Dhyana is the seventh limb of yoga. In Dhyana one is so focused on the object of attention that a link is established between self and object. Thus you must start with focus which when sustained will lead to the connection. Hence, Dharana must precede Dhyana. Dharana is the contact and Dhyana is the connection.
At the start, you focus your attention on something – concept, object, breathing, or person, which when sustained, causes you to go deeper in focus ultimately leading to connection so that you now focus on one aspect of the object with the intent of understanding it fully.
This ability is crucial in active listening. Active listening is listening with full focus when the mind chatter is suspended and your intentions allow you to understand the meaning behind the words, allows you to empathize with the other person and relate to the feelings behind the words. You are in the zone. Dhyana can also be experienced in every other activity of life when you experience flow. Remember, the precursor to all of this is Pratyahara or withdrawal of senses when you draw your mind away from surrounding chatter and distractions and focus attention on one object, activity, or person.
In this state, the mind acquires the shape of the object of attention or focus. Hence it is essential that our mind be free of distractions, negative thoughts and emotions, and be entirely thinking about positive thoughts, emotions, concepts, activities and people who bring joy to our life. Hence focusing on the Divine, or the universal energy is helpful, I would argue essential, to achieve the state of Dhyana with relative ease.
This kind of meditation will remove attention from your body, the surroundings, and passage of time. Once you are able to do this, you are in samadhi when time stands still, all surrounding distractions melt away, and you lose yourself so much so that your physical existence is lost. Once you begin to feel your body, usually through discomfort, you are out of the samadhi state.
Dhyana brings peace, deeper knowledge, discernment, and detachment. In Dhyana the link that is established between the self and the object of contemplation allows deeper connection, better understanding, and insights about the object without external distractions and mental chatter that cause us to have only superficial knowledge.
About Kammitment: Led by scientist and life-coach Kamalesh (Kam) Rao, Kammitment helps one realize and make a commitment towards self-actualization, through tailored leadership coaching workshops and programs for students and professionals in all stages of their lives, by drawing upon the time-tested principles of Yoga and Mindfulness. Kam has spent 20 years as a scientist and a manufacturing industry professional in the pharmaceuticals industry, and continues to consult with the industry. In his free time he leads executive coaching programs for Fortune 100 clients. A certified Yoga instructor, Kam lives in Oakland, CA and is an active volunteer in the Bay Area community when he is not perfecting the next Pretzel pose in Yoga and its myriad benefits. For further information, please email [email protected]