The last two limbs of yoga CANNOT BE DONE. No amount of trying or practicing can ‘achieve’ these two stages of yoga. Instead these are states of being that flow organic to the dedicated yogi as a progression of the practices undertaken.
When the flow of the mind is contained to one field of awareness, a spontaneous sense of relaxation and release washes over us. This deep inner surrender into infinite space is Dhyana (meditation).
One of the frustratingly slippery things about meditation is that as soon as we identify that we are in a meditative state we at first grasp at the experience and seek to label it (“I’m mediating!”). The moment this occurs we are no longer meditating, because meditation is not something that can be ‘done’, We can sit (asana), we can concentrate (dharana), but we cannot mediate, meditation is the fruit of our efforts, not an effort itself. Yet the fight that the mind puts up during extended periods of sitting is a vital part of sadhana, whether we label it meditation or not.
As meditation deepens there is a point when the mind dissolves into the present experience and there is no longer a subject and an object, no longer the observer the observed. This experience appears to be free from any mental constructions of separateness and empty of its own self-form. This is Samadhi - complete self-realisation and bliss.
I hope my brief treatment of these principles may have planted a seed of interest in exploring THE YOGA SUTRAS further. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s can be read and re-read over and over again. If you are interested in Ashtanga Yoga or the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga I encourage you to explore this rich text.
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