Concentration and awareness a definition

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Concentration means to focus one's attention on one point or object to the exclusion of all other things and thoughts. Generally, concentration is associated with suppression of extraneous thoughts.

Awareness is widely used in two different senses:

1. Awareness as a practice of witnessing.

2. Awareness as a spontaneous state of meditation; a state of perfect inner silence combined with heightened wakefulness.

In this text, and in the context of kriya yoga, the meaning of the word awareness will be as in the first definition. That is, awareness will mean the process of witnessing one's acts and thoughts. It means the process of dissociating oneself from the workings of the mind. The mind is allowed to do its own thing, to carry on its normal functioning without suppression, yet you cease to identify with it. This is awareness and can be applied in one's daily duties as well as in kriya yoga and other meditational techniques.

Unawareness means identification with objects, ideas, etc. This is called thought, when the awareness is ensnared and trapped by the objects of perception, whether inner or outer. This entanglement can be severed so that objects and ideas are separated from one's self-identification. That is, one remains a witness to all mental perceptions and physical actions. This is called awareness.

Awareness, according to our definition, also implies that no forceful attempt is made to concentrate the mind by suppressing thoughts. This is particularly important in kriya yoga1.

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