Yoga Practice



In our first three lessons of this series, we have endeavored to bring into bot="HTMLMarkup" endspan i-checksum="21693" --> realization within your mind (1) the consciousness of the "I"; its independence from the body; its immortality; its invincibility and invulnerability; (2) the superiority of the "I" over the mind, as well as over the body; the fact that the mind is not the "I," but is merely an instrument for the expression of the "I"; the fact that the "I" is master of the mind, as well as of the body; that the "I" is behind all thought; that the "I" can set aside for consideration the sensations, emotions, passions, desires, and the rest of the mental phenomena, and still realize that it, the "I," is apart from these mental manifestations, and remains unchanged, real and fully existent; that the "I" can set aside any and all of its mental tools and instruments, as "not I" things, and still consciously realize that after so setting them aside there remains something--itself--the "I" which cannot be set aside or taken from; that the "I" is the master of the mind, and not its slave; (3) that the "I" is a much greater thing than the little personal "I" we have been considering it to be; that the "I" is a part of that great One Reality which pervades all the Universe; that it is connected with all other forms of life by countless ties, mental and spiritual filaments and relations; that the "I" is a Centre of Consciousness in that great One Reality or Spirit, which is behind and back of all Life and Existence, the Centre of which Reality or Existence, is the Absolute or God; that the sense of Reality that is inherent in the "I," is really the reflection of the sense of Reality inherent in the Whole--the Great "I" of the Universe.

The underlying principle of these three lessons is the Reality of the "I," in itself, over and above all Matter, Force, or Mind--positive to all of them, just as they are positive or negative to each other--and negative only to the Centre of the One--the Absolute itself. And this is the position for the Candidate or Initiate to take: "I am positive to Mind, Energy, and Matter, and control them all--I am negative only to the Absolute, which is the Centre of Being, of which Being I Am. And, as I assert my mastery over Mind, Energy, and Matter, and exercise my Will over them, so do I acknowledge my subordination to the Absolute, and gladly open my soul to the inflow of the Divine Will, and partake of its Power, Strength, and Wisdom."

In the present lesson, and those immediately following it, we shall endeavor to assist the Candidate or Initiate in acquiring a mastery of the subordinate manifestations, Matter, Energy, and Mind. In order to acquire and assert this mastery, one must acquaint himself with the nature of the thing to be controlled.

In our "Advanced Course" we have endeavored to explain to you the nature of the Three Great Manifestations, known as _Chitta_, or Mind-Substance; _Prana_, or Energy; and _Akasa_, or the Principle of Matter. We also explained to you that the "I" of man is superior to these three, being what is known as _Atman_ or Spirit. Matter, Energy, and Mind, as we have explained, are manifestations of the Absolute, and are relative things. The Yogi philosophy teaches that Matter is the grossest form of manifested substance, being below Energy and Mind, and consequently negative to, and subordinate to both. One stage higher than Matter, is Energy or Force, which is positive to, and has authority over, Matter (Matter being a still grosser form of substance), but which is negative to and subordinate to Mind, which is a still higher form of substance. Next in order comes the highest of the three--Mind--the finest form of substance, and which dominates both Energy and Matter, being positive to both. Mind, however is negative and subordinate to the "I," which is Spirit, and obeys the orders of the latter when firmly and intelligently given. The "I" itself is subordinate only to the Absolute--the Centre of Being--the "I" being positive and dominant over the threefold manifestation of Mind, Energy, and Matter.

