Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Simple Steps: #28 Contemplation

"When the body has been tempered by asanas,
when the mind has been refined by the fire of pranayama,
when the senses have been brought under control by pratyahara,
the seeker reaches the sixth stage (limb) of yoga, dharana."

B.K.S. Iyengar

As we move through this series of posts exploring practical applications for the eight limbs of yoga, we can see that each step interconnects with the other.

The objective in the practice of dharana is to steady the mind by focusing its attention upon some apparently stable entity.

The particular object selected has little to do with the general purpose...the objective is to stop the mind from wandering through memories, dreams, or reflective thought by deliberately holding it single-mindedly upon a static object.

Have you ever wondered - or laughed - at the stereotypical new age character who is depicted as a hippy-dippy airhead doing nothing more then "staring at his navel?"

Get ready to appreciate what he's actually up to...

Todays Simple Step

Choose a simple object nearby - it can indeed be your navel, or your hand, a flower, a stone, a piece of fabric...whatever catches your fancy.

As always, set aside a few minutes to concentrate, slow down and breathe.

Soften your focus and simply observe the object of your choice.

Notice absolutely everything about it that you can.

Most importantly, notice every time you are thinking of something more "interesting" and just let it go, returning again to your chosen object.

Acknowledge it's beauty, it's usefulness and it's part in Creation.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven." Ecclesiastes3:1

Enjoy the time you spend here - it is a sacred acknowledgment of your connection without attachment of the World of which you are a part...
This is your simple step.

Till next time,

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