Posts Tagged ‘dharana’

Dharana-teaching the mind to focus on one point or image (prepares us for Dhyana)

December 15, 2010

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.

Learn More Pranayama HERE

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.

See all the 8 Limbs of Yoga Posts HERE

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The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga

September 25, 2009

Compiled by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, the Eight Limbs are a progressive series of steps or disciplines which purify the body and mind, to enlightenment.

1. Yamas- Restraints
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The five Yamas are:

Ahimsa: nonviolence, non-harming

Satya: truthfulness

Asteya: nonstealing

Brahmacharya: Moderation

Aparigraha: Non-attachment, Non-possessiveness

2. Niyama– Observances
Self-discipline and spiritual observances.

The five Niyamas are:

Saucha: cleanliness, Purity

Santosa: contentment

Tapas: dicipline, austerity

Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self

Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God, awareness of the divine

3. Asana– evolution of your personal practice
Asanas, the postures practiced in yoga.

View Asana Posts HERE

4. Pranayama– Breathing
Breath control

View Pranayama Posts HERE

5. Pratyahara– Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana)
Withdrawal or sensory transcendence, the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli.

6. Dharana– concentration (prepares us for Dhyana)
dealing with the distractions of the mind itself.

7. Dhyana- Meditation or contemplation (leads to Samadhi)
The uninterrupted flow of concentration.

View Meditation Posts HERE

8. Samadhi– Superconsciousness
One with everything

See all the 8 Limbs of Yoga Posts HERE

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