Dhyana Or Controlling The Mind
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Yoga in Daily Life

Human mind is generally disturbed and flooded with a variety of thoughts. Dhyana is the technique which is used to take care of these disturbances and enhance the concentration. These days the life is so full of tensions and worries that it is all the more difficult to achieve this. Yet with the constant upward movement of technology it has become essential to be able to concentrate on many things at once without any lapses. The practice of yoga can help people in their day to day lives by giving them better control of their thought process.

Practicing these few techniques of dhyana can lead to relaxation as well as memory enhancement. Dhyana comprises of many techniques. Here a brief description of each is given so as to achieve a balance in concentration of thoughts which yields better results both in professional as well as personal lives.

Vairagya and Abhyasa: Vairagya means cessation of thoughts of materialism. It indicates total lack of achievement or ambition. This however in present terms shall be considered more of laziness so it has to be interpreted as a state of mind which is not easily perturbed with material acquisition or jealousy for other’s possessions.

Abhyasa is practice of such positive state of mind that it becomes a habit. This is actually a process of steadying the mind. The mind is in fact in a state of constant jumble of thoughts. With practice it can be made to concentrate on the things which are most important and leave the rest. This is a state of absorption of mind and it can be attained by anyone with regular practice and constant effort in orientation.

Yama and Niyama: These are basically the positive and negative aspects of behavior in vairagya. Traditional texts mention ten yamasand ten niyamas. According to yoga these should be followed under all circumstances in life. As mentioned in the ancient texts there are consider five yamas and five niyamas which are the most important. Five yamas are:

  • Ahimsaor non violence.
  • Satyaor truthfulness.
  • Asteyaor not stealing anything.
  • Brahmacharya or celibacy.
  • Aparigrahaor not accumulating anything.

Five niyamas are:

  • Shouchaor cleanliness.
  • Santoshaor contentment.
  • Tapasor practicing religious austerities.
  • Svadhyayaor reading religious literature.
  • Ishwarapranidhana or devotion.

This list is certainly not exhaustive and can be added upon as much as possible. Indeed in today’s lifestyle there are many more additions possible. All these aim at one most important thing in life that everyone is seeking in one way or the other just one thing that is the peace of mind. In the present day’s stressed out life with weak morals and ambitions flying high it becomes all the more important to seek a balance for attaining some sort of contentment in life. The yogic principles of Dhyana provide sustained and time-tested base to build upon an optimistic life.

Pratyahara: This is another behavioral aspect that means withdrawal of senses from all material things and things that produce a sense of enjoyment in the human mind. This actually indicates that the sense organs should be withdrawn from their basic tasks and drawn inwards so that they become more oriented towards the mind and thought process. It is really a state where there is complete detachment of sense organs from the surrounding distractions.

It is natural to think that such practices may have been useful in the olden times but in this age of cut throat competition and constant struggle for survival how would it be possible to not believe in competition? And is it alright to actually renounce all responsibilities and just try to attain vairagya? It is indeed a very valid point and deserves an explanation.

The process of dhyana described here is indicative of controlling the thoughts and directing them towards all that is positive. It is not about running away from responsibilities and renouncing the world in search of enlightenment. As described in Gita it is important to conduct all tasks with a complete sense of confidence and an attitude of responsibility. But it is also important to not let the senses run away with distractions and get diverted from the basic task. In the new age this is constantly happening. So many people are leaving their responsibilities and commitments and taking short cut methods to achieve success. The norm of the day seems to be to attain whatever one can possibly acquire with as little effort as possible; and as much cunning as possible. An abundance of this kind of feelings lead to a general pattern of performance in society and slowly it becomes an acceptable way to behave.

Some philosophers theorize that the man made and natural calamities striking the world today are a result of collective thought process of the population of the world as thoughts are raw energy. Negative energy can produce only negative results. Whether it is true or not, it is certain that negative thought process cannot bring positive results. The whole process of dhyana is to concentrate on the positive and divert from the negative. Daily practice of these principles slowly moulds the thought process and puts it in the right direction making a person more affirmative in all his actions.

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