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Thread: some fundamentals...

  1. #1
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    some fundamentals...

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast



    I wrote in another post,
    the more you engage the mind the more you stay on the surface of the mind. Like swimming on the surface of the ocean. You are tossed here and there by the waves. The silence of the ocean is found in its depths, not on the surface. Same with the mind... the goal is not on the surface but at its depths - that is where pure awareness can be found.
    This will not be an instruction post, to do that is quite different a matter indeed.

    Let me offer the following for one's consideration. For some people that wish to become meditators (dhyāyin-s) they may start at the abuddha condition i.e. unawakened, where the mind flutters here-and-there. Hence swimming on the surface is the best they can do in their initial condition.
    This does not suggest they are ~bad~ people nor a ~poor~ adhikārin. It suggests they need to begin with some fundamental techniques (upāya) that will bring discipline to the mind. Why discipline ? We will see after several posts how this applies.

    We want to take the aspirant from the abuddha condition to buddha to prabuddha ( some say supra-buddha) condition. That is, from unawakened to fully awake. From a yoga point of view we wish to go from bhāvanā to samādhi to the samāpatti condition.

    Let's define these so there is no confusion...some say all 3 are the same, others see some differences.
    • bhāvanā - direct one's thoughts ; reflection; contemplation yet the key words to walk away with is 'saturating , steeping , infusion'.
      • Let's call this the repeated saturation and engagement with the method/approach/instruction of meditation to the exclusion to all others. That is, awareness is engrossed in the process of meditation (the mind is the apparatus or tool that is used).
    • samādhi - is the highest level of bhāvanā - the awareness is completely one-pointed and saturated.
    • samāpatti - is the transformation of the mind ; the completion , conclusion or the result of ones continued practice of samādhi.
    So, pending one's existing condition or disposition one needs to decide the entry point for one's practice. For some where the mind continually waivers, simple ideas that bring some discipline to the aspirant can be employed.

    Yet as the person progresses additional methods are offered and tested to see how the methods bear fruit. This is the role of the teacher. To offer these methods and see the outcomes and chart the proper course for the individual.
    To pick up several methods and approaches and try them sporadically is like taking mutiple colors of paint and throwing them against a
    canvas and hope that a picture emerges.

    Here is where disipline point 1 comes in: Well begun is half done. We need to have a method and a guide.

    Now what is that method ? Let's talk of one approach that is offered by śeṣa patajali (the author of the yoga-sūtras); There are other approaches but for this post it is about the fundamentals and this is where we will begin.


    We need to view and understand the following:
    • dhyāna ध्यान
    • dhāraṇā धारणा
    • samādhi समाधि
    this will be reviewed in the next post ...


    iti śivaṁ


    words
    • adhikārin - fit for; possessing authority. This word is used for one that is 'fit' for kari or accomplishment.
      • That of being on the path of sādhana. And what is this sādhana ? It is the means of effecting or accomplishing , any agent or instrument or implement or utensil ; an expedient.
        It is the one that wishes to be the sādhu - straightened , not entangled or the virtuous , honorable , righteous
        person on the path of unfoldment.
    • upāya उपाय that by which one reaches one's aim ; a means for success
    • yoga-sūtras some write pātajalayogasūtra-s
    Last edited by yajvan; 18 December 2012 at 05:22 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: some fundamentals...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    • dhyāna ध्यान - meditation
    • dhāraṇā धारणा - fixity, the act of holding, singleminded-ness ( as you mention ~ fixity on an object)
    • samādhi समाधि - is one-pointed absorption; One can say the mind is absorbed or 'concentrated' - but it is not the act of concentrating
    I mentioned the following in the last post on samādhi :
    sam + ā + dhā : sam or sama = sameness, evenness, homogeneous +
    ā = thoroughly, completely + dhā = take hold of , hold , bear , support. Hence samādhi = 'to hold sameness/evenneness completely'. This even-ness is concentrated one-pointedness. These 3 bring about praśānta-vāhitā
    • praśānta = calm , quiet , composed , indifferent
    • vāhitā = flowing , flow , current
    A beautiful word - it informs us of the composed, calm flow of the mind. Some say the calm flow of awareness.

