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Attention, Concentration, Meditation and Samadhi

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    QUESTION: Is Dharana just meditation in an advanced state? RESPONSE: Remember that meditation is an English word that is used in many different ways by
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2006
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      QUESTION: Is Dharana just "meditation" in an advanced state?

      RESPONSE: Remember that "meditation" is an English word that is used
      in many different ways by different people. Most often,
      however, "meditation" is linked with "dhyana". It is extremely common
      in English speaking cultures to use the word "meditation" for any
      form of attention or concentration. Hence, for example, we
      have "meditation music" where the person is not at all concentrating
      in the strictest sense of the word, but is instead just listening to
      music (which is useful and pleasant, though not meditation as
      dharana).

      There is a sequence:

      Attention leads to concentration (dharana).
      Concentration leads to meditation (dhyana).
      Meditation (dhyana) leads to absorption (samadhi).

      Like most arts or sciences, yoga has its own language, which is
      usually Sanskrit. The terms are more specific than the English words.
      English words are fine, once we understand the context of their use.

      See also Yoga Sutras 3.1-3.3:
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-30103.htm
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