Definition: In Sanskrit, ‘dhyana’ means contemplation, reflection, and profound, abstract meditation. The root word is ‘dhi’, referring to imaginative vision.
The light without is a reflection of the light within. When we close our eyes we can merge with the light of awareness, and it may feel that our bodies are floating or suspended. Our mind flows outward through the channel of mindfulness, supported by the Teachings of enlightened beings, and unites with the ocean of consciousness.
“When dhyana is well established it cannot be given up. It will go on automatically even when you are engaged in work, play or enjoyment. It will persist in sleep too. Dhyana must become so deep-rooted that it will be natural to one.”
— Ramana Maharishi
3.2 tatra pratyaya ekatanata dhyanam
The repeated continuation, or uninterrupted stream of one- pointed focus is called absorption in meditation. — Patanjali
Dhyana is a state of mental absorption, either in pure awareness or on an object of meditation. It is a natural progression from the development of a concentrated mind. While the practice of concentration (dharana) prepares and trains you to enter into the flow state, dhyana is the flow state itself – in the East, it is called meditation.
The basic nature of mind is like space: irrespective of the weather conditions it remains the same – open, accommodating, and pure. Like a leaf on a stream – barely touching yet supported, flowing without resistance – the meditative mind moves without tension because it is rooted in spaciousness. The yogi trains to consciously enter into this state through the practices of yoga.
Some of the many benefits of meditation include the calming of the mind, healing of stress-related diseases, increase of willpower, conquering of fear and anxieties, heightening intuition and sensory perception, expansive experiences of time and space, and the development of wisdom and compassion.
If you receive this card it may be a message to explore the arts and practices that bring you into the flow state – in yoga, meditation is considered to be the ultimate art of flow. Take time each day to practice meditation and carry the insights into your life. When you are ready to go deeper, consider disengaging from regular work-life and social relations for a period of time to explore dhyana’s depths.
Just poses are not enough, discover a yoga approach that transforms yourself and your students. Integrate body, mind and spirit through mantra, asana, philosophy, meditation, raga music and breath.
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