The "I," which for the sake of the illustration must be regarded as a separate thing (although it is really only a Centre of Consciousness in the great body of Spirit), finds itself surrounded by the triple-ocean of Mind, Energy and Matter, which ocean extends into Infinity. The body is but a physical form through which flows an unending stream of matter, for, as you know the particles and atoms of the body are constantly changing; being renewed; replaced; thrown off, and supplanted. One's body of a few years ago, or rather the particles composing that body, have passed off and now form new combinations in the world of matter. And one's body of to-day is passing away and being replaced by new particles. And one's body of next year is now occupying some other portion of space, and its particles are now parts of countless other combinations, from which space and combinations they will later come to combine and form the body of next year. There is nothing permanent about the body--even the particles of the bones are being constantly replaced by others. And so it is with the Vital Energy, Force, or Strength of the body (including that of the brain). It is constantly being used up, and expended, a fresh supply taking its place. And even the Mind of the person is changeable, and the Mind-substance or _Chitta_, is being used up and replenished, the new supply coming from the great Ocean of Mind, into which the discarded portion slips, just as is the case with the matter and energy.

While the majority of our students, who are more or less familiar with the current material scientific conceptions, will readily accept the above idea of the ocean of Matter, and Energy, and the fact that there is a continual using up and replenishing of one's store of both, they may have more or less trouble in accepting the idea that Mind is a substance or principle amenable to the same general laws as are the other two manifestations, or attributes of substance. One is so apt to think of his Mind as "himself"--the "I." Notwithstanding the fact that in our Second Lesson of this series we showed you that the "I" is superior to the mental states, and that it can set them aside and regard and consider them as "not-I" things, yet the force of the habit of thought is very strong, and it may take some of you considerable time before you "get into the way" of realizing that your Mind is "something that you use," instead of being You--yourself. And yet, you must persevere in attaining this realization, for in the degree that you realize your dominance over your mind, so will be your control of it, and its amenability to that control. And, as is the degree of that dominance and control, so will be the character, grade and extent of the work that your Mind will do for you. So you see: _Realization brings Control_--_and Control brings results_. This statement lies at the base of the science of _Raja Yoga_. And many of its first exercises are designed to acquaint the student with that realization, and to develop the realization and control by habit and practice.

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that instead of Mind being the "I." it is the thing through and by means of which the "I" _thinks_, at least so far as is concerned the knowledge concerning the phenomenal or outward Universe--that is the Universe of Name and Form. There is a higher Knowledge locked up in the innermost part of the "I," that far transcends any information that it may receive about or from the outer world, but that is not before us for consideration at this time, and we must concern ourselves with the "thinking" about the world of things.

Mind-substance in Sanscrit is called "_Chitta_," and a wave in the _Chitta_ (which wave is the combination of Mind and Energy) is called "_Vritta_," which is akin to what we call a "thought." In other words it is "mind in action," whereas _Chitta_ is "mind in repose." _Vritta_, when literally translated means "a whirlpool or eddy in the mind," which is exactly what a thought really is.

But we must call the attention of the student, at this point, to the fact that the word "Mind" is used in two ways by the Yogis and other occultists, and the student is directed to form a clear conception of each meaning, in order to avoid confusion, and that he may more clearly perceive the two aspects of the things which the word is intended to express. In the first place the word "Mind" is used as synonymous with _Chitta_, or Mind-substance, which is the Universal Mind Principle. From this _Chitta_, Mind-substance, or Mind, all the material of the millions of personal minds is obtained. The second meaning of the word "Mind" is that which we mean when we speak of the "mind" of anyone, thereby meaning the mental faculties of that particular person--that which distinguishes his mental personality from that of another. We have taught you that this "mind" in Man, functions on three planes, and have called the respective manifestations (1) the Instinctive Mind; (2) the Intellect; and (3) the Spiritual Mind. (_See "Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy," etc._) These three mental planes, taken together, make up the "mind" of the person, or to be more exact they, clustered around the "I" form the "soul" of the individual. The word "soul" is often used as synonymous with "spirit" but those who have followed us will distinguish the difference. The "soul" is the Ego surrounded by its mental principles, while the Spirit is the "soul of the soul"--the "I," or Real Self.

