Concentration is regarded as a precursor to meditation – a necessary clearing of thoughts and distractions, like warming up the voice for a song, arranging the board for a game, setting the table for dinner, packing for a holiday.

For Sri Chinmoy, concentration when pursued to its natural destination, blends into and becomes purest meditation.

“When you concentrate, try to feel that the power of concentration comes from the heart centre, and then goes up to the third eye. The heart centre is where the soul is located. The physical heart is tiny, but the spiritual heart – your true home – is vaster than the universe. When you think of your soul at this time, please do not form any specific idea of it or try to think of what it looks like. Just think of it as God’s representative, as boundless light and delight, which is in your heart. The light comes from your heart and passes through your third eye, and then you enter into the object of your concentration and have your identification with it. The final stage of concentration is to discover the hidden ultimate truth in the object of concentration.”
– Sri Chinmoy

It makes no difference what we concentrate on – a candle flame, a leaf, a fragrance, a bird’s song – the hidden ultimate truth of each and every phenomenon is the one, same source – God.

This truth is revealed when our heart’s concentration uses its secret weapon – oneness. We say the heart has the power of oneness, but in truth, the heart is oneness, for our heart’s depth identifies with and claims the essence of all reality as its own.

Concentration on the tiniest object, and meditation on the boundless Infinite, carry us to the same destination – oneness with God, our Supreme.