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The Different Stages of Meditation
These are some of the different stages of meditation:
Sitting still. It might be difficult to control the mind, but, we can at least perfect the art of sitting still. Some people can even struggle with this, if they live very hectic and agitated lives. However, for meditation we need to be able to keep the body perfectly still and relaxed for a good length of time. Sitting still is a precursor to meditation.
Relaxation. The next stage is to relax the body and remind ourselves that we are going to focus on our meditation and nothing else. We want to let go of any tension and stress. We can do a few breathing exercises to let go of any stress we may have.
Observation of Thoughts. The next stage is to observe our thoughts as they come and go. We can’t expect to stop them straight away, but, we want to gradually detach ourselves from them. By observing our thoughts we realise thoughts are external to us, so it is easier to let go of them. We realise many thoughts come into the mind, but, we have the power to accept or reject them.
Dharana. This is concentration. When we concentrate we focus on only one object at a time. It may be a candle, flower or sacred picture. But, in pure dharana all our awareness and energy is focused on this object. Stray thoughts cannot enter our mind, but, they get blocked out by the power of our concentration.
Dhyana. This is the state of meditation where our mind is still. Thoughts do not come to bother us. We have entered into a pure meditative consciousness and we are able to hold ourselves in this fixed state of mind. In this state we well feel a sense of peace, oneness and expansion.
Samadhi. In samadhi we are completely absorbed in our meditation. We have become so absorbed we will lose sense of self and the external world. Our consciousness will be flooded with infinite peace, light and delight. It is an experience that cannot be described in words. The poet Rumi said, it is impossible to share this ecstatic consciousness the poet can only share as much as a bee can carry a few drops of honey from a full jar.
Stages of Meditation
How to Meditate