We’ve reached the 7th limb of Pantanjali’s 8 limbs of yoga. This limb is called Dhyana. Dhyana is the continuous inward flow of consciousness, a deep form of meditation.
The consciousness that has been focused for short periods up to now begins to settle in for a more comfortable, longer duration in Dhyana. The stream of consciousness becomes a continuous flow, without starts and stops.
The benefits of Dhyana, or deep meditation, is that the sense of connection and calm we develop during yoga lasts long after we complete the practice and move on with our day. A true sense of inner peace can be accessed in this way. You may find this practice is a way to stay grounded, inspire yourself, and keep perspective in life, no matter what is happening around you.
Meditation can have a revelational quality to it, revealing aspects of ourself we may not usually have access to, deep wells of love, and a profound connection with all of life. When we fall into the rhythm of Dhyana, doing fades into being, like the sunset gracefully gives way to evening. Doing and undoing fall into perfect, easeful rhythm and balance.
- RITUAL. The practice of meditation becomes a personal ritual. It’s not done for show or to get somewhere. It connects us to the source of our existence, whether you call that God, the Universe, or Consciousness. Step into the fire of spirit and emerge refined and renewed.
Ritual, not Rules: The Fire of Spirit (Elephant Journal)
- ABHYASA. Abhyasa is a devoted practice. This is the doing side of meditation, manifest through a practice that’s sustained, dedicated, wholehearted, and balanced.
5 Secrets of the Wholehearted (MindBodyGreen)
- VAIRAGYA. Vairagya and Abhyasa go hand in hand, like two wings of the same bird. Vairagya is remembering the true self. This allows feelings of clinging and yearning to fade. It’s the yin, nondoing side of meditation. Although it is sometimes called “nonattachment,” this state is not a detached, cold, distant approach to life. It is the reflective nature of our true self that is completely content to just be.
Balancing Effort & Surrender (Yoga Journal)
- SATTWA. Sattwa is a sense of balance. When the flow of consciousness streams inward uninterrupted, meditation becomes effortless. In the stillness and silence we befriend our own self. From here we can emerge to greet the world from a place of stability and strength.
5 Lessons I Learned in a Weekend of Silence (Positively Positive)
- MANTRA. Mantra is a powerful tool for meditation. Learn how to practice the So hum mantra during meditation.
The Value of Mantra (Care2)
We’ve reached Week 7 on our exploration through Pantanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga! If you want to catch up on the last six weeks, you can find them here: