Mankind’s core is consciousness. It is what makes the difference between human beings and animals. The root of this consciousness is yiyuanti. Yiyuanti has the characteristic of gathering and releasing. When the hunyuanqi of yiyuanti gathers and focuses on an object or maintains a single focus, we call that state concentration. For instance, focusing on a small point is concentration, but melting yourself into the blue sky and feeling this state is contemplation.
Now, let’s pay attention to the center of the head and feel it till you are really feeling your mind’s attention completely staying inside.
Concentration is very important in our life. Most of the time, people’s mind activity is dispersed: eyes looking, ears hearing, nose smelling, tongue tasting, body touching, mind thinking. All the time there is a lot of information from outside stimulating yiyuanti and yiyuanti permanently absorbs this information. Therefore yiyuanti can’t focus and keep a calm state; it’s being divided into pieces. It’s just like a Chinese metaphor “Five horses disperse the body”. The dispersed mind can draw one’s hunyuanqi out of the body to the object one focuses on, so that one loses qi. Therefore, when people start growing old they usually become weak and develop diseases because their energy is diminished.
People are used to directing their mind to the outside and don’t pay attention to their own life activity. For practitioners, it’s a big challenge to keep their mind inside. Therefore, practitioners should make an effort to focus their mind on one thing. Through doing this their willpower will become stronger and stronger, and gradually the independence of yiyuanti will be nurtured and strengthened. They will no longer be dependent on the opinions and approval of others. They will not be influenced by fame, by gain, nor by sentiment but live according to the dao.
This is the difference between ordinary people and sages.