The Eight Limbs of Yoga
This month’s column will wrap up The Eight Limbs of Yoga, as we focus on Dhyana and Samadhi.
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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.
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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
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,
is experienced as one’s
own True Self
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.
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.
storehouse of memories and impressions
is completely purified,
empty of vacillations
and only the object’s
shines forth in
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
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