The Science of _Raja Yoga_, to which this series of lessons is devoted, teaches, as its basic principle, the Control of the Mind. It holds that the first step toward Power consists in obtaining a control of one's own mind. It holds that the internal world must be conquered before the outer world is attacked. It holds that the "I" manifests itself in Will, and that that Will may be used to manipulate, guide, govern and direct the mind of its owner, as well as the physical world. It aims to clear away all mental rubbish, and encumbrances--to conduct a "mental house-cleaning," as it were, and to secure a clear, clean, healthy mind. Then it proceeds to control that mind intelligently, and with effect, saving all waste-power, and by means of concentration bringing the Mind in full harmony with the Will, that it may be brought to a focus and its power greatly increased and its efficiency fully secured. Concentration and Will-power are the means by which the Yogis obtain such wonderful results, and by which they manage and direct their vigorous, healthy minds, and master the material world, acting positively upon Energy and Matter. This control extends to all planes of the Mind and the Yogis not only control the Instinctive Mind, holding in subjection its lower qualities and making use of its other parts, but they also develop and enlarge the field of their Intellect and obtain from it wonderful results. Even the Spiritual Mind is mastered, and aided in its unfoldment, and urged to pass down into the field of consciousness some of the wonderful secrets to be found within its area. By means of _Raja Yoga_ many of the secrets of existence and Being--many of the Riddles of the Universe--are answered and solved. And by it the latent powers inherent in the constitution of Man are unfolded and brought into action. Those highly advanced in the science are believed to have obtained such a wonderful degree of power and control over the forces of the universe, that they are as gods compared with the ordinary man.

_Raja Yoga_ teaches that not only may power of this kind be secured, but that a wonderful field of Knowledge is opened out through its practice. It holds that when the concentrated mind is focused upon thing or subject, the true nature and inner meaning, of, and concerning, that thing or subject will be brought to view. The concentrated mind passes through the object or subject just as the X-Ray passes through a block of wood, and the thing is seen by the "I" as it _is_--in truth--and not as it had appeared before, imperfectly and erroneously. Not only may the outside world be thus explored, but the mental ray may be turned inward, and the secret places of the mind explored. When it is remembered that the bit of mind that each man possesses, is like a drop of the ocean which contains within its tiny compass all the elements that make up the ocean, and that to know perfectly the drop is to know perfectly the ocean, then we begin to see what such a power really means.

Many in the Western world who have attained great results in the intellectual and scientific fields of endeavor, have developed these powers more or less unconsciously. Many great inventors are practical Yogis, although they do not realize the source of their power. Anyone who is familiar with the personal mental characteristics of Edison, will see that he follows some of the _Raja Yoga_ methods, and that Concentration is one of his strongest weapons. And from all reports, Prof. Elmer Gates, of Washington, D.C., whose mind has unfolded many wonderful discoveries and inventions, is also a practical Yogi although he may repudiate the assertion vigorously, and may not have familiarized himself with the principles of this science, which he has "dropped into" unconsciously. Those who have reported upon Prof. Gates' methods, say that he fairly "digs out" the inventions and discoveries from his mind, after going into seclusion and practicing concentration, and what is known as the Mental Vision.

But we have given you enough of theory for one lesson, and must begin to give you directions whereby you may aid yourself in developing these latent powers and unfolding these dormant energies. You will notice that in this series we first tell you something about the theory, and then proceed to give you "something to do." This is the true Yogi method as followed and practiced by their best teachers. Too much theory is tiresome, and sings the mind to sleep, while too much exercise tires one, and does not give the inquiring part of his mind the necessary food. To combine both in suitable proportions is the better plan, and one that we aim to follow.


