive thoughts can be the key to open the door that allows us to access, enjoy and experience the richness of our inner self. But it has to be a pure, strong, clear and concentrated thought or thoughts.

One important component that doesn’t let us remain in the healthy and positive experience of concentrated thought is the many different types of influences we are exposed to in our life. There are two different types of influences – external and internal. These influences can also be called voices. Voices from outside as well as inside speak to us.

External influences or voices are of people whom we come in contact with at home, at the workplace, at school or college, at the club, in the media etc. or elsewhere. These people are those whom we either see as equals or look upto. They could be our friends, our parents, our spouse, our teacher, our guru, our doctor, our neighbor, our colleagues, our boss, actors or sportsmen whom we admire, even the daily newsreaders or writers, etc. We have been exposed to these influences right from the time we were born. The influences from all these people are not necessarily on a physical level, they can also be on a subtle level of mental vibrations from others. We interact with all or some of these people and spend time with them and whenever we do that they advise us or give us their opinion on a physical level and we also listen to their voices on a subtle, emotional energy level e.g.  we spend a lot many hours in the office. We may not interact with our boss all the time but his personality is constantly influencing everyone in the office on a subtle level, including us. The office environment is shaped largely by the head of the office. In the same way, we may be taking care that we listen only to the positive voices of the media and we do not listen to the negative ones, but the all pervading negative atmosphere that exists everywhere due to everyone being exposed to the news of violence, sorrow and impurity from the media, definitely influences us on a subtle level, even though we might not realize it. As children, we have been listening to the subtle voices of our parents, even when we were taking shape in our mother’s womb.

Some of the internal influences or voices include the influence or voice of:

* selfish or impure desires of name, fame, revenge, greed, remaining in control of a situation or a person or dominating a situation or a person;
* the ego;
* the past;
* our inner conscience;
* pure desires;
* the Supreme Being or God;
* our worries of the present or of the future;
* temporary negative sanskars or personality traits;
* original or inherent positive sanskars or personality traits;
* attachments to people, situations, material objects, etc.;
* jealousy or dislike for a particular person, etc.

We are exposed to some or all these influences, whether external or internal, all the time. If we are not strong, our mind weakens under so many influences, which as a result, becomes unclear, confused and unfocused. Because of all of this, on the one hand, we need to have good judgment power to remain connected to what is essential, important and true, and on the other hand, you have to strengthen your thought, that is, think less; think more slowly; more concentrated and clearly with focus, a sense of purpose and positivity. That thought is like an arrow; it has positive force and clarity and it always bears powerful fruit. This kind of thought is called concentrated thought. The practice of introversion or meditation for a minute or few minutes at regular intervals during the day helps us remain above all influences and constantly feeds our mind with the power of silence, which helps us remain in this experience of concentrated thought easily.

Meditation

Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address
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Thoughts As Energy

Just as the physical atmosphere is the result of climatic conditions and air quality, there is a subtle (non-physical) atmosphere which cannot be seen, heard or measured but can be experienced and influenced by the mind and analyzed by the intellect. It is variously described as the prevailing mood, the vibration and so on. What is the cause of this non-physical atmosphere, these vibrations?

Thought has been proven to be a powerful yet non-physical energy, which can influence other souls and matter. Thoughts, emotions, desires and moods generate a field around the soul, just like an electric field, can be called positive, negative or neutral, depending on the quality of its effect on other souls and on matter. When a large number of souls are all experiencing positive thoughts, feelings and emotions, then the atmosphere becomes charged with positivity. When they are experiencing negative emotions, the opposite happens.

Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Warm Regards,
Awakening With Brahma Kumaris

Changing My Thought Patterns

Why is it that we can’t change the pattern of our thoughts so easily? Imagine a bird being so comfortable in its nest that, though perhaps sometimes it stands on the branch of the tree to inflate its chest and adjust its feathers, it never wants to fly and does not even realize it could fly. It never knows the blissful freedom of flight, never feels the wind through its wings.  It thinks the other birds that are flying around are unwise or foolish.  In much the same way, we never really leave our nests of old thought patterns. Our habitual thoughts become our comfort zone and each repetitive thought pattern is like a twig in the nest, which makes the nest stronger and our stay in the nest seemingly comfortable and permanent.  We never experience our true spiritual freedom or flight or feel the breeze of our inner beautiful nature.  Even the thought, “I am a soul” has to be realized eventually, so that we can actually experience its deepest truth.

