September 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Dhyana (Full Meditation)

Good Morning Yogis! We are ending a September Asana-focused month of practices, and moving on to a month focused on meditation for October. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one. We already covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses and Dharana or Intense Focus. The last three Limbs of YogaDharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are often referred to as the “innermost quest” and studied together. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and sequentially upon each other. However, these practices are all meditation focused, and must truly be practiced and understood on your own. Samadhi is basically our goal and will be discussed only occasionally… we are skipping Samadhi this round of through the 8 limbs of Yoga, and jumping right into our meditation month tomorrow. Today we will discuss Dhyana and try a Meditation to reach this state. Check out our deep dive on Dhyana.

cool shot of sunlit garden with awning of sunlit leaves and yellow flowers over gray floral-lined pavement - upper limbs of yoga Dhyana full meditation Quote: Meditation is bringing the mind home. - Sogyal Rinpoche
Meditation is bringing the mind home. – Sogyal Rinpoche

Dhyana is the 7th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as meditation. I prefer to think of Dhyana as full meditation, a bit stronger and more specific than “meditation”. This is typically the goal of meditation, to fully stop our thoughts and have a quiet mind. After withdrawing inside ourselves with Pratyahara and focusing our minds on a single subject with Dharaha, we may reach the level of meditation where our thoughts actually stop. In true Dhyana or true meditation, we typically are not aware of this clear-minded state until we come out of it.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dhyana-focused Meditation Practice. You can try our breath-focused meditation again, and then allow your mind to quiet. Or, you can try a guided meditation meant to help bring the state of Dhyana.

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey! I am working on Dhyana.. I usually can focus on one thing with Dharana, but my mind wanders fairly quickly when I try to quiet it for full meditation.

Dhyana Guided Meditation

Our Breath-Focused Meditation – first focus on breath, then allow your mind to quiet.

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Dhyana exercise! If you have another favorite guided meditation, please share the link! Always remember, be kind!

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