Before we can get the mind to do good work for us, we must first "tame" it, and bring it to obedience to the Will of the "I." The mind, as a rule, has been allowed to run wild, and follow its own sweet will and desires, without regard to anything else. Like a spoiled child or badly trained domestic animal, it gets into much trouble, and is of very little pleasure, comfort or use. The minds of many of us are like menageries of wild animals, each pursuing the bent of its own nature, and going its own way. We have the whole menagerie within us--the tiger, the ape, the peacock, the ass, the goose, the sheep the hyena, and all the rest. And we have been letting these animals rule us. Even our Intellect is erratic, unstable, and like the quicksilver to which the ancient occultists compared it, shifting and uncertain. If you will look around you you will see that those men and women in the world who have really accomplished anything worth while have trained their minds to obedience. They have asserted the Will over their own minds, and learned Mastery and Power in that way. The average mind chafes at the restraint of the Will, and is like a frisky monkey that will not be "taught tricks." But taught it must be, if it wants to do good work. And teach it you must if you expect to get any use from it--if you expect to use it, instead of having it use you.

And this is the first thing to be learned in _Raja Yoga_--this control of the mind. Those who had hoped for some royal road to mastery, may be disappointed, but there is only one way and that is to master and control the mind by the Will. Otherwise it will run away when you most need it. And so we shall give you some exercise designed to aid you in this direction.

The first exercise in _Raja Yoga_ Is what is called _Pratyahara_ or the art of making the mind introspective or turned inward upon itself. It is the first step toward mental control. It aims to turn the mind from going outward, and gradually turning it inward upon itself or inner nature. The object is to gain control of it by the Will. The following exercises will aid in that direction:


(a) Place yourself in a comfortable position, and so far as possible free from outside disturbing influences. Make no violent effort to control the mind, but rather allow it to run along for a while and exhaust its efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity, and will jump around like an unchained monkey at first, until it gradually slows down and looks to you for orders. It may take some time to tame down at first trial, but each time you try it will come around to you in shorter time. The Yogis spend much time in acquiring this mental peace and calm, and consider themselves well paid for it.

(b) When the mind is well calmed down, and peaceful, fix the thought on the "I Am," as taught in our previous lessons. Picture the "I" as an entity independent of the body; deathless; invulnerable; immortal; real. Then think of it as independent of the body, and able to exist without its fleshly covering. Meditate upon this for a time, and then gradually direct the thought to the realization of the "I" as independent and superior to the mind, and controlling same. Go over the general ideas of the first two lessons, and endeavor to calmly reflect upon them and to see them in the "mind's eye." You will find that your mind is gradually becoming more and more peaceful and calm, and that the distracting thoughts of the outside world are farther and farther removed from you.

(c) Then let the mind pass on to a calm consideration of the Third Lesson, in which we have spoken of the Oneness of All, and the relationship of the "I" to the One Life; Power; Intelligence; Being. You will find that you are acquiring a mental control and calm heretofore unknown to you. The exercises in the first three lessons will have prepared you for this.

(d) The following is the most difficult of the variations or degrees of this exercise, but the ability to perform it will come gradually. The exercise consists in gradually shutting out all thought or impression of the outside world; of the body; and of the thoughts themselves, the student concentrating and meditating upon the word and idea "I AM," the idea being that he shall concentrate upon the idea of mere "being" or "existence," symbolized by the words "I Am." Not "I am _this_," or "I am _that_," or "I _do_ this," or "I _think_ that," but simply: "I _AM_." This exercise will focus the attention at the very centre of Being within oneself, and will gather in all the mental energies, instead of allowing them to be scattered upon outside things. A feeling of Peace, Strength, and Power will result, for the affirmation, and the thought back of it, is the most powerful and strongest that one may make, for it is a statement of Actual Being, and a turning of the thought inward to that truth. Let the mind first dwell upon the word "I," identifying it with the Self, and then let it pass on to the word "AM," which signifies Reality, and Being. Then combine the two with the meanings thereof, and the result a most powerful focusing of thought inward, and most potent Statement of Being.

It is well to accompany the above exercises with a comfortable and easy physical attitude, so as to prevent the distraction of the attention by the body. In order to do this one should assume an easy attitude and then relax every muscle, and take the tension from every nerve, until a perfect sense of ease, comfort and relaxation is obtained. You should practice this until you have fully acquired it. It will be useful to you in many ways, besides rendering Concentration and Meditation easier. It will act as a "rest cure" for tired body, nerves, and mind.


