Meditation or Dhyana
“Dhyanam nirvishyam manah”
Meditation is that state of the mind in which there are no Vishyas or sensual thoughts.
“Tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam”
The state that arises due to uninterrupted flow of concentration, with regard to the object of concentration, is known as Dhyana or meditation. There is continuous current of one object in the mind like the flow of water in river (Pravaha). There is only one vritti in the mind. All worldly thoughts are put to halt.
It means focusing the mind on one point, stilling the mind, in order to perceive the self. By stopping the waves of thoughts one comes to understand his true nature and discover the wisdom and tranquility that lies within. The practitioner’s body, breath, senses, mind, logic and ego are all integrated in the object of his contemplation. It is the seventh step of Patanjali Yoga. Yama (Self restraint), Niyama (Religious observance), Asanas (Comfortable postures), Pranayama (Restraint or regulation of breath), Pratyahara (Abstraction or withdrawal of senses), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyana (Meditation) Samadhi (Superconsciousness state or blissful union with the supreme self) are the eight steps of yoga.
Essence of meditation
As concentrating the rays of the sun with a magnifying glass can burn an object, similarly focusing the scattered rays of thoughts makes the mind penetrating and powerful. With the continued practice of meditation one can discover a greater sense of purpose and strength of will and one’s thinking becomes clearer and more concentrated, affecting the person and all his or her actions.
Meditation might be tiring in the beginning as the mind has the tendency to run away from the focus. After constant practice it would be easier to focus it and get the desired results. Regular practice of meditation opens the avenues of intuition, knowledge, makes the mind calm and steady and brings about ecstasy. It endows a lot of spiritual strength, peace, new vigor and vitality.