What is meditation and how to do it?

 The history of Yogor Yoga, as it is popularly know, is thousandsof years old. Yog word is first believed to be expressed in Hindu’s sacred and holy book ‘Geeta’, thousands of years ago. However authentically, the word Yoga has been found in Patanjali’s book ‘Yoga Sutra’. In his book, he has mentioned different paths to attain knowledge and peace that could to be achieved through Yoga. The most popular form of Yoga is known as ‘Ashtang Yoga’ or the Eight Limbs of Yoga. This has been professor by Patanjali around 2500 years ago, at around 400 BC. 

 What are the eight limbs or steps of Yoga?

In this ‘AshtangaYoga’, the eight steps of Yoga, includes Yam, Niyam, Aasan, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Out of these eight steps, the sixrth step Dharna is concentration and the seventh standard ‘Dhyana’  ismeditation. In this article, we are going to specifically focus on these two steps and let you know the classical form of Dhayna or meditation and how to achieve best results with that in contemporary world, times and situations.

From concentration to meditation

As described above, the eight steps of Yoga are meant to be step by step procedure to achieve the ultimate knowledge and peace of mind. It starts with Yam and Niyam, which are social and personal laws, that has to be implemented on person who is practicing Yoga.He has to discipline himself to through them before he enters the next level of purification of external and internal body. This purification is achieved through Aasan and Pranayam. 

Aasan means making specific body postures and Pranayam involves different kind of breathing exercises. Through this, body becomes free from disease as well as purified at the level of thoughts. Once this start to happen, the next stages entering into self through is practicsed, which is called ‘Pratyahar’ and the techniques involved in are collectivelycalled Dharna and Dhyana. 

‘Pratyahar’ basically means moving towards inside of the body and connecting it with yourself. This is attained through different steps, the first is concentration or Dharana, and the second step is meditation or Dhyana. Dharna or concentration, simply means trying to focus on a particular thing. When through practice, one is able to focus consistently to a particular thing that is known as the state of meditation or Dhayna. 

The important thing that needs to be noted here is that meditation and concentration at two different things. As per Dr. R C Verma, a nonagenarian enthusiast yogi and founder of PatanjaliVidyapeeth, Annapurna road, Indore, “Dhyana or meditation is concentration minus attachment that is involved in it.”

If you try to understand this concept practically, then we might enjoy lots of things and can spend hours practicing things that we enjoy and that are of our taste.These include watching TV, playing mobile games, spending time with our friends, cooking, playing sports, dancing and so on. While some people generally enjoy some or most of these activities, and theycan easily practice these activities because they enjoy them, this is necessary not meditation. This is just concentrating and focusing naturally on things that you like. When you do things that you like and you are interested, you get attached or obsessed to them and a little bit of disturbance or interference in them would make you annoyed. 

That is why these activities cannot be termed as meditation. The basic difference between concentration and meditation is that when you are meditating, you are in a much more mature level of thinking. You are not going to be annoyed while doing any kind of activities even if you are interrupted during them, suddenly or even regularly at a periodic intervals of time. 

You behave maturely and you would masterthe art of concentration. You would be able to concentrate on different things, one after the other randomly on at a multidimensional level without really getting annoyed. This state is called meditation. Meditation can be started by concentration and it can be done practically by starting off with things that you enjoy doing. 

These include all these kinds of activities as been mentioned above. We can also include any other activities like playing blackjack games, watching movies, or computer games or anything that might not be considered gentle enough for meditation. But as far as the practical aspect of Yoga is concerned, Yoga permits everything and includes everything without any discrimination. 

This is the essence of Yoga and meditation is almost the peak height of Yoga.  It defines meditation as living in present state of mind and growing maturity enough, so that one does not get disturbed by circumstances. You do concentrate on things during meditation, but you ‘become’ concentration itself! You might get disturbed little bit practically because we are talking it in realistic comes, but you develop the art of dealing the most difficult of the situation in most relaxed and easy going manner. This is the practical aspect of meditation that needs to be understood before it is practiced. 

At times, people often think that meditation is sitting peacefully and breathing and trying to control your mind. While this is the classical form of meditation, this might not hold true or effective in present world which is full of mess. If you want to practice meditation practically, then you have to be prepared to keep yourself calm and composed at all the times. Therefore the best way to practice it is to practice it all the time to meditate in everything that you do. Once you understand this concept and try to follow it sincerely, you would be able to get desired results.


We hope that you like this different approach towards the meditation. At the end of the day, we all want practical application of everything. and meditation is no exception to this rule! So, start with what you enjoy doing and gradually you will understand the art of meditating. You will evolve from being a noob and you will slowly enter mature level and then, your concentration will become meditation.
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"Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior’s indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity."

Carlos Castaneda

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