Namaste from Pondicherry, India

Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!

We are beginning to get into the higher level of practices here at the ashram including Pratyahara (withdrawal and control of the senses), Dharana (Concentration) and Dyana (Meditation).  I thought in this week’s lesson an overview of the meaning of these concepts would be helpful.

It is really important that we understand that without Pranayama these practices are not effective.  We must have the ability to control our breath, and in order to do that, we must have awareness of the respiratory system and a regular Pranayama practice.  Often we hear of people offering “meditation” classes.  This is actually a misnomer as they are teaching “Concentration”.  But offering a concentration class doesn’t sound very interesting to most people and is insulting to others because they don’t think they need help concentrating.  If we are honest with ourselves and practice Satya, we will agree that actual concentration is one of the most difficult disciplines there is, especially in today’s overstimulated society.

Pratyahara practice allows us to withdrawal the senses inward and then we go beyond the withdrawal of the senses to the actual control of them.  Our senses are always reaching out and looking for sensory inputs, not the other way around.  We don’t see something per se; our eyes go out and find it.

Dharana in taking the mind and bringing it to one point of concentration and then staying on that one point in a laser-like focus.  If we stay in Dharana long enough we reach a state of Dyana, which is a meditative state in the higher part of the mind.  We cannot consciously reach Dyana which is why it is impossible to teach meditation.  We can only come into a state of meditation from concentration.  This is very important to realize because when we understand this it opens one of the doors necessary to access the practice, and that is the door of awareness.

Enjoy, keep practicing, continue evolving and so much more to come!!  As always if you have any questions, you can email me directly at gary@rippleyoga.com.  I answer all emails!!!!

In Unity and Love,

Yogi Gary