It can be frustrating and challenging to learn how to meditate. You will soon discover that it’s easy to get distracted by the thoughts and emotions in your head when you start practicing. It takes a lot of practice and dedication to master the art of meditation and to do it consistently and regularly in your everyday life. Meditating is made more accessible by a yogic technique called Dharana, which involves sustained concentration. This mental skill will make meditation more enjoyable, effective, and less painful.
The Journey to Stillness
Many practitioners will tell you that the journey to stillness takes excellent patience. On paper, the scriptures of Yoga describe a meditation process that appears to be linear. Patanjali’s eight limbs outline a step-by-step guide to enlightenment that reads almost as simple.
How many times have your thoughts been racing around as you tried to meditate? You are not alone if this has happened to you on your pillow. First, let’s acknowledge that even master yogis are human. The eight limbs, and other guidelines, were designed to give us a handrail to hold onto when we feel the winds of change threaten to knock us down.
Patanjali deliberately decoupled meditation from concentration and focus. He realized you can only meditate by establishing a certain level of sustained attention. After a certain engagement period, the seventh limb, or dhyana (meditation), is achieved.
What is Dharana
Dharana is a Sanskrit word that means concentration or single-minded focus. Dharana is the sixth of the eight limbs described in the Yoga Sutras. This is the first step to achieving a state of meditation.
Dharana, or sustained concentration on one object, is a practice that requires a lot of focus. The focus can be on the breath or a mantra. It could also be a visualization of God or a contemplation of profound truth. The object we focus on is unimportant; the goal is to calm the mind through this total concentration.
Dharana vs. dhyana
It cannot be obvious to distinguish between dharana and dhyana. Dharana means active concentration and focusing on a single point. Dhyana is the state of mind in which one maintains or absorbs attention on a particular topic. Dharana, however, is the same as focusing a camera lens on a moving subject. Dhyana is the state of mind where the focus is maintained or absorbed to the point of obsession.
Are you ready for practice
Classical Yoga Texts tell us that the three last limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga – Dharana (deep concentration), dhyana(awareness/awareness/enlightenment/oneness)- are to be practiced after we have a fundamental understanding of Yoga’s powers of illumination. According to B.K.S. According to B.K.S.
The other stages of the eight-fold way also provide a solid foundation for practice. The Yamas and Nyamas represent the moral and ethical standards that guide a yogic life. It is essential to find a comfortable position that is manageable. A slow, calming yoga breath is also helpful to calm the mind.
There are four types of concentration
There are four concentration levels to increase concentration, ranging from the most physical object to the subtest. The subtler the thing is, the more difficult it is to focus and absorb your mind onto that object. These stages are meant to deepen and challenge your concentration.
Vitarka concentration concentrates on a solid object or tangible. This could include the breath, the five senses, visualizations, or mantras.
Vichara (subtle attention) focuses on the energy, aspects of the mind, and spiritual and philosophical qualities.
Ananda’s concentration concentrates on the bliss and joy found in deep meditation.
Asmita’s concentration focuses on the detached self that witnesses all your experiences.
Dharana is a practice that aims to improve your ability to focus your attention when your mind drifts from your object of concentration. This practice involves becoming aware of your thoughts when they divert from the object of concentration.
What does it mean to do Dharana practice? Rolf Sovik is the author of The Journey to Mediation. He says we can consider dhyana “meditation proper” and that sustained practice of Dharana makes it possible for us to experience dhyana. If we think of dharana, our commitment to focus on one breath or mantra (or sensation), as taking note of each droplet of water drips from the faucet, dhyana would be a continuous stream of water drops. If we repeatedly train our minds to focus on the present moment, we will eventually experience pure awareness or meditation.
Mala beads or mantra meditation is an example of how yogis can use dharana to progress into dhyana. Close your eyes while meditating and touch each of the beads. With each touch, you can repeat a mantra or bring your attention back to your breath. You will first have to refocus your awareness on every bead. Between each contact, you can observe how the brain is accustomed to following another thought, emotion, or memory. With practice, Dharana will continue for a few beads and then for a mala. You will experience a new level of awareness when you use a mantra. It will flow without any effort from your mind. The yogis claim that we can begin to discover and learn our true nature in this state of awareness.
Dharana has many benefits
Many believe Dharana improves memory and clears the mind of negative thoughts and worries. You can enhance your Yoga by paying more attention to the alignment and breath of yoga asanas. If you can focus on everyday life, you will be more relaxed and productive. You will also be able to handle stress better.