Focusing the Mind: An Overview of Dharana
Dharana is the limb of yoga that considers the importance of concentration during the practice and process of meditation. When the mind is focused, we can eliminate the vritti or ripples that distract the mind from seeing the true nature of reality. The goal is ekagrata – the single-pointed concentration.
Video Commentary: Focus (Dharana)
Dharana – meditative concentration.
The sixth limb of yoga practice is dharana. Dharana is a state of one-pointed concentration. It is holding the mind steady within a center of consciousness or on an object of focus in the mind.
Whereas the previous limb, pratyahara, involves withdrawing the mind from external phenomenon. Dharana goes further, to a place where the mind is focused and consciousness does not waiver.
Dharana is the transition into deep meditation.
In the state of dharana, the mind has a single point of concentration, avoids other thought, and awareness on the object of focus in the mind is uninterrupted.
“Concentration is asana applied to the mind.”- Georg Feurstein, The Deeper Dimension of Yoga
Exercise: The Caliber of Life Meditation
Sat nam and welcome back! Today we will practice a challenging meditation taught in 1979 by Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini yoga. It’s called “The Caliber of Life Meditation”. This practice builds strong nerves and the ability to focus the mind. When you practice this meditation, you will discover a new sense of stability and trust in yourself.
This meditation can be practiced 3-5 minutes and, as your strength builds, up to 11 minutes maximum. Today we will go for five minutes. Keep up and do your best. You can always return to this episode to practice again.