When the Mind Wanders During Meditation – Pratyahara – The Art of Refocusing
Swami Achyutanand: The mind is, by its very nature, fickle and prone to frequently straying from manas japa [simran, zikhr, mantra of sacred name or names] and manas dhyan. When this happens during meditation, it should be immediately brought back to focus on its due target. Thus, perseveringly practicing pratyahara (the process of applying the mind back, again and again, every time it drifts away, to the selected target), the mind slowly gains in strength and is able to concentrate on its goal. With the mind getting focused thus, the inner Current: the Current of Light, is subsequently easy to grasp, facilitating the journey ahead [the inward journey]. This is why, Gurudev (Maharshi Mehi Paramhans Ji Maharaj) has stated:
“The mind (while attempting to focus on a fixed target during meditation) often goes astray with numerous thoughts. In all such cases when the mind wanders away from the target (as soon as its flight to objects or subjects other than the target is apparent), immediately bring it back, again and again, and refocus on your target.
“Thus practicing ‘pratyahara’ (the technique of repeatedly bringing the mind back to focus on its target or goal every time it strays), acquire the state of ‘dharana’ (the state of mind consisting of being focused on the target for a short duration) [an increment of time spent in quality meditation].”
Move ahead and ascend within yourself, counsels Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, “Holding onto the Current in the Inner Sky, then move further ahead.”
We will have to merge into the Current of Light that is there within our own body. Those practitioners who assiduously practice meditation will behold wonderful spectacles within.
(Yoga of Inner Light and Sound, by Swami Achyutanand Baba, Translated Into English by Pravesh K. Singh)