Dhyana and Yoga – Good For Calming Mind

By Patricia | February 3, 2009
Understanding Dhyana Meditation

What Is Yoga And Dhyana

Let us understand each of the terms.

Dhyana: The word Dhyana means religious meditation which is profound and abstract. It is total contemplation, and requires great concentration on a focal point, in an attempt to look deep into our inner world, and to know our inner selves. Dhyana is an essential part of ashtanga yoga or the eight-fold yoga.
Ashtanga yoga has eight limbs (Asht + anga = eight + limbs), and Dhyana forms its seventh limb. The eight limbs are in this sequence: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

The first step – Yama – is related to abstinence (from lying, theft, possessions and sexual activity). Niyama means certain observations (purity, contentment, austerities, study and surrender to God). The next step is Asanas which are postures of the body, followed by Pranayama which relates to control of the vital breath or Prana. After this, the level moves up to Pratyahara which means abstraction, and Dharana which means concentration or fixing one's attentions on a single point. After this, comes Dhyana which means meditation.

Yoga: Yoga is a series of activities through which one links oneself with the Supreme. Ashtanga yoga teaches us to control our senses and achieve perfect mental equilibrium by practicing various bodily postures. A person who practices dhyana can control and desist from all disquieting mental thoughts.

Yoga and Dhyana: We have three bodies – the physical, the subtle and the astral. These are centered, respectively in the navel, the heart and the center of the forehead. When practicing dhyana, the yogi focuses with total concentration on these three points, which contain the nucleus of our strength. Through the process of dhyana, these points are enlightened and illumination enters the body, infusing it with energy and zeal, enthusiasm and courage, industriousness and love. And these qualities in turn enable the yogi to accomplish his karma-yoga.

When practicing dhyana yoga, you should first concentrate on your navel, and imagine prana entering your body through it. We should concentrate on the navel because that is the point where life begins - from the umbilical cord of the mother. From there, you fix your mind on the heart and then to the brain, whence you will be filled with a great peace of mind.

As peace floods your mind, your deep concentration also awakens your intuition and you get a clearer insight into your inner consciousness. Dhyana yoga is good for calming the mind.

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