The Seventh Branch of Yoga Dhyana

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Dhyana is the development of witnessing awareness. It is the expression of knowing that you are in this world but not of this world. Throughout your life you have experi ences, which change moment to moment. Your environment changes, your friends change, your employment changes, your body changes, your feelings change, your thoughts change. The only constant in life is perpetual change. Dhyana is the cultivation of your awareness so that in the midst of this unending change, you do not lose your self in the objects of your experience. Although situations, circumstances, people, and things are ever changing in your life, the aspect of you that is witnessing these changes is the essence of your being—your soul.

The most direct way to cultivate this state of ever-present witnessing awareness is through meditation, during which you learn to observe the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and sounds that arise in your awareness without needing to react to them. As you develop this skill in meditation, you are able to apply it in your daily life. You learn to stay centered and awake to all possibilities whenever a challenge arises, so that you are able to choose the best course of action that will maximize the chances that your intentions and desires will be fulfilled.

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