In the world of spirituality, thoughts are like the map, but they are not the territory nor the reality of the experience.  Thinking – * I am a peaceful soul or * I am a loveful soul or * I am a powerful soul, is not being soul-conscious, it is only theory or knowledge, but it is definitely an essential start.  Maps are important and necessary, until we know the way home to experience. Reaching this final destination of experience makes it easier for us and empowers us to transform or change our old thought patterns.

Factors That Shape Our Perception

The factors that contribute to creating our perception (way of looking at the self, situations, people, etc.) are our memories, experiences, beliefs, values, people, places, situations and time. Out of all these factors there are two which are chiefly responsible for creating our perception: our beliefs and our experiences.

The first thing you should do is have a clearer perception of yourself. You should develop the perception of who you really are and what your true identity is. This does not refer to the image you see every day in the mirror. Your external appearance or physical beauty, your age, your gender, your occupation, your status in society should not be the basis for your self-perception. You may live with others or alone, have a family, run a business or have a job, which you undertake with responsibility. What is your conscience, however, while you are doing these tasks? This will lead you to a clear perception of yourself.

We have been brought up and conditioned to have a perception of everything that is external: perception of other people at the workplace or in the family, of other countries, of movies, of the country’s cricket team, of what our neighbors are doing, of the government and so on. However, the last thing we have a perception of is ourselves. We thus lose the internal link with our own happiness and our own peace. When we re-establish the perception of our true identity (the correct way of looking at ourselves) based on spiritual knowledge, we are capable of recognizing all the false beliefs about ourselves that have taken root in our inner selves. When we discover these beliefs we are capable of recognizing those sanskars of ourselves we need to change.

If someone believes that Indians are very generous, good-hearted people, and they have this ingrained in their subconscious, this thought will form part of their perception of India. Perhaps not only part of their perception: they may even identify fully with this belief. In other words, the thought becomes a belief and finally one identifies with the belief. The same holds true for any negative belief about anything or anyone.

There are four main criteria that may influence how our perception of reality is distorted or altered (changed). These are:

Mental Positioning
Mental position is the internal position from which we see situations, and may be positive or negative.  For example, we are really excited about owning a new car, but after buying it we start worrying about where to park it, if it may be stolen or we might meet with an accident. Another example is that of the professional who has always dreamt of being promoted at work and, when he gets it, starts to fear losing it. According to our mental positioning we experience fear (a negative state of mind) or we feel confident (a positive one). A correct mental positioning broadens our conscience and improves our lives and relationships.

To live in the present in a relaxed way and planning the future with an open and optimistic view, we should be able to free ourselves from preconceived ideas and the influences that dominate our perceptions. To do this, the best mental position is that of being an impartial observer. In this way we can observe, recognize and transform (change) those thoughts, attitudes that cause us pain, anxiety and stress.

Mental Limits
It is said that the solution to important problems we face cannot be obtained in the same consciousness (state of mind) we are in when we create them (the problems) – the consciousness needs to be changed to see the solution.

Mental limits are those which we have imposed on our mind. We create these limits ourselves or they can come as a result of our education, the family environment and the society in which we live. For example, at work a mental limit is always thinking in the same way. So we always take the same decisions and get the same results. Experience itself may also generate mental limits. You think you know how to do certain things and these convictions act as mental limits. The greater the mental limitation, the greater will be resistance to change. Due to the mental limits, we usually have a series of readily prepared responses. They are excuses and justifications that provide us with poor results. We are always trying to solve problems using the same formula and this often causes stress because we cannot find the answer.

The main mental limits are related to identity. We create a very narrow and limited image of ourselves. * I am a man, * I am a woman, * I am a Christian or a Gujarati, * I’m young, * I’m old, * I am white or black. The image we have of ourselves may be limited, because we do not have sufficient knowledge of our own resources, virtues, values, and identity.  A deep investigation into our inner selves will help us to change the image we have of ourselves.