The second step in _Raja Yoga_ is what is known as _Dharana_, or Concentration. This is a most wonderful idea in the direction of focusing the mental forces, and may be cultivated to an almost incredible degree, but all this requires work, time, and patience. But the student will be well repaid for it. Concentration consists in the mind focusing upon a certain subject, or object, and being held there for a time. This, at first thought seems very easy, but a little practice will show how difficult it is to firmly fix the attention and hold it there. It will have a tendency to waver, and move to some other object or subject, and much practice will be needed in order to hold it at the desired point. But practice will accomplish wonders, as one may see by observing people who have acquired this faculty, and who use it in their everyday life. But the following point should be remembered. Many persons have acquired the faculty of concentrating their attention, but have allowed it to become almost involuntary, and they become a slave to it, forgetting themselves and everything else, and often neglecting necessary affairs. This is the ignorant way of concentrating, and those addicted to it become slaves to their habits, instead of masters of their minds. They become day-dreamers, and absent-minded people, instead of Masters. They are to be pitied as much as those who cannot concentrate at all. The secret is in a mastery of the mind. The Yogis can concentrate at will, and completely bury themselves in the subject before them, and extract from it every item of interest, and can then pass the mind from the thing at will, the same control being used in both cases. They do not allow fits of abstraction, or "absent-mindedness" to come upon them, nor are they day-dreamers. On the contrary they are very wide awake individuals; close observers; clear thinkers; correct reasoners. They are masters of their minds, not slaves to their moods. The ignorant concentrator buries himself in the object or subject, and allows it to master and absorb himself, while the trained Yogi thinker asserts the "I," and then directs his mind to concentrate upon the subject or object, keeping it well under control and in view all the time. Do you see the difference? Then heed the lesson.

The following exercises may be found useful in the first steps of Concentration:

(a) Concentrate the attention upon some familiar object--a pencil, for instance. Hold the mind there and consider the pencil to the exclusion of any other object. Consider its size; color; shape; kind of wood. Consider its uses, and purposes; its materials; the process of its manufacture, etc., etc., etc. In short think as many things about the pencil as possible allowing the mind to pursue any associated by-paths, such as a consideration of the graphite of which the "lead" is made; the forest from which came the wood used in making the pencil; the history of pencils, and other implements used for writing, etc. In short exhaust the subject of "Pencils." In considering a subject under concentration, the following plan of synopsis will be found useful. Think of the thing in question from the following view-points:

(1) The thing itself.

(2) The place from whence it came.

(3) Its purpose or use.

(4) Its associations.

(5) Its probable end.

Do not let the apparently trivial nature of the inquiry discourage you, for the simplest form of mental training is useful, and will help to develop your Will and Concentration. It is akin to the process of developing a physical muscle by some simple exercise, and in both cases one loses sight of the unimportance of the exercise itself, in view of the end to be gained.

(b) Concentrate the attention upon some part of the body--the hand for instance, and fixing your entire attention upon it, shut off or inhibit all sensation from the other parts of the body. A little practice will enable you to do this. In addition to the mental training, this exercise will stimulate the part of the body concentrated upon, for reasons that will appear in future lessons. Change the parts of the body concentrated upon, and thus give the mind a variety of exercises, and the body the effect of a general stimulation.

(c) These exercises may be extended indefinitely upon familiar objects about you. Remember always, that the thing in itself is of no importance, the whole idea being to train the mind to obey the Will, so that when you really wish to use the mental forces upon some important object, you may find them well trained and obedient. Do not be tempted to slight this part of the work because it is "dry" and uninteresting, for it leads up to things that are most interesting, and opens a door to a fascinating subject.

