I'm just going to share some personal info and tips of how to try and counteract our own personal obstacles in simran.
There are times when you just can't settle in, no matter how hard you try. On the other hand there are times when we settle right in without making much effort.
Like everyone else, I have had very early mornings where I get up all psyched and ready to go battle the 5 thieves in the day ahead. Then after doing japji when i try and settle in to the simran...........Nothing !!
The mind will wander.., i will start again........ and....... nothing again.. ...This then becomes an ongoing cycle and I will look at the clock and think ''why have i wasted 15 minutes trying to settle in.''?
Sometimes, I tell myself that it's not going to happen now and I should maybe attempt later on. Whereas other times I will be adamant that I should be doing it, because even if i try going back to sleep.....I won't.!
It almost becomes a corkscrew effect, because if I try and analyze what thoughts are coming in, they can be the thought of 'why can't I settle in, I was fine yesterday, i've slept, i'm fresh...''...etc
So you end up thinking about your reason of not focusing, which itself prevents you focusing further....
I'm sure we have our own suggestions of what may work for us personally, but I thought I might suggest a few that i've tried successfully, that maybe you could try and think of next time !
1) I start with just taking a real deep breath in and filling your chest up.
2) Hold your breath and suspend the chest, and try keep a stillness.
-You should feel a settling in silence from within.
3) Then let the breath out slowly when you feel comfortable.
(But don't hold it too long so that you reach a maximum point of where you have to get a massive sigh of relief when letting it out)
4) Repeat this about 4 times OR until you feel that little space of inner quietness and stillness when suspending/holding.
Usually this should work and give you that 'tuning in' kick to get going.
****If this doesn't help, then I usually think back to what I used to do when I started in the earlier days ?
For me, I tend to just picture a mental image of my favorite Guru Nanak portrait or some other Guruji picture in the house.
NOTE- this is not ''idol worship'' stuff,- but a point of focus.
The worship process starts when you bring the gurmantar in, in my opinion, i have never seen it as manmat !
****Another little tip that could be useful after you have started and then seem to drift away is to-
....Just open your eyes and gaze right in front of you without moving your eyes around or looking around the room.
- Just look at whatever object is in front of you for only a split second, and then close your eyes back.
****-I usually put my focus to a central point in between the eyebrows and slightly higher (agna chakra area).
-Just look for this little dot of light or even a dot that is darker than the background screen you see.
-When you see it keep your eyes on this, as it will help keep the eyes still.
.....I know it gets painful for some people to look at that point, if so you could just look at any central point lower down in stead. This can be the bridge between eyes or the tip of your nose.
****Another method that I sometimes revert to is to put your Dhian on navel whilst listening to the 'Waheguru' gurmantar.
This is useful if you are doing the saas graas /saas graas I explained in ealier post where the navel pull in/out is being used.
I used to find this very useful when i started saas graas because i would get the sequence of -'navel in and wahe'- the wrong way round. The dhian on navel would help keep the correct sequence as well as the simran itself.
NOTE- the above few techniques are about focus whilst paying attention to the sound/dhun of gurmantar.
It's not happening if your dhian is on the navel/3rd eye and you are not paying attention to ''Wahe-Guru''
I will add some more little tips/techniques that i have found useful if you guys find these useful.
Even now, I find that sometimes you forget what to do if you can't focus. So, it's a good idea to 'revise' these like a college student to remember them when needed.
I often read through tips/techniques every now and again as a little refresher course.