The sixth limb of yoga, dharana, can be interpreted as concentration or single pointed focus. The practice of dharana is a gentle approach to meditation. While sitting in one place, and focusing on one thing, you can soften into an expansive awareness.
Sutra 3.1 and 3.2 state: desa bandhas cittasya dharana, tatra pratyayai katanata dhyanam, which loosely translates as, “when a mind focuses on one thing, and holds this focus, this is meditation.” Thus, by focusing on one thing, all other thoughts, feelings, and emotions can dissolve.
I have found two approaches to this style of meditation that are accessible and effective. I invite you to try them, especially if meditation is a challenge.
- Trataka // Candle Gazing -Stare at a single point (a candle or a small object). The candle or item should be about 3-4 feet away at eye level. Benefits: Brings energy to the "third eye" (the intuitive that sees the unseen), increases concentration and memory, and brings you into a state of awareness and focus.
- Altar // Staring Wall - I call my altar the “staring wall,” as it is where I sit, breathe, and look at the objects of joy and remembrance I have collected and placed there. It’s truly that simple. In a designated place in my home, I have pictures, rocks, crystals, amulets, deities and when I need to ground and root, I sit in front of it, I breathe, and I focus on one of the objects until I come into a soft, unfocused awareness (meditation).
In both of the above approaches, once I have softened my gaze and grounded my energy, I rest my eyes closed and practice being and breathing for however long I need. Enjoy yogis.
By Liz Skarvelis; All Rights Reserved @2019