Dharana—Control of Thought
1. Constrain the mind to concentrate itself upon a single
simple object imagined.
The five tatwas are useful for this purpose; they are: a black
oval; a blue disk; a silver crescent; a yellow square; a red
2. Proceed to combinations of simple objects; e.g., a black
oval within a yellow square, and so on.
3. Proceed to simple moving objects, such as a pendulum
swinging, a wheel revolving, &c. Avoid living objects.
4. Proceed to combinations of moving objects, e.g., a piston
rising and falling while a pendulum is swinging. The relation
between the two movements should be varied in different
experiments. Or even a system of fly-wheels, eccentrics, and governor.
5. During these practices the mind must be absolutely
confined to the object determined upon; no other thought must
be allowed to intrude upon the consciousness. The moving
systems must be regular and harmonious.
6. Note carefully the duration of the experiments, the
number and nature of the intruding thoughts, the tendency of the
object itself to depart from the course laid out for it, and any
other phenomena which may present themselves. Avoid
over-strain. This is very important.
7. Proceed to imagine living objects; as a man, preferably
some man known to, and respected by, yourself.
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8. In the intervals of these experiments you may try to
imagine the objects of the other senses, and to concentrate upon
them. For example, try to imagine the taste of chocolate the smell
of roses, the feeling of velvet, the sound of a waterfall, or the
ticking of a watch.
9. Endeavour finally to shut out all objects of any of the
senses, and prevent all thoughts arising in your mind. When you
feel that you have attained some success in these practices, apply
for examination, and should you pass, more complex and
difficult practices will be prescribed for you.
Note: You can also prepare a string of beads to help mark your breaks in concentration as well. A kitchen time is also helpful to keep track of time without messing up your concentration.