takeaway: separating dharana and dhyana as stages in a process, helps us to realize that meditation is about much more than taming our thoughts. i was about to be introduced to the concepts of dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation), and to realize that my misconceptions of meditation were even broader than i’d first thought. although not impossible, it may take many years of practice, dedication and discipline to reach a truly meditative state, one in which it is no longer possible to perceive the act of meditation or separate a sense of self from it. although dhyana can be translated from sanskrit as “meditation,” it is not quite the definition of meditation that most of us are familiar with these days. regular practice of dharana enables deep concentration to occur naturally and more frequently, even outside of the practice. it should be thought of as a spontaneous state in which concentration merges with dhyana.
such glimpses of dhyana support the notion that it is not a phenomenon you can teach, rather one that is spontaneously experienced as a result of extreme focus. it is perfectly normal for the mind to wander during meditative practices; meandering thoughts in fact provide the cornerstone for practicing dharana and are thus a vital part of the process. becoming aware that there is both a thinker and a witness to the thinking is vital in order to be liberated from destructive thought patterns. separating dharana and dhyana as stages in the process helps us to realize that meditation is about much more than this. rachel bilski is the manager of yoga pod saigon and co-founder of shanti niwas, a yoga collaborative currently holding yoga retreats and classes in portugal and vietnam. you can follow her musings on yoga, travel and life on the shanti niwas blog.
it is a holistic lifestyle designed to bring you closer to the divine. but living and maintaining the yogic lifestyle isn’t just about how we choose to live our lives outwardly, it is about cultivating our inner world as well. this is the ultimate goal of the yogi–to exist in a state of bliss, here and now, regardless of the external circumstances. dharana is the sixth of patanjali’s eight limbs. put simply, dharana is the practice of focused concentration. it requires the yogi to put all their attention towards one singular focus, whether it be a physical object, a single point in space, or simply your breath. dharana requires us to stay totally engaged with the present moment.
through the continued state of awareness cultivated during dharana, we are able to prepare our minds for the practice known as dhyana. dhyana is the experience of opening consciousness and therefore opening yourself to the most subtle experiences of life. the practice of dharana is all about concentrating the mind to prepare for meditation. another way to practice dharana is to light a candle and use the flickering flame as your focus point. it is about pushing through this discomfort and staying completely engaged in the experience where the magic happens. experiencing dharana you might even lose all senses in your physical body, feel otherworldly, lighter, and tingly all because you are that connected to the divine. unity is always available to us if we choose to embrace it. when we open ourselves up in this way, we are able to pull back the curtain on reality – we can finally see that all is one and that nothing exists outside of the here and now.
takeaway: separating dharana and dhyana as stages in a process, helps us to realize that meditation is about much more than taming our thoughts. dharana and dhyana, the final two limbs before reaching samadhi, are all about creating the inner experience necessary to achieve this. dharana, dhyana, and samadhi are the core of a yogi’s meditation practice. sitting quietly, allowing the mind to slow down, and then turning, 7 limbs of yoga, 7 limbs of yoga, dharana and dhyana difference, dhyana yoga, dhyana meaning in english.
dharana is the active focusing and concentration on one point. dhyana is a state of mind where one’s focus is maintained or absorbed in the point of focus. dharana is like focusing the lens of a camera on a moving object and dhyana is when the object remains still and the camera’s focus is locked on to the object. what is the difference between dharana and dhyana? but the last three limbs—dharana, dhyana, and samadhi—are often studied together and are called antaratma sadhana, or the innermost quest. dharana, dhyana, samadhi are set out in the final three limbs of patanjalis yoga sutras. preceding dharana dhyana and samadhi is pratyahara,, dhyana patanjali, dhyan sanskrit, dhyana pronunciation, dhyana meditation, dharana pronunciation, types of dharana.
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