    Here is the delicate idea of discipline (inferred in post 1 above). Discipline does not always mean 'firm, in line' or 'rigid'; Here we suggest this disipline is one of a calm and natural flow. We can call it vinaya which its 2nd derivation means disipline and contol but also means the propriety of conduct , modesty , mildness . It is from this vi-naya we get prudent conduct or behavior , good management ; and from 'vi' we get 'arrangement' or 'order '. So, from this practice the mind gets arranged in good order.

    iti śivaṁ

    words
    1. pātajali-s yogasūtra-s : tasya praśāntavāhitā saṁskārāt ||3.10
    Last edited by yajvan; 18 December 2012 at 05:22 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: some fundamentals...

    This is a nice reflection on Patajali. Thank you for posting it!

  4. #4
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    Re: some fundamentals...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post

    • dhyāna ध्यान - meditation
    • dhāraṇā धारणा - fixity, the act of holding, singleminded-ness ( as you mention ~ fixity on an object)
    • samādhi समाधि - is one-pointed absorption; One can say the mind is absorbed or 'concentrated' - but it is not the act of concentrating
    To the unaided observer these 3 may seem like 3 distinct approaches. Yet this is not the case; one leads to the other. Some say one 'pours' (upasecana) into the other.
    Now how this occurs is a bit detailed but for the person that practices this, they are saying ' yes, yes'. When all 3 are being practiced\engaged, there is a word that is applied. It is called saṁyama. It is called out in pātajalayogasūtra-s in the 3rd chapter:

    trayamekatra saṁyamaḥ ||3. 4

    This simply says,
    trayam (dhāraṇā + dhyāna + samādhi ) on a single object (ekatra) is saṁyama (saṁyamaḥ) ||3.4

    Now what is the nature of this saṁyama ?
    saṁyama (संयम) defined by Monier Williams Dictionary is considered holding together , restraint , control;concentration of mind. Yet I find this a 'clinical' definition, devoid of practice or experience. The sense of control may be mis-leading to many. The word control comes with the following:
    dominate, command, to hold in check and more extremely to eliminate or prevent the flourishing or spread ( like in controlling a forest fire perhaps).
    I not a fan of the word control, as it suggests effort. With effort expended saṁyama becomes a fleeting idea that one does not capture.

    This saṁyama is more towards the notion of holding together, gently, then 'restraining or controlling' . It's a very delicate thing that happens when practiced.

    From my POV saṁyama is the formula for (gently and with minimum effort) holding together dhāraṇā + dhyāna + samādhi within the field of consciousness.

    Yet we as humans are trained to expend effort , yes? Work hard and you are rewarded, study hard to get good grades, hit hard in football; now someone says try less & less; less effort = more this saṁyama works.

    It is the notion of the delicate, ease of application, the lightness of effort, and all this is summed up in this beautiful word intent. The formula of saṁyama is based upon intent.

    Intent is the least amount of effort expended that still has direction and bears fruit -and this is saṁyama, a function of intent. This is what is missing in the definition of this most noble word saṁyama .


    iti śivaṁ

    1.upasecana - anything poured over or upon , infusion
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5
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    Re: some fundamentals...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    One needs to be aware that the 3 components mentioned in the last post i.e. dhāraṇā + dhyāna + samādhi are part of aṣṭāṅga-yoga
    or the 8 limbs of yoga.

    yama, niyama, āsana , prāṇāyāma , pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi, the eight (aṣṭau) limbs (aṅgāni) ||2.29

    We practice dhāraṇā + dhyāna + samādhi , yet they too are supported by the other 5 limbs. In fact all the limbs are nourished by samādhi. Here nourished (sūbharva) means bringing to fruition (satsukhānubhava) or to wholeness (samagra). The word samagra suggest 'complete'. But why so ? Why is this samādhi so nourshing ? We will take this up in the next post.


    iti śivaṁ


    words
    • sūbharva - 'well nourished' ; eating or feeding well
    • satsukhānubhava - fruition of real happiness
    • samagra - entire , whole , complete , 'fully' , 'entirely'.
    • pātajali-s yogasūtra-s : yamaniyamāsanaprāṇāyāmapratyāhāradhāraṇādhyānasamādhayo'ṣṭāvaṅgāni ||29
    Last edited by yajvan; 16 December 2012 at 01:02 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #6

    Re: some fundamentals...

    Namaste,

    Really appreciate these. Just wanted to show my thanks, thank you. Will try to read them and reflect on them later.

  7. #7
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    Re: some fundamentals...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    Why is this samādhi so nourshing ?
    The infusion (upasecana) of pure awareness is facilitated by the unfoldment ( revealing) of samādhi in one's own Being. Then samāpatti occurs i.e. completion , conclusion (samagra) continues to unfold. Now this is a ~fluffy~ answer and needs more definition. What does pātajali muni tell us ? He says in chapter 2,

    samādhibhāvanārthaḥ kleśatanūkaraṇārthaśca ||2
    this says,
    (via one's practice - this is inferred and not spelled out) samādhi ( is revealed) making thin or attenuating (tanūkaraṇa) kleśa || 2

    So, via one's meditation & practice this samādhi unfolds (upasecana) and with this, it 'makes thin' or removes kleśa-s. What are these kleśa-s ?

    Kleśa-s are ~blemishes found in ignorance~ some say afflictions; in this yoga approach 5 kleśa-s are called out:
    • avidyā - ignorance regardng the true nation of one's own Being
    • asmitā - 'me'-ness; not aware of Self and non-Self.
    • rāga - excessive affection or sympathy for , vehement desire
    • dveṣa - aversion towards; hatred , dislike , repugnance , enmity to
    • abhiniveśa - is excessive affection or clinging to life or to mundane existence, which means fear of death
    So, via this samādhi , this pure undifferentiated awareness, the blemishes are removed, 'thinned'. One is nourshed with the wholeness (samagra) of Being, the purity of Being.

    See the point? We are not so much dealing with the issue of smallness, of being limited, with trying to erode or remove a kleśa here-or-there by effort; we are bringing in the light to the darkened room and lighting the whole room - not concerning ourselves with darkness or shadows, but brightening the whole room into the light. Like that, this samādhi , this purity (sattva) has the same ability.

    iti śivaṁ

    words
    • samāpatti - the transformation of the mind ; the completion , conclusion or final result of ones continued practice
    • upasecana - anything poured over or upon , infusion
    • samagra - samagra - entire , whole , complete , 'fully' , 'entirely'.
    • samādhi - see post 2 above
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  8. #8
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    Re: some fundamentals...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast


    It seems reasonable to offer a better understanding of :
    • dhyāna ध्यान - meditation
    • dhāraṇā धारणा - fixity, the act of holding, singleminded-ness
    • samādhi समाधि- is one-pointed absorption; One can say the mind is absorbed or 'concentrated' - but it is not the act of concentrating
    We reviewed samādhi in post 2 & 7 above; yet I have not given a more in-depth view of this dhāraṇā + dhyāna .


    We begin with dhāraṇā. As mentioned it is fixity, that act of holding. This word also means retaining. This dhā धा means 'holding' - that is where fixity comes from in this word. It is the matter of the mind fixing on one idea only ( some say one idea or notion above all others).

    Now when this one idea flows (from the word dhāra defined as coming down in a stream) again and again, one after another, a ~ continuous flow~ then it becomes dhyāna or meditation.

    Note that this word dhyāna is rooted in gam which means the following:
    • bring to a place
    • to cause to go to any condition , cause to become
    • make clear or intelligible
    So this informs us that via dhyāna we are brought to a place, which makes clear and intelligible, and 'causes to become'. But what place are we brought to , to become what ?Samādhi.


    What is found in samādhi ? Samā or even-ness, balance. And what else ? 'sa' which is another name for viṣṇu or śiva,
    for the supreme, or pure awareness, without boundries. It is a name for undifferentiated ( not fractured, un-compounded) awareness.

