Dharana-teaching the mind to focus on one point or image
Immovable concentration of the mind is the underlying principle of Dharana. The essential idea is to hold the concentration or focus of attention in one direction. The mind needs to be stilled in order to achieve this state of complete absorption. The goal is to still the mind, gently pushing away superfluous thoughts by fixing your mind on some object such as a candle flame, a flower, or a mantra. In dharana, concentration is effortless. You know the mind is concentrating when there is no sense of time passing.
- Shotra — ears
- Chakshu — eyes
- Grahna — nose
- Jivha — tongue
- Tvak — skin
Shotra — ears
Mantra is a sound, syllable, word or group of words that are considered capable of creating transformation
Example – to say the word om:
Take a deep breath in; as you release it say the oooooooooooooooo until the air is about 3/4 released then say the mmmmmm.
Chakshu — eyes
Visualization: you can visualize a beach, or a flower or the OM symbol or to concentrate on the point between the eyebrows, the Ajna Chakra or the third eye.
Grahna — nose
Pranayama: Focus on your breath
Example – Sheetali: Sit comfortably. Draw out the tongue and roll it up from the sides to form a tube like opening. Slowly suck the air through it and fill the lungs completely. After full inhalation withdraw the tongue and close the mouth. Then slowly exhale through the nose. Repeat.
Jivha — tongue
Taste: Focus on eating a piece of fruit
Example – Close your eyes and see if you can smell the fruit. Lick your lips and rub the fruit over your lips. How does it feel? Now lick your lips. Can you taste the trace flavor of the fruit? Hold the it in your mouth, and roll it around. How does it feel in your mouth? As you chew, notice the immediate change in the intensity of the flavor. Slowly chew while resisting the urge to swallow. Sit a little taller and notice if posture affects your appreciation for the fruit. Breathe deep. Does breathing help you enjoy the taste? Relax your face and smile. Notice how smiling improves the taste of fruit.
Tvak — skin
Touch: Walking Meditation
Example – Be mindful while walking, make each step a gesture, move in a state of grace. Walk with slow, small, deliberate, balanced, graceful foot steps. Then, when both the breath & walking have slipped into a regular pattern, become aware of the number of footsteps per breath (2, 3 or 4 steps per inhalation and 2, 3 or 4 steps per exhalation). When you have discovered your natural rhythm, lock into it, so that the rhythm of the walking sets the rhythm for the breath like a metronome.
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