Good morning, mindful ones! It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be thankful for!
Let’s move onward in our study of the eight limbs of yoga.
Last week, we covered dharana, our sixth limb of yoga. Dharana sets the stage for dhyana, the perfect contemplation of meditation.
Dhyana is total absorption into the object being focused on. This uninterrupted flow of concentration creates devotion. Dhyana distinctly differs from the one-pointed concentration of dharana in that it is ultimately a state of being keenly aware without focus. In this quiet stillness the brain produces few or no thoughts at all. The strength and stamina it takes to reach this state of stillness is quite impressive. In dhyana we dissolve separateness and experience the deep river of peace.
As you cultivate a consistent meditation practice, you will derive both mental and physical benefits in your life. Modern science and medicine are just now measuring the benefits of this ancient practice to explain how the body physiologically changes and how each of the trillions of body cells are charged with more prana (energy). Increased life force or prana results in joy, peace, and enthusiasm. Below I’ve listed a small percentage of the vast benefits of mediation.
▪ Lowers high blood pressure
▪ Reduces anxiety
▪ Decreases tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
▪ Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
▪ Improves the immune system
▪ Increases energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
▪ Can assist with weight loss and other physical goals
▪ Improved athletic performance
▪ Can provide significant relief from asthma and allergies
Mental Benefits of Meditation
Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into a relaxed state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. With regular practice of meditation:
▪ Emotional stability improves
▪ Creativity increases
▪ Happiness increases
▪ Intuition develops
▪ Increase in mental clarity
▪ Sharpens the mind by increasing focus
▪ Slows aging of your mind
▪ Can help with improving relationships
How do you tell the difference between concentration and meditation? If there is awareness of distraction, you are concentrating and not meditating. The calm achieved in meditation spills over into all aspects of your life. Try practicing meditation during a hectic day at work, shopping for groceries, attempting to return/exchange holiday gifts, or even waiting in a busy queue of traffic!
Start small; set your timer for five minutes each day and build from there. Imagine yourself at this time next year after a full year of meditating! You are 100 percent pure potential, my friend! Let’s talk more next year… On behalf of all of us at YBD, wishing you and your family a safe, healthy and prosperous new year filled with love, happiness, success, yoga and meditation!