As we come to the seventh step, I realize we have almost completed this journey through the eight-fold-path of yoga!
The sixth step was concentration and focus, so our next step is when those efforts are no longer efforts, and you are just present in the ceaseless waves of pure experience and presence. This is Dhyana, or meditation.
In meditation you are only aware of the present moment, you are not thinking about the past or the future. You’re not thinking at all. It’s just being.
Writing these posts have been an excellent learning opportunity for me, as I have realized after years of teaching meditation classes and workshops, what I have really been teaching is Dharana (concentration). When I teach classes I am giving students exercises and tools they can use that will ultimately bring them to meditation.
We have done gazing, walking, visualizations, breathing, chanting, yoga nidra and silent ‘meditations’… but truly meditation is the experience of pure stillness. Our thoughts stop, our breathing is natural, and our body is still. Often in classes we are still in our beginning phases of meditation (concentration), where we are still learning to be aware of outside influences and our inner challenges. Not to mention the physical discomforts that distract us from our uninterrupted ability to meditate!
With that being said, keep practicing these individual steps on the path of yoga and meditation will become ceaseless!
Credit Kaitlin Appleman