#7 Dhyana -The eight limbs of Yoga

#7 Dhyana -The eight limbs of Yoga


Hi everyone welcome, I’m Esther and I’m here to talk to you about the seventh limb which is Dhyana. The last three limbs – the previous one was Dharana now its Dhyana. The next one is Samadhi. The last three limbs are also called internal limbs. And the idea of these limbs is that they move you… towards the heightened form or state of self awareness. First there is Dharana and that is all about learning to focus the mind, you focus on a mantra or you focus on the breath when you meditate or when you sit. So one point of focus. Dyana is to bring about a real alertness, awareness, a keen awareness but without a focus. It’s like that awareness is there and you become it, whatever arrises you become it. It is almost that the subject and the object disappear. If for example during Dharana during the ‘one point focus’ you focus on (for example) the
breath when you sit, then at some point this this will move into you becoming the breath. That is Dhyana. I hope this makes sense. So instead of I am doing this, I am now focussing on the breath whenever my thoughts go I come back to the breath. Suddenly the breath is all there is and you are absorbed in the breath and you become one with the breath. The separation between you and the breath, between you, if you like, and the universe, disappears. That is Dhyana, that is the difference. How this can help you is that when you are in that state you become aware… of everything that arises in the field of your awareness. So in a way it can help you to become also more self aware in stressful situations. This translates into your daily life because that sort of awareness, that sort of keen awareness is… going to be also there in your daily life. You suddenly see yourself reacting certain ways in stressful situations You see yourself being taken away by a thought or a emotion, you understand where reactions or responses….. come from and what is behind it. The motives that are behind it, so very very helpful. That moment when you become more self aware in stressful situations you suddenly have a choice. and that choice is rather than reacting which is an automatic response what you are used to do….. You suddenly have a choice to
respond from intelligence and from being in the present moment and that is a big difference. The responding comes from the adult being here, being present, seeing what is happening… and the automatic reaction comes from you being in a regression and not really grounded. and seeing what is really happening. Dhyana has a real benefit to you if you start practicing that. Just to finish this talk I would like you to close your eyes. Wherever you are, you can sit in front of… the computer, it does not matter what posture you are in, just close your eyes and sit with a straight spine. On a chair or on the floor and become aware of your breath. That is ‘the doing’, you are aware of the breath that is your one “pointedness” concentration point. And of course me saying to you now “become your breath” does not just make it happen… But you can ask yourself the question what would it be like if I am the breath, if the breath…. is all there is from this moment onwards for the next 20 seconds or minute. So you don’t think about the breath anymore you just are the breath. The breath is all there is. The separation between you and breathing disappears, you are breathing. You are being “breathed”. Come one with the breathe, you can be this wide open space… and whatever arrises in that space,
you become one with it. Whether that is the breath or sensation, you are just a wide open space in which whatever arrises, is you.
There is no separation anymore. This is just to give you a little bit of an idea of maybe the differences between Dharana and Dhyana… or just this limb: the meditation part of the 8 limbs.
I hope you enjoyed that, thank you.