what is meditation?
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Mediation – dhyana in Sanskrit, is the true heart of yoga. It is the pinnacle practice for which the other yoga techniques (asana, pranayama, pratyahara) are preparing us.
Meditation as a process of sustained attention is a collective term that refers to a very wide variety of techniques used to influence the functioning of the mind. When we meditate, we intentionally placing our attention on something – a place, a concept, a sensation, or an object, and attempting to keep it there. There are many different meditation practices that achieve that. Some techniques involve visualisation, the repetition of a sound, known as a mantra while others involve the simple “mindfulness” observation of the breath or the thoughts, feelings and sensations that arise in the mind and body over a period of time.
Meditation is also an experience, a state where we feel in balance, have clarity of mind which helps us to remember our true nature which is beyond the activities of the mind. Meditation is the key tool for experiencing “oneness”, where we no longer feel separate or detached from the ocean of life.
Some people get how beneficial meditation is after just one session, but most of us take longer - you might notice a difference after a month, or maybe two of daily practice. Like music - needs to be played for hours to get the notes right, while in Japan it can take 12 years to learn how to arrange flowers. Being still happens in a moment, but it may take some time before that moment comes - hence the need for patience.