November 1, 2004

Our life is hectic. Even more, our mind is restlessly moving.
Our inner state is often noticeable for outsiders as well. When
we are nervous or have difficulty being calm, this is reflected
in our behavior. We move around, change position, look
around, do our typical gestures, or otherwise keep in motion.
All of these are just reflections of our inner perpetual mover—
our mind. In other words, we have a very short concentration
span. Therefore, thinking is also very difficult. It requires us to
focus on one particular aspect and keep our mind fixed on the
item we are processing.

Concentration can be taught. We can train our mind to
become more controllable and under our will. Better concen-
tration enables us to perform our daily life better, thus helping
us to learn better and faster. We can observe, analyze, and per-
ceive more clearly. Being able to focus on one thing at a time
means that our effort can be directed to the very item we are
dealing with and all our capacity is dedicated to the task at
hand. Reading a book or listening to a lecture is easier if we
are not distracted by other thoughts or surrounding stimuli. A
distracted mind can be compared to a light bulb. It radiates in
all directions and, therefore, loses its illuminative power,
thanks to a lack of focus. A concentrated mind is like a laser
beam; it is very precise and powerful.

Clear and precise thoughts require a concentrated mind.
Good speech or articulation is based on focused effort and
well-prepared concepts. Concentration helps us communicate
and be better understood. But how do we accomplish it?
We need practice. And even more patience. One cannot
become masters overnight. Our mind requires continuous
exercise and training. This can be done at various levels, but
the good thing is that almost no matter what we do we can
turn it into a concentration practice. An easy start is to stop
doing many things at once. Turn off the radio if you’re writing
or checking your e-mail. Or listen to the radio, but don’t do
anything else—perform only one task at a time.

Training our memory is as important as improving our
concentration. Our mind and concentration are interlinked.
Stop making shopping lists and use your memory instead.
Also, when you catch your mind wandering from the topic
you’re thinking about, try to trace back your route to discover
how you got distracted. Acknowledge at every moment what
you’re doing. If you are walking or driving, concentrate on
doing this task. Gradually, you will become better and more
concentrated without an effort. By fragmenting our concen-
tration, we do many things poorly. Top artists and athletes
need total concentration to be successful—and they practice a
lot. Why shouldn’t we?

This is the original text, and an edited version can be found in the Fragments of Reality -book.