(d) Practice focusing the attention upon some abstract subject--that is upon some subject of interest that may offer a field for mental exploration. Think about the subject in all its phases and branches, following up one by-path, and then another, until you feel that you know all about the subject that your mind has acquired. You will be surprised to find how much more you know about any one thing or subject than you had believed possible. In hidden corners of your mind you will find some useful or interesting information about the thing in question, and when you are through you will feel well posted upon it, and upon the things connected with it. This exercise will not only help, to develop your intellectual powers, but will strengthen your memory, and broaden your mind, and give you more confidence in yourself. And, in addition, you will have taken a valuable exercise in Concentration or _Dharana_.

_The Importance of Concentration._

Concentration is a focusing of the mind. And this focusing of the mind requires a focusing, or bringing to a center, of the Will. The mind is concentrated because the Will is focused upon the object. The mind flows into the mould made by the Will. The above exercises are designed not only to accustom the mind to the obedience and direction of the Will, but also tend to accustom the Will to command. We speak of strengthening the Will, when what we really mean is training the mind to obey, and accustoming the Will to command. Our Will is strong enough, but we do not realize it. The Will takes root in the very center of our being--in the "I," but our imperfectly developed mind does not recognize this tact. We are like young elephants that do not recognize their own strength, but allow themselves to be mastered by puny drivers, whom they could brush aside with a movement. The Will is back of all action--all doing--mental and physical.

We shall have much to say touching the Will, in these lessons and the student should give the matter his careful attention. Let him look around him, and he will see that the great difference between the men who have stepped forward from the ranks, and those who remain huddled up in the crowd, consists in Determination and Will. As Buxton has well said: "The longer I live, the more certain I am that the great difference between men, the feeble and the powerful; the great and the insignificant; is Energy and Invincible Determination." And he might have added that the thing behind that "energy and invincible determination" was Will.

The writers and thinkers of all ages have recognized the wonderful and transcendent importance of the Will. Tennyson sings: "O living Will thou shalt endure when all that seems shall suffer shock." Oliver Wendell Holmes says: "The seat of the Will seems to vary with the organ through which it is manifested; to transport itself to different parts of the brain, as we may wish to recall a picture, a phrase, a melody; to throw its force on the muscles or the intellectual processes. Like the general-in-chief, its place is everywhere in the field of action. It is the least like an instrument of any of our faculties; the farthest removed from our conceptions of mechanism and matter, as we commonly define them." Holmes was correct in his idea, but faulty in his details. The Will does not change its seat, which is always in the center of the Ego, but the Will forces the mind to all parts, and in all directions, and it directs the _Prana_ or vital force likewise. The Will is indeed the general-in-chief, but it does not rush to the various points of action, but sends its messengers and couriers there to carry out its orders. Buxton has said: "The Will will do anything that can be done in this world. And no talents, no circumstances, no opportunities will make a two-legged creature a Man without it." Ik Marvel truly says: "Resolve is what makes a man manifest; not puny resolve, not crude determinations, not errant purpose--but that strong and indefatigable Will which treads down difficulties and danger, as a boy treads down the heaving frost-lands of winter; which kindles his eye and brain with a proud pulse-beat toward the unattainable. Will makes men giants."

The great obstacle to the proper use of the Will, in the case of the majority of people, is the lack of ability to focus the attention. The Yogis clearly understand this point, and many of the _Raja Yoga_ exercises which are given to the students by the teachers, are designed to overcome this difficulty. Attention is the outward evidence of the Will. As a French writer has said: "The attention is subject to the superior authority of the Ego. I yield it, or I withhold it, as I please. I direct it in turn to several points. I concentrate it upon each point as long as my Will can stand the effort." Prof. James has said: "The essential achievement of the Will, when it is most voluntary, is to attend to a difficult object, and hold it fast before the mind. Effort of Attention is the essential phenomenon of the Will." And Prof. Halleck says: "The first step toward the development of Will lies in the exercise of Attention. Ideas grow in distinctness and motor-power as we attend to them. If we take two ideas of the same intensity and center the attention upon one, we shall notice how much it grows in power." Prof. Sully says: "Attention may be roughly defined as the active self-direction of the mind to any object which presents itself at the moment." The word "Attention" is derived from two Latin words, _ad tendere_, meaning "to stretch towards," and this is just what the Yogis know it to be. By means of their psychic or clairvoyant sight, they see the thought of the attentive person stretched out toward the object attended to, like a sharp wedge, the point of which is focused upon the object under consideration, the entire force of the thought being concentrated at that point. This is true not only when the person is considering an object, but when he is earnestly impressing his ideas upon another, or upon some task to be accomplished. Attention means reaching the mind out to and focusing it upon something.

