No Concentration Despite Sadhana

Question: I’ve been practising japa and meditation for a long time. However, I’ve still not attained one-minded concentration.
Amma, “Children, until now, we have been under the impression that the body and mind are eternal. We have given them as much food as they want; and they have, therefore,  been thus ‘prospering’ . Now , when we change our posture and instruct ourselves that it is actually the soul which is eternal, the body and mind refuse to submit, begin to rebel. We can make them submit only through ceaseless striving. 
In order to bend the wood used to make boats, we must heat it. Similarly, qualities like simplicity and humility can only arise through the heat of japa and meditation. Only with such qualities can we remove the mind’s egoism, and become true embodiments of the Self. 
Before applying a coating of tin to a vessel, you must first remove the dirt from the vessel. Similarly, we must first remove the stains of our minds. If not, no matter how much sadhana we do, it will not be of any use. If we want to remove these stains, we must cry out in prayer to God.
Children, just because you are not getting concentration, it doesn’t mean you should stop your sadhana. Can one learn how to climb coconut trees in a day? One must try, step by step, holding on tightly to the trunk of the tree. One’s skin might get flayed. Nevertheless, if one continues trying, one will be able to climb any coconut tree. One will not get perfect concentration at first. Children, in order to do so, one must strive incessantly.
Matruvani (pgs. 5-6, Mar 2010 Vol. 21, No. 7)
The article has been edited for clarity.

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