Dhyāna, going by its literal meaning, implies paying attention. To what? It is on none other than one’s own self (inherent frame of mind), which holds the key to how we usually conduct in life. It, in the first place calls for observing and becoming aware of one’s limitations of mind. Second, the workable part of one’s indwelling potential. And finally explore one’s wholesome latent potential, unexplored and untapped thus far out of ignorance, which when unfolded in full would know no limits.
‘Meditation’, is the word commonly used in English lingua franca to give a sense of ‘Dhyāna.’ It, however, doesn’t reflect its true spirit and essence. For, the word meditation, seemingly hints at reflecting deeply over some idea, thought, or concept. Dhyāna, on the contrary, is a process directed towards attaining a state of being, when mind gets riveted to the root of all thoughts. It becomes possible only when flirtation of mind almost comes to an end. Evidently, therefore, mind gets quietened and relaxed when it comes out with its wholesome creative potential. Meditation, of course, remains a necessary part of the process, and so contextually remains relevant.
Dhyāna is a time-tested empowerment tool. It is designed as a holistic programme for the integrated development of the self from the basal level. It embraces the energy, mind, and body - the three constituents of a complete being. The primary focus, however, remains on the ‘Mind’. For, it is the Mind that determines the functional mandate of a person, which drives all actions on the part of a being. The fruition would be a sustained qualitative growth of enriched intrinsic energies; a well-coordinated thought process; and a healthy body – the 3 ingredients of a successful life.
How does Dhyāna help?
It is literally a process of Mind-Engineering, which,
Resolves all negative imprints to overcome the imperfection within.
Expands vision and intellect and shapes the thought process.
Helps bring all co-ordinates of mind in harmony.
Consequently, the faculty of discriminate intelligence unfolds to its optimum, which usually remains untapped unless consciously explored. In turn, that helps spontaneously pick up the most appropriate leads.
Heightens positivity and creativity.
Eventually, assists in unfolding the best in an individual.
Why do Dhyāna?
The Power of The Mind is immeasurable. It mostly remains untapped because of ignorance (coming as it may with our inherent infirmities), necessitating a relevant correction. All these imperfections spontaneously reflect in our day to day-to-day accomplishments. For, their imprints are ingrained deep in the inner realms of mind. Unless they are resolved, they continue chasing us from within. Dhyāna is the means to correct that.
Mere intellectual awareness would not suffice. For, in the first place- by itself, it cannot stop the negative imprints from coming into play. Second, it cannot find spontaneous reflection unless it sinks deep into our minds through continued autosuggestion. This again is achievable through dhyāna.
Undivided attention is required to investigate the organisation of Mind, and its flow chart, to understand the why and how of dhyāna.
Tools of Dhyāna
First, a glimpse of the premise on which the Indian system of dhyāna is designed. A look into the genesis of creation will reveal that a very well-orchestrated nature driven energy structure holds the key to our creation, sustenance, dynamism, recycling, and all functional aspects of our live existence.
In this scheme of things, the formation and flow of a human being is primarily driven by two factors. First, the energy signature of a being (comprising of components, all primarily sourced to nature). That accounts for the making of the gross body, and the Mind. Added to that is the thought- energy flowing through one’s Mind which drives him/her. Both, in their original arrangement vary from person-to-person, lending uniqueness to every individual. The two are set into an interdependently influencing mechanism.
Indian system of dhyāna cover both the Energy and Mind (thoughts flowing through it) through the two tools employed - Mantra and Symbolisms. Mantra helps rectify the energy imbalance in the system. Symbolism (through the concept it portrays), helps self-educate, to improve one’s habits, attitudes and build a cohesive thought process. The two, work in tandem – symbol always tuned to the vibrations of the corresponding mantra. For optimal effect one is supposed to remain focused on the symbol while reciting the corresponding mantra.
Mantra is a set of syllables placed in a logical sequence to create a particular sound effect, rather a sound body of consciousness, which routed through the Mind finds connect with related source in the cosmos. The repeated recitation of the mantra brings in continued stream of energy inflow into the system to strengthen one’s energy structure. Not simply that, eventually individual consciousness gets tuned to the cosmic consciousness. A mantra needs to be individual specific as decided by the Guru.
The symbols (popular in India), relate to various concepts, vital to our well-reasoned conduct. Some of the symbols carry a philosophic message purported to make us aware about the way the world is structured. Following that, one could change his/her life, in conformity with the laws of nature. Focus on these symbols during dhyāna serve as autosuggestion, becoming an integral part of one’s nature. It then finds spontaneous reflection in one’s demeanour. The symbol too needs to be individual specific and set in correspondence with the Mantra to be recited. Following the process, eventually the seeker, mantra, and the symbol become one seamless awareness, when you come out with your best.
Modes and methods of Dhyāna
Dhyāna must be done under the guidance of a proven Guru. Otherwise, it could have a counter effect.
There are various methods of dhyāna in practice. What mode suits an individual needs to be decided by the Guru.