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Dharana - concentration

DHARANA: Concentration


At times it is difficult to distinguish where one stage of yoga ends and another begins.  So it is with dharana.


In fact ALL yoga exercises demand full concentration or we risk injuring our self, and certainly not getting maximum benefit from our efforts. 


Pratyahara is seen as a precursor to dharana as we begin to rein in our senses and learn to focus on just one thing – our inner sense.  In dharana we use that focusing to extend the period of concentration as bring the chattering mind, the consciousness (citta), under control focusing on a single point or object (desha).  In yoga we call this one-pointed concentration `eka-agrata`.  In the process of concentrating the mind we are also concentrating the psycho-spiritual energies  for the following practice of meditation (dhyana).


Many methods are used to aid our efforts at dharana.  Physical objects such as candles, stones, or patterns (yantra) etc can act as starting points.  We can also focus on mental images such as a chosen deity, or the inner sound(nada).


The move from dharana to meditation (dhyana) is a smooth passage with no finite bondary.


Derek Osborn                                                 2005



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