Whatever you may want to do in life, one thing is absolutely indispensable and at the basis of everything, the capacity of concentrating the attention. If you are able to gather together the rays of attention and consciousness at one point and can maintain this concentration with a persistent will, nothing can resist it –whatever it may be, from the most material physical development to the highest spiritual one. But this discipline must be followed in a constant and it may be said imperturbable way; not that you should always be concentrated on the same thing –that is not what I mean, I mean learning to concentrate.
And materially, for studies, sports, all physical or mental development, it is absolutely indispensable. And the value of an individual is proportionate to the value of his attention.
And from the spiritual point of view it is still more important. There is no spiritual obstacle which can resist a penetrating power of concentration. For instance, the discovery of the psychic being, union with the inner Divine, opening the higher spheres, all can be obtained by an intense and obstinate power of concentration –but one must learn how to do it.
There is nothing in the human or even in the superhuman field, to which the power of concentration is not the key.
You can be the best athlete, you can be the best student, you can be an artistic, literary, or scientific genius, you can be the greatest saint with that faculty. And everyone has in himself a tiny little beginning of it –it is given to everybody, but people do not cultivate it.
Mirra Alfassa “The Mother” (1878-1973). Born in France. She was a spiritual master, educator and writer. She was the spiritual companion of Sri Aurobindo and directed his ashram for decades. She was the creator of the experimental city Auroville, a project that is recognized by Unesco.
Text extracted from: Vijay. 2016. Meditation: Writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Pondicherry (India).