Trapped by mental limits, human beings in general only use 10 per cent of their inner potential, and the other 90 per cent is available but is not used due to oversight (overlooking) or the lack of awareness that they have it. Meditating helps us to cross these mental limits. Meditation takes us to a higher dimension over our physical identity that releases us from these limits. Throughout our lives, and especially during our childhood, many impressions are formed about ourselves, since at the very beginning of our lives we do not know who we are or who we should be, until we learn it from those around us, who are older, and who know more things and who presumably love us.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make in our lives is to refer only to the opinions of others to work out who we really are. e.g. When a parent tells a child – * You are extremely naughty, * You are ignorant or * You are lazy, the child is creating negative and false images about himself (or herself). It is quite possible that the child has said or done something wrong, but this does not mean that we label the child negatively. It was their behavior that was bad. It is important to establish the difference between – * You are a naughty child and * It is incorrect to fight with your sibling.

Due to the fact that many people label others based on their behavior  negative beliefs are created that are not based on what is true and genuine, and these beliefs may be dragged along throughout the person’s life – which then function like mental limits in the life of that person.

Associated Memories
We have many associated memories: in fact, all addictions are associated memories. For example, the cigarette addict associates many moments during the day to cigarette smoking (after lunch, while seeing someone else smoking, in the restaurant with friends, coming out of work, etc.). Another example is when we have listened to a song over and over again. If after a few years we hear it again, not only do the words and tune emerge, but also the memories associated with the song. In our relationships, associated memories create barriers when we relate to others, since the memories we associate with certain people and situations means that we nearly always see them in a specific way and do not give them the chance to change and improve. This limited and unchanged vision that we sometimes have of others leads to misunderstandings when communicating.

Assumptions
They are images created in advance in our intellect and which work in a sub conscious way, just like associated memories. By assuming, guessing or imagining, we create a series of assumptions that influence our perception and stop us from recognizing the reality. For example, we hear our name being discussed by a group of people and we think that people are speaking wrongly about us. If we learn to rid ourselves of a whole series of assumptions that affect our communication and relationships, our perception of reality will not be distorted or altered (changed). The best way of eliminating these preconceptions is through open, concise and precise communication in order to clear up any misunderstandings.

Different Thought Types

By understanding each one of the thoughts that the mind creates we can keep the beneficial thoughts and discard those which are useless or harmful. Today we explain:

Necessary Thoughts

Necessary thoughts are those relating to your daily routine, such as,

* What am I going to have for dinner?
* What time am I picking up the children from school?
* What is the number of my bank account?
* What have I got to do today …. etc.?

They are also thoughts connected with your profession or job. These necessary thoughts related to your daily life come into your mind according to your responsibilities and needs at a more physical, material and professional level. When these thoughts are repeated over and over again, they become unnecessary or waste thoughts.

Waste Thoughts

Waste thoughts are thoughts that are produced at untimely moments that fill us with worry and anxiety when they appear in our minds. They have no constructive use. Unnecessary and useless thoughts are quick and repetitive which lead you nowhere. Often they refer to things from the past:

* If this hadn’t happened …
* Why did she have to say that to me?

Too many thoughts are about things that we cannot change, or worries about the future:

* What will happen tomorrow?
* How will it happen?
* What will I do if I find myself on my own?
* If I had been there at the time, this disaster would not have happened.
* If I had had this information at the time, I would have won the case.
* When I get the degree, I will be more respected by my superiors.

Your ability to concentrate is weakened by these useless thoughts. If you have a lot of these thoughts you use more energy and time to undertake each task. The origins of negativity also reside in them.

From the time that the past has already passed and the future is yet to come, these kinds of thoughts are not useful and they also weaken your inner strength and exhaust you. It is vital that we learn to avoid this pattern of thinking. In this way you will be more focused and your decision making capacity will improve.

Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts not only harm you but have an impact on others also. These thoughts disturb your peace and weaken your inner strength. If these thoughts occur on a regular basis, they can cause health problems, both physical and mental. They can even become destructive.

