Yoga, Meditation, & Wisdom

July 1st, 2017

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

This month’s column will wrap up The Eight Limbs of Yoga, as we focus on Dhyana and Samadhi.

(Photo Credit: anandashram.org)

Dhyana = worship. It is contemplation, focus and concentration; the ability to find the truth about something – an object, a thought – with perfect meditation. As our minds become clearer, our perceptions do as well. We can readily discern what is, and what is not, reality.

“Maya” is illusion. It is our perceptions, our judgements, our thoughts and feelings based on our lives, that color and filter all that we do and think.

“Moksha” is the freedom to see and perceive things clearly, as they really are and not what we judge them to be based on our own filters. This freedom exists in the now. It is having no ego, no attachments, no wants or needs.

To get one (Moksha), you must cast off the other (Maya). Using the power of meditation, we clear our minds to see beyond our illusions; we must be aware enough to “see” beyond what we see with our filters.

(Photo Credit: yogatrail.com)

The last limb is Samadhi, which means “to merge”. This is “the final and true state of Yoga” (from samadhiyoga.net)

Through utmost patience and years (and years) of diligent practice, we can reach that perfect place with a blissful and peaceful soul.

(Photo Credit: samadhiyoga.net)

From the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As interpreted by Mukunda Stiles

Chapter 1, Verses 15 – 18

Non-attachment

is the mastery of consciousness,

wherein one is free from craving

objects of enjoyment,

whether they have been perceived

or imagined from promises in scriptures.

The ultimate state of non-attachment

arises from self-realization,

in which there is indifference

to the primordial forces of desire,

as everything

and everyone

is experienced as one’s

own True Self

Thorough knowledge

is accompanied by inquiry

into its four forms

analytical thinking about an object,

meditative insights on thoughts,

reflections into the nature of bliss,

and inquiry into one’s essential purity.

Another form

of thorough knowledge

is preceded by resolute practice

to completely cease

identification with the contents of the mind.

As a result,

only subliminal impressions remain

and their residue

has no impact on the mind.

Verse 43

When the

storehouse of memories and impressions

is completely purified,

perception is

empty of vacillations

and only the object’s

true essence

shines forth in

thought-free perception.

Verse 51

When the mind

becomes free from obstruction

all vacillations cease,

and the mind becomes

absorbed into spirit

without producing future seeds.

Thus a new mind is born

of this wisdom,

free of ignorance

(Photo Credits: Pinterest)


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