The Eight Limbs of Yoga: An 18-part mini-course
WEEK SIXTEEN: DHYANA
The continuous inward flow of consciousness is Dhyana (meditation).
– Sutra III.2
DON’T JUST DO SOMETHING… SIT THERE.
When your body is comfortable, your breath flowing smoothly, thoughts in your mind settle into the background of awareness and your senses sink down to the core of your being, and then…meditation happens.
And just what is meditation? It’s the place between thoughts, a moment of stillness. It feels like an emptying of the mind. It’s a moment of deep reflection where a knowing occurs. And yet, in the act of meditation we are not aware that we are meditating. Once conscious awareness occurs, we are no longer in that state of meditation. We simply know we were there. We wake up to the realization of our experience.
Check out this quick video invitation into a personal practice for yourself.
Thousands of years ago in the beginning stages of yoga, the primary practice was meditation. The key intention was to quiet the mind in order to access a new way of knowing and being and thereby becoming more intuitive and connected to the meaning of Life. It was out of that meditative awareness that the postures of yoga evolved. They arose spontaneously. Then the ancients practiced and taught these to others as a way of finding or returning to that centered meditative state. The postures were not only valued for their physical benefits, but for the effective way of facilitating a meditative state. The primary practice of yoga was and still is meditation – experiencing oneself in stillness.
May I encourage you to integrate this practice into your daily routine. The only way you will know the benefits is through your own experience. Spring is a time of new beginnings. If you have been curious about this practice, or perhaps you have fallen away from your own regular routine, why not start today and dedicate yourself to 21 days of sitting quietly with yourself? The first thing in the morning is best, though there are no hard rules here. Start with just 5 – 10 minutes. When that becomes easy, you can extend it, or not. I tell you, just 10 minutes a day of sitting quietly with yourself will have a direct effect on the rest of your hours. It’s a pretty amazing return on your investment.
Let me know how it goes.