During your spiritual practice, sadhana, you don’t have to be preoccupied by too many things at the same time; don’t talk and don’t walk too much, don’t eat and don’t sleep too much. But, watch your five senses attentively.
Many exterior activities will tend to distract your mind: much talking will disturb it, long walks will exhaust it and too much food will make it lazy and sleepy.
THE KEY TO THE PARANORMAL POWERS
Pratyahara is the key to obtain the so-called paranormal powers referring to resistance to cold, heat, pain, etc. These powers are not usually available to beings having a low level of consciousness.
The effects of this technique can be absolutely amazing but you must not forget a very important aspect: Pratyahara is focus of the attention inwards and a method to get into your inner world as well as into your mind.
If you try to use it for gaining paranormal powers, you neglect the essential goal of yoga practice.
The aim of this technique is not to isolate yourself from the exterior world or to back away from society: Pratyahara means the opening of a gate into your own mind.
You cannot domesticate a wild horse unless you catch and enclose it. This is the only way you can educate it. In this analogy, the horse is the senses and Pratyahara is the fence.
Through PRATYAHARA you can obtain perfect control over your sense organs. This process truly relaxes your mind and confers upon it a profound state of peace. This will have an incredible effect on the quality of your thinking.
But you must not forget that the main goal in Pratyahara is to open the gate to your inner world, which will allow you to begin the exploration of your own self, the final scope of yoga practice.
WHAT IS ATTENTION?
Attention is a form of selective mental focus on an object. Attention implies the activation, mobilization, concentration and selective orientation of the mental processes in a precise direction.
Attention can be inner (when focused on an inner object), or exterior (when focused on an exterior object).
Inner attention is the starting point in the process of introspection (the removal of your own thoughts), which is very important for self-knowing. In yoga, attention must be entirely controlled by will power.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ATTENTION
Stability – in other words, the persistence of attention which means the degree in which the practitioner is able to continuously focus his attention on a phenomenon for a certain period of time.
Concentration – it is the ability to focus on a single object.
Flexibility – it is the speed it takes to move the attention from one object to another.
Distribution – it is the ability of the attention to comprehend two or more objects in the same time.
Size – it is the degree in which the attention can comprehend, at a certain moment, a big number of phenomena. This aspect can be achieved through a controlled expansion of the consciousness.