Focused Meditation

Dhyana is the seventh limb of yoga and, in some sense, the ultimate goal of yoga as we master each of the prior limbs. It is referred to as meditation.

The challenge to describe meditation is problematic in that it is a concept that lacks form that you can sense. In fact, it would be the empty space and time between thoughts that would define the meditative state.

So teachers use many ways to describe the state in which meditation is experienced. Initially, you may only have a momentary sense of this state.

No sensation of time or space.

Focus on a point until you know its truth.

A state of abiding calm.

Elimination of undesirable, destructive and unwanted thoughts.

Roll up pranyama, pratyahara, dyrana up into one

Tips for successful meditation

When you first start, be patient with just fleeting moments. Some practices will be better than others. It is the process of practice that brings meditation clarity.

Try focusing on the breath. Count the breath cycle. For example, count your complete breath cycles backward from 99 to 0. If you lose your place, start at the last numbered breath you remember.

Chant OM in your mind until you become lost in the OM.

Find a mantra that works for you. Repeat it until you are one with it and you lose yourself in the mantra.

Repeat the steps and tips of pranayama, pratyhara, and dharana, bringing about clarity in the meditation process.

Bring attention continuously back to the breath.

Don’t force it. It is a practice, and it will come. And when it comes more easily, it is time to take it off your mat and use meditation in everyday life in everything you do.

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