Note: I am writing without the proper accents on the Sanskrit words, which I prefer to do.
Samyama means integration. It is the ‘blending’ of the limbs 6 through 8: dharana, dhyana and samadhi.
Dharana means to focus one’s attention, to concentrate. External objects can draw the senses and mind inward. Contemplating divine objects is a more internal concentration. And the innermost process keeps the mind and consciousness in stillness.
In my travels these last two days, through South Dakota, Wyoming, and into Montana the sky is vast; the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. To find a place of stillness in my mind while watching the flow of life around me is dharana.
Now I have to state, within these moments of wakefulness and awe to the world around me, it has not been without some struggle. Eating vegetarian in these parts is not easy. Even finding a grocery store at the right time has been somewhat challenging, to get fresh vegetables, hummus, and avocados. AND the sitting has be challenging. I am trying to keep my quads and hamstrings from shriveling, my spine moving in the concave and upright, alert direction, and so too for my shoulders and neck. The latter two are more successful than keeping the legs maintained.
Limb 7- Dhyana – Meditation
Prolonging concentration leads to dhyana, meditation. Total absorption in your practice, or with an idea is part of dhyana. It is a transformation within where a single focus is maintained continuously, expanding as awareness, uninterrupted.
‘Dhyana is completely subjective. The experience cannot be expressed in words.’
BKS Iyengar, Core of the Yoga Sutras
The weather has been outstanding. The Badlands beautiful, majestic and yet not as overwhelming as Bryce Canyon seemed (which we visited several years ago).
It is interesting to watch people arrive in flip flops to walk the rocks, not a prudent decision. Without sounding judgmental, I observe a lot of over weight Americans. Not something we see so much is the DMV area. We are fit and active.
Anyways, I marveled at Mount Rushmore. How a project like that came to fruition. So much dedication and hard work on behalf of so many people.
We also visited Crazy Horse which is a work in progress.
The drive to Montana with both flat and rolling hills was so enriching, calming and absorbing! The colors – fantastic. We saw lots of beautiful cattle grazing, beautiful horses, and antelope.
The airstream has been interesting…it has some glitches, but we are all sleeping well and for Eric who has done percent of the driving thus far, it’s especially important.
Eli is a total zen traveler. I can learn from him!
We are embarking on a six hour drive to Yellowstone. I am really looking forward to exploring.
I’d love to hear from any of you. I miss you all!