Some people, especially those with a naturally devotional nature, will gravitate toward concentration that is centred in the region of the heart. Others, who have a more intellectual turn, will find it easier in most instances to experience the concentration in the mental centre. This approach actually can itself take several different forms. Classically, the seeker is instructed to concentrate on the area between the eyebrows, the ajna chakra, also termed the ‘third eye’ by many. This is a centre of concentration and mental will. It is also possible, however to shift the concentration upwards to the top of the head region, at the point where the mental consciousness reaches its higher levels, and through which higher forces sometimes descend into the mind. Many who have experienced what is called the “Mother’s Force” while meditating at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram have reported a pressure, or a dripping of force of consciousness, or a powerful descent through this higher mental centre.
The Isha Upanishad points out ‘the face of Truth is covered by a brilliant golden lid”. It is possible for the seeker to experience what seems to be such a ‘lid’ at the higher reaches of the mental level. At some point, when this lid is breached upwards, or through descent of the Force downwards, it can open up the seeker to yet higher realms of mind, those in which intuition, illumination, etc. become active and overtake the plodding action of the mental centre in its native state.
Sri Aurobindo writes: “That other way is the concentration in the head, in the mental centre. This, if it brings about the silence of the surface mind, opens up an inner, larger, deeper mind within which is more capable of receiving spiritual experience and spiritual knowledge. But once concentrated here one must open the silent mental consciousness upward to all that is above mind. After a time one feels the consciousness rising upward and in the end it rises beyond the lid which has so long kept it tied in the body and finds a centre above the head where it is liberated into the Infinite. There it begins to come into contact with the universal Self, the Divine Peace, Light, Power, Knowledge, Bliss, to enter into that and become that, to feel the descent of these things into the nature. To concentrate in the head with the aspiration for quietude in the mind and the realisation of the Self and Divine above is the second way of concentration. It is important, however, to remember that the concentration of the consciousness in the head is only a preparation for its rising to the centre above; otherwise, one may get shut up in one’s own mind and its experiences or at best attain only to a reflection of the Truth above instead of rising into the spiritual transcendence to live there. For some the mental concentration is easier, for some the concentration in the heart centre; some are capable of doing both alternately — but to begin with the heart centre, if one can do it, is the more desirable.”
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Exercises for Growth and Mastery, Awakening the Inner Consciousness, pp. 134-138