Negative thoughts are based on the five vices primarily – lust, anger, greed, ego, attachment. They are chiefly caused by selfish and harmful reasons, without taking into account the values and inner qualities of the person e.g.

* I think they should pay me more without having to do any more work to earn it (greed).

Negative thoughts also arise from unsatisfied expectations, in disagreements, in laziness, revenge, racism, jealousy, criticism, hate and an excess of power.

* My boss never appreciates my work but he always values my colleagues more (jealousy).

Positive Thoughts

Positive thoughts are those thoughts which give us and others the experience of our original virtues like peace, love, joy, purity and power. They enable us to collect inner strength and equip us to wear a constructive attitude. Positive thinking means looking at what is beneficial in all circumstances, without being trapped in what is visible externally in those particular situations. Thinking positively involves looking at problems and recognizing realities, but at the same time being able to find solutions without being confused and experiencing feelings of powerlessness. This often requires tolerance, patience, peace and spiritual wisdom.

Positive thoughts make one internally strong and as a result our expectations of others decrease. This does not mean that they do not matter to us, but that we no longer demand love, respect, recognition, etc. from them, which is the best way to create long-lasting and harmonious relationships.

A person who thinks positively is aware of the weaknesses of others, but even then will direct his/her attention towards their positive sanskaras or personality traits. When we have inner happiness and are filled with positive energy, we have the strength to accept other people as they are without wanting them to be different. This acceptance produces more stable relationships.

Positive Consciousness While Performing Actions

1. The seeds, the inspirations, planted in sitting meditation should be carried into action. Powerful thoughts carried straight away into action always yield powerful results.

2. The remembrance should be that the soul is the child and student of the Supreme Being (Supreme Soul) and should reflect the father and teacher through its actions.

3. The remembrance of the Supreme Soul as a constant companion sustains an internal relationship with Him whilst performing actions.

4. Churn (think deeply) over points of spiritual knowledge by relating them to your immediate karmas (actions).

5. Practice going beyond sound in one second. At different times during the day, stop, pack up all worldly thoughts and spend a few minutes in meditation. This is a really powerful way to strengthen the intellect. After a few minutes, return to the world of sound with the reinforced awareness of being an actor.

6. Practice seeing all those who come into contact with you as souls, tiny points of conscient (living energy) light situated at the centre of the forehead. In this way we wiII not be pulled into body consciousness, and will avoid negative interactions with others.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.

Mental Clarity Or Focus

To strengthen yourself you need to have mental clarity or focus. That is possible if there is not so much of excessive thought, so as to generate clouds of unhappiness, suffering, grief, indecision, doubts and negativity – thoughts that your mind produces, thoughts that are weak, useless or wasteful. All of these thoughts cloud your own clarity. Mental focus means to think less, think concretely, concentrate, think in an elevated way, and your thought will have an energy of clarity and inner strength that will help you to put it into practice with greater success. You should strengthen yourself to achieve a state of self-control. For this, you need to study yourself, know yourself and understand yourself. You need inner silence, for there not to be so much mental chatter (noise) from thinking, thinking, thinking and thinking.

On top of that, other people influence you and so you generate even more thoughts. There are so many influences and inner voices that speak to you. With all of that there cannot be clarity. There is the voice of your fears, of your ego, that of desires and greed, there are influences of the past, thoughts emerging from your values, influences of your neighbors, your children, your husband or wife, your mother or father, the influence of your office colleague’s opinion, or your best friend, your doctor, your guru, etc. You can listen to many inner and outer voices and, if you are not strong, your mind weakens under so many influences, which has negative effects on your clarity of mind. Because of all of this you have to strengthen your mind, which means, think less; think slower, concentrated and clear thought; with sense and meaning; of quality, based on a healthy and positive motivation. These thoughts are then like arrows, which have positive strength and clarity.

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Positive Reflections For The Day are messages sent by the Brahma Kumaris. If you are not receiving Positive Reflections already and would like to receive it daily, from the Brahma Kumaris, please send an email to the email address awakeningwithbks@bkmail.org with – Subscribe – written in the subject.