The Eight Limbs of Yoga: Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi

Yoga Sutra 3.3
“tad eva artha matra nirbhasam svarupa shunyam iva samadhih”

Last month we explored the fifth limb: Pratyahara. This month, we move on to the last three limbs: Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.

We bucket the last three limbs together into one, as they are all directly connected to each other. One cannot exist without the other.

  • Dharana Concentration, the process of holding or fixing the attention of the mind onto one object to place. holding
  • DhyanaMeditation, sustained concentration, whereby the attention continues to hold or repeat the same object or place
  • Samadhi Deep absorption where only the essence of the object, place, or point is held in the forefront of the mind, as if the mind was devoid of even its own form

Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are the core of a yogi’s meditation practice. Sitting quietly, allowing the mind to slow down, and then turning the gaze towards the intention. Call up your prayer, allow it to fill your mind. Concentrate on the intention, and hold it at the forefront of your mind. Meditate on the intention and the intention only. The intention will begin to fill you up, and at some point you will become absorbed by it’s power.

Oftentimes, it’s only for a split second do you catch a glimpse of what complete and deep absorption might feel like. It is a continual practice. One that strengthens the mind, deepens the heart, and allows us to re-align with what is actually true, rather than what is included in The Story.

We have officially made our way through the Eight Limbs of Yoga, as outlined by Sri Swami Satchidananda’s rendition of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This work embodies a lifetime of information. We suggest reading the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and interpreting the text in your own words. This is the best, and deepest way, to apply the teachings to YOUR life.

If there’s ever a question, comment below!

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