1. Examine one object in all its aspects and determine the various relationships between it and other objects in its vicinity. Analyze all its characteristics: composition, qualities, state, origin, destination, causes, effects, history, etc.
2. Examine a design or a plan containing a lot of details and then reproduce as many of them as you can, first mentally, and then on paper, attempting to remember all of them.
Focus on the main features of the item you selected and then the secondary ones, so finally you will end up remembering even the smallest details.
3. Analyze in your mind visual impressions (objects you have seen or landscapes you once admired), things or songs you heard in the past, tactile sensations, and finally olfactory and taste impressions.
4. Try to determine a person’s character or feelings according to the tones of their voice, the shape of their body, characteristics of their physiognomy and the nature of their attitude and gestures.
5. Propose to eliminate all useless, clumsy or mechanical gestures from your behavior and replace them with balanced gestures.
6. Try to speak rarely, focusing on the idea you wish to express, and the precise words to express it. Make a habit of this exercise and remove all words with negative connotations from your vocabulary.
7. Suspend any movement of the body and any involuntary mental activity, in other words dismiss any uncontrolled, chaotic thoughts. Go back on the track of your thoughts to the point where they began, where there is no divergence, no duality and no agitation.
After all these exercises, appreciate the quality of your memories, so that you may appreciate your attention to its true value. Perform these exercises for several days in a row and pay attention to your progress.
The last of the seven exercises we are about to present, represent a superior stage in the process of concentration, of attention and they will ultimately allow us to open up new inner universes, whose depths and vastness may enrich us tremendously.
Keep in mind: The focus of your mind is better if you have a definite purpose, patience, tenacity, vigilance, and a continuity in your fight against mental disorder and agitation.
In time and with practice the power of your mind increases, eliminating useless preoccupations and desires. If additionally you practice mauna (the discipline of silence) for an hour or two each day, associated with pranayama, you will soon be surprised by the power you feel growing inside of you.
Caution: The power of the mind is practically limitless. Consequently, the more it is focused, the stronger it will become. The ultimate meaning of life is to focus on God. This is the supreme duty of any human being.
Maya, the cosmic illusion that makes us identify ourselves with our physical body, social position, name, reputation and forget our divine essence hinders the importance of this duty from our eyes.
Or, in Swami Sivananda’s words:
“The total sum of all the pleasures of this world is nothing compared to the exquisite bliss you experience in deep meditation and concentration. Do not abandon this practice. Continue it with patience, perseverance, happiness, tenacity and trust. Thus you will succeed.”