The trick to build focus: Let the world go by

 Here’s another experience to share with my beloved readers to improve focus. Many spiritual seekers like me begin to feel frustrated, almost to the point of anger, when someone or something interrupts their concentration while meditating or praying. Don’t feel guilty about it. While learning to concentrate everyone is a student, and progress is gradual. There is a restorative remedy for the perturbed focus, so no panic.
General sources of distraction could range from having a lively family, a busy neighbourhood, pets seeking attention, or simply one’s own wandering thoughts. As a result, too many voices mingle together to make one big noise! It’s not pleasant, and tries one’s patience, to say the least, especially when someone is already struggling to gather focus to the point.
This is exactly what I went through for a long time, before getting enlightenment from within while meditating one day. I told myself that every voice and sound is like a test for me, to verify how far I’ve progressed, and how far still I need to go to tame my attention. I began to accept it as a challenge. First, it really tried my patience, but gradually I progressed to actually being able to smile when a random thought wrestled with my attention, or one of my children entered the room talking loud on the phone to crumble my lotus position, or when the postman came at the wrong time. I kept reminding myself the purpose of this exercise, while still hearing the sounds. I continued to practise maintaining calm, till it became my reflex reaction to the chaos.
So, I was encouraged to climb another step – I carried on with my prayers, or introspection, or just focus on the tranquil darkness behind closed eyes. I would be lying if I say it worked overnight; it took further perseverance and regular practice. Then, I realised that the outside voices didn’t matter and they became more and more distant gradually. I was able to focus, amongst dissonance of the outer world, as I became more ad more attentive to myself. Not only I felt happier, calmer, and more confident within myself, there was a reward at the end of my hard work- God blessed me with an accommodation whereby now I have my own study, where I can’t hear the clowns of the circus around. I can close the door, and escape into my own world when I want to.
I felt like a student who studied hard, passed the exam, and got a golden badge! If I can do it, anyone can too. I am still learning and very much a spiritual trainee, but I feel confident that I shall continue to grow since I have a firm but fair and a very capable teacher- My Nirankar, my God, my Universe.
Remember that focus is the ground on which spiritual growth is built. Begin with tolerance, build patience, and grow acceptance of the environment around you. If your efforts are sincere, the surrounding obstacles would disperse by the grace of God. However, nothing would change without investing hard work and honest commitment first.