Preksha Meditation and
"Dhyana " means the
concentration of mind on one object. At any given point of time the mind is
said to work on a lot things, places, persons etc. however when the mind is
made to detach itself from all these distractions and focused on one entity
then concentration is said to occur. According to Hatayoga, Dhyana
(meditation) is the most important gate to attaining Samadhi(eternal
happiness). The ultimate aim of Yoga is to attain Samadhi.
Samadhi is that state of mind
where there is only eternal happiness, there is no pain or sorrow and all
beings look only for happiness. When Dhyana happens it takes ultimately the
form of Samadhi, or ultimate and eternal happiness. From ancient times a lot
of methods of Dhyana came to be practiced, one amongst them is Preksha
meditation. It means "see thyself" here seeing does not mean external vision,
but a concentrated impartial perception, subtle consciousness by mental
insight. Preksha is derived from the Sanskrit word "Pra + iksha" which means
to observe carefully. The mind never relaxes even when we sleep. Through
Preksha the mind is given auto-suggestion to relax. It is true that breaking
the thought process is extremely difficult however it is not impossible. When
the mind is constantly studied it becomes all the more restless. In Preksha
Dhyana no thought is forcefully stopped. Instead the art of merely observing
the thought process without forming any reaction or attaching the self to it
is developed. By doing so thoughts themselves cease to come. So the technique
of Preksha is a practical way and a powerful instrument for establishing the
Preksha Dhyana is the technique
of meditation for bringing about a change in behavior, modifying and bringing
about an integrated development of personality. It is based on the wisdom of
ancient philosophy and has been formulated in terms of modern scientific
Following are the various types
of Preksha meditation
Svasa Preksha ( means the
awareness of breaths)
Breathing and exhaling is an
automatic action of the body. With some practice we can increase the duration
of the time in between the breaths also we can lower the count of our breaths.
The practice of Svasa Preksha causes amazing results not only on the neuro
system but also on the internal organs. When the breathing rate is regular the
efficacy of the mind gets increased.
Sharira Preksha (perception of
In Sharira Preksha the various
organs and body parts are observed minutely one-by -one with closed eyes. The
mind studies the whole body from the top of the head to the toes of the feet
and all the body parts are focused on. The vibