Dhyana (Complete focus)
The seventh limb of Äshtanga Yoga is Dhyana. Ashtanga Yoga is “Eight Limb” Yoga and is the ancient science of disciplining the body and mind. Dhyana comes after Dharana and is part of the Antaranga Yoga or internal yoga. While Dharana is the process by which one learns to concentrate steadily, Dhyana takes us one step further and is the process by which one focuses on one particular object.
The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word Dhyana is Meditation. In this process, you concentrate on one point with the intent of seeking the spiritual truth and learning about the Supreme Being and self. In this, you withdraw all your senses from all the other objects.
When practicing Dhyana fully, you tend to experience a state of tranquility. Your biggest aim is to clear your mind, cleanse your subconscious and develop concentration such that you go through the various stages of communication with self and the Supreme Being.
When you regularly practice Dhyana, you’ll be able to calm your mind and allow yourself to look at the world in a different way, without any of the distractions. Your whole way of looking at things and corresponding reactions changes with practice. This helps you reach a new level of heightened awareness. At this level of heightened awareness meditation, experiences, and consciousness merge and become a single entity.
Points to remember with the practice of Dhyana:
* Single focus of the mind by controlling the thought movements is very necessary. The thought process should not wander around.
* One should be sure that he is interested in seeking the focus only after he evaluates the pros and cons. One who seeks serious practice should be prepared to accept the internal changes that inevitably occur.
* The seeker should be able to think of the world as a whole and not just about himself.
What are the benefits of Dhyana?
1. The first and foremost benefit of practicing yoga is that it produces a state of tranquility in the mind as well as the body.
2. It helps to harmonize the seeker’s inner self with the right path to seek the Supreme.
3. It helps in controlling the thoughts leading to less stress and fewer worries. It also helps the yogi to lead a simple life.
4. It helps the seeker to analyze his emotions in an objective way and changes the way he would have reacted to the situation otherwise.
5. By removing the overloading distractions from our life, it helps in contemplating on more important things like seeking the connection with our inner self.
6. The seeker can contemplate on any subject with complete focus and flow into it seamlessly.
7. Dhyana yoga helps each and every cell of the body to also relax and rejuvenate as well as regenerate.
8. It helps in improving the functioning of all the body systems like the digestive system, the respiratory system and hence the quality of the blood and through it the circulatory, muscular and the nervous systems.
Dhyana helps the seeker lead a simple and healthy life amidst all the distractions and stresses and paves the way for a deeper spiritual connection.