inquire, deep examination, contemplation reflection
Dhyana means meditation. It comes from the Sanskrit roots: dhi or Dhya which means to inquire, deep examination, contemplation or reflection. At a more general or intellectual level, it can be described as ‘to think’.
In the Vedic thought, dhi refers to the mind and its ability to think, to discern
Dhyana is the fruit of a beautiful process that has provided the foundation for a peaceful and quiet mind to unfold.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras describe this beautiful process towards liberation in the eight limbs of yoga. Starting with the Yamas and Niyamas as the Dharmic and ethical foundation of Yoga and Ayurveda. Their principles describe the yogic lifestyle and spiritual philosophy to establish a personal yogic practice. This practice is not to be limited between the perimeter of a yoga mat, but a practice that moves beyond the limitations of the physical body. This is the foundation for a deeper inner journey towards the absorption or union of the individual soul with the Supreme Consciousness.
They provide principles for social behaviour: ahymsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), brahmacharya (control of sexual energy), asteya (non-stealing) and anabhinivesha (non-clinging).
Niyamas as principles for personal arebehaviorsantosha (contentment), shaucha (purity), svadhyaya (self-study), tapas (self-discipline) and Ishvara pranidhana (surrender to God).
These principles should be taken into consideration at the time of moving forward into the next step, the practice of asanas.
Asana in Sanskrit means ‘to sit’. However, it is not a term to be confused as a mere action of seating comfortable. Asanas have benefits for the whole being. At the level of the mind, the physical body and the spiritual body. Asanas can prepare the being to seat in harmony and stillness to welcome the unfolding of Dhyana or meditation. However, asana has a wider and profound meaning. It is the ability to hold a right and harmonious posture with our inner consciousness. Therefore, each asana should hold this intention. Asanas outside the mat are like the daily roles that we play in our society. The art of asanas in a practical way consists in learning to move with ease and harmony in a righteous way with every action we perform.
As a fourth limb comes to Pranayama, the ability to control and expand Prana, the life force, the force that is behind the breath, that sustains not only the breath but that provide life. Pranayama is the practice of deepening and expanding Prana until it reaches a condition of peace. This harmonious and peaceful prana, therefore, fuels and sustains the senses and emotions which ultimately nurtures the mind.
Pratyahara is known as the withdraw of the senses or control of the senses.
Life unfolds as an ever-present pulsation of energies which vibrations act as a stimulus for our senses. Our senses carry the ability to bring the information from the outer world into our inner word. This information or energies carried by the senses that feed our inner self, mind, and consciousness. Without the ability to control our senses, we will become slaves that please the desires of our senses.
Dharana, the sixth limb, consist of the right attention of the mind. Wherever our mind goes, the energy or Prana goes. Therefore, the importance of holding one’s attention is not enough, but the ability to hold the right attention of mind.
To summarize, Dhyana or meditation is not simply holding a relax or peaceful mind. It is a process that requires discipline, courage, and commitment. Different from forcing the mind to stay still. It is a stage of mind and spirit that had bloom effortless to live in constant awareness, awake and alert but at an unshakable peace at the core of one’s existence.
These are the principles that support my practice and which I share during my teaching.
I hope that this site and my posts in the different social media can serve you like tools that support your own practice.
Enjoy the Journey.