    Hence we see the flow (dhāra) --> dhāraṇā -- > dhyāna--> samādhi

    iti śivaṁ
    Last edited by yajvan; 17 December 2012 at 08:28 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #9
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    Re: some fundamentals...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    With the last post, we were able to visit the meditation components in post 8 above:
    the flow (dhāra) --> dhāraṇā -- > dhyāna--> samādhi


    Yet let's still re-address some of the fundamenals that were inferred with the following verbiage:
    For some people that wish to become meditators (dhyāyin-s) may start at the abuddha condition i.e. unawakened, where the mind flutters here-and-there. Hence swimming on the surface is the best they can do in their initial condition.
    This does not suggest they are ~bad~ people nor a ~poor~ adhikārin. It suggests they need to begin with some fundamental techniques (upāya) that will bring discipline to the mind. Why discipline ? We will see after several posts how this applies.
    We want to take the aspirant from the abuddha condition to buddha to prabuddha ( some say supra-buddha) condition. That is from unawakened to fully awake.
    Lets take a look at the possible conditions of the mind - these abuddha to buddha to prabuddha conditions.
    The grouping of mind functions can, in general, be divided into two camps ( using patajalis yogadarśana thinking):
    • kliṣṭa - afflicted or in distress ; these are based on the 5 kleśa-s called out in post 7 above so we needn't review them again.
    • akliṣṭa - untroubled, undisturbed.
    What conditions of the mind do those ~states of mind~ occur ?
    • kṣipta - scattered, distracted or absence of mind ; this word can also mean kṣapā́ or night ( the darkness of mind)
    • mūḍha - stupefied , bewildered , perplexed , or confusion of mind
    • vikṣipta - scattered ; being dispersed in different places
    • ekāgra - one pointed
    • nirodha - arrested; restrained , in check or controlled
    Note from the list above it goes from scattered (kṣipta) to finally arrested, managed or controlled. The more appropriate term you have been introduced to from the above posts is absorbed or samādhi.

    So this notion of abuddha is introduced here as kṣipta + mūḍha + vikṣipta. It is the idea of a distracted mind, or one that is steeped in 'night' or greatly influenced by tamas.

    Over time, and and as the mind is nourished with one's practice of aṣṭāṅga-yoga or the 8 limbs , then one-pointedness (ekāgra) and nirodha (the managed mind) begins to evolve.

    iti śivaṁ

    1. For those more interested and consider themselves ~advanced in this thinking~ please consider the following HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=8994&highlight=k%26%237779%3Bipta
    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=4534&highlight=kli%26%237779%3B%26%237789%3Ba
    additional thinking: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10322&page=3&highlight=k%26%237779%3Bipta
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  10. #10
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    Re: some fundamentals...

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    So, I wish to have this samādhi you are speaking of yajvan... yet I seem to get off-track, or slow down in my pursuit. Why so ?

    As mentioned in post 1 and 9, it is about one's ability to practice (abhyāsaḥ). This practice is also influenced by the following, called out by pātajali muni in chapter 1 of his yoga-sūtras. He says the following:

    vyādhi styāna saṁśaya pramāda ālasya avirati bhrānti-darśanā labdha bhūmikatva anavasthitatvāni cittavikṣepāste'ntarāyāḥ||30
    This sūtra calls-out the obstacles (antarāyāḥ) to one's practice... Let's list them:
    • sickness (vyādhi)
    • mental inefficiency or apathy (styāna)
    • doubt or uncertainty , irresolution , hesitation (saṁśaya)
    • negligence or carelessness (pramāda)
    • idleness, or lack of energy (ālasya)
    • lack of control- (avirati)
    • erroneous perception (bhrānti-darśana)
    • the state of not attaining (alabdha) a yogic stage (bhūmikatva)
    • unsteadiness (anavasthitatvāni)
    If we look at this list, it seems fairly obvious that 8 of these 9 ~obstacles~ apply to one's success in life or career. That is,
    the lack of these ~features~ within the human condition limits one's achievements.
    So, there can be no whining - 'I'cannot be successful in yoga' infers one will remain limited in life.

    How is this resolved... as mentioned before , by the infusion of sattva in one's life. It comes to us in many ways, yet in this string
    it is from the vehicle of samādhi .


    iti śivaṁ

    words
    abhyāsaḥ = repeated or permanent exercise , discipline , habit , i.e. practice. some say this 'practice' is
    the ability of 'mind' or awareness to remain in its unmodified condition of purity (sattva).
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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