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Yoga is a twofold term, meaning both the process and the result to which that process leads. Yoga as a set of mental practices to be followed is one thing and yoga as the unified condition of mind which is the final fruit of those practices is another thing. Yoga as a process calls for constant efforts to achieve inwardly-turned mental concentration and as a result it yields its practiser a serene condition where thoughts subside and thus reveal the diviner background which their activity hides. When the mind is active we have thoughts; when it is still the thoughts vanish….Yoga in its best sense is simply the deliberate attempt to accomplish this task and thus become conscious of the so-called ‘unconscious.’ From The Wisdom of the Overself. p. 362

The key to success in yoga is fashioned partly from the natural capacity for concentration which we bring to the task, partly from the energy with which we pursue it but more especially from repeated and regular self-training. Said so supreme an authority upon this subject as the Buddha: “Nothing know I that without exercise would be more inflexible than the mind. Nothing know I that by being exercised would become more flexible than the mind…..The student cannot afford to leave its practice to chance moments or to occasional empty ones…..Habit rules human life. The man who has learnt the secret of creating new habits is able to control that which controls life. And among the best habits a man can make is that of meditation.

We would not only emphasise but over-emphasise the value and urgent necessity of introducing this habit into modern life….These exercises should in the beginning be practiced daily at the same place and at the same hour but when enough progress has been made this rule may be ignored and the work may be done at any time and in any place….The first hindrance is noise…Hence a silent convenient spot should be chosen. The second is the active movement and sudden intrusion of other persons. He must be undisturbed during the practice period and this is best ensured by locking himself in a room. The third hindrance is a fidgety swaying or fitfully turning body. This is most serious when it affects the head. Therefore it is better to keep the spine erect….A fourth hindrance is ill-health….Modern students who have to get rid of hindrance of ill-health must avail themselves of all the knowledge and help, orthodox and unorthodox, which exists today, not forgetting that this is a region where personal karma is often particularly active….Emotional upsets, moods of despair and depression, feelings of passion or bitterness, even a too flighty imagination – these will also interfere with the work. Therefore the student must at the beginning of his practice strive to drop all thought of his personal affairs, to exclude all memories, whether pleasant or painful, to withdraw attention from the day’s business or interests and to universalize his outlook during the period set aside for it. …Another psychic hindrance is impatience. Consequently the virtue of patience must become theirs if they are to eat the fruits of their sowing one day. Every aspirant must, from the beginning of this practice, impress his mind with the sure hope that if it is unremitting and done with deep interest, results will be sure to show themselves…. The first and last steps of yoga are steps in concentration. The perfect concentration of attention is one of the essential keys to success. Ibid., pp. 364-367.

This topic of meditation is deemed so important that the next eteaching will continue with it. Many inspiring paras on meditation are found in Volume 4 of The Notebooks of Paul Brunton.

Read more also in the PB e-teaching #7 on Mysticism.