The trained Will exhibits itself in a tenacious Attention, and this Attention is one of the signs of the trained Will. The student must not hastily conclude that this kind of Attention is a common faculty among men. On the contrary it is quite rare, and is seen only among those of "strong" mentality. Anyone may fasten his Attention upon some passing, _pleasing_ thing, but it takes a trained will to fasten it upon some unattractive thing, and hold it there. Of course the trained occultist is able to throw interest into the most unattractive thing upon which it becomes advisable to focus his Attention, but this, in itself, comes with the trained Will, and is not the possession of the average man. Voluntary Attention is rare, and is found only among strong characters. But it may be cultivated and grown, until he who has scarcely a shade of it to-day, in time may become a giant. It is all a matter of practice, exercise, and Will.

It is difficult to say too much in favor of the development of the faculty of tenacious Attention. One possessing this developed faculty is able to accomplish far more than even a much "brighter" man who lacks it. And the best way to train the Attention, under the direction of the Will, is to practice upon _uninteresting_ objects, and ideas, holding them before the mind until they begin to assume an Interest. This is difficult at first, but the task soon begins to take on a pleasant aspect, for one finds that his Will-power and Attention are growing, and he feels himself acquiring a Force and Power that were lacking before--he realizes that he is growing Stronger. Charles Dickens said that the secret of his success consisted in his developing a faculty of throwing his entire Attention into whatever he happened to be doing at the moment and then being able to turn that same degree of Attention to the next thing coming before him for consideration. He was like a man behind a great searchlight, which was successively turned upon point after point, illuminating each in turn. The "I" is the man behind the light, and the Will is the reflector, the light being the Attention.

This discussion of Will and Attention may seem somewhat "dry" to the student, but that is all the more reason that he should attend to it. It is the secret that lies at the basis of the Science of _Raja Yoga_, and the Yogi Masters have attained a degree of Concentrated Will and Attention that would be inconceivable to the average "man on the street." By reason of this, they are able to direct the mind here and there, outward or inward, with an enormous force. They are able to focus the mind upon a small thing with remarkable intensity, just as the rays of the sun may be focused through a "sun-glass" and caused to ignite linen, or, on the other hand, they are able to send forth the mind with intense energy, illuminating whatever it rests upon, just as happens in the case of the strong electric searchlight, with which many of us are familiar. By all means start in to cultivate the Attention and Will. Practice on the unpleasant tasks--do the things that you have before you, and from which you have been shrinking because they were unpleasant. Throw interest into them, and the difficulty will vanish, and you will come out of it much stronger, and filled with a new sense of Power.


"I" have a Will--it is my inalienable property and right. I determine to cultivate and develop it by practice and exercise. My mind is obedient to my Will. I assert my Will over my Mind. I am Master of my mind and body. I _assert_ my Mastery. My Will is Dynamic--full of Force and Energy, and Power. I feel my strength. I am Strong. I am Forceful. I am Vital. I am Center of Consciousness, Energy, Strength, and Power, and I claim my birthright.

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Source: A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga, by Yogi Ramacharaka( 1862-1932). This text is in public domain and reproduced and reformatted by Jayaram V for While we have made every effort to reproduce the text correctly we do not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions or inaccuracies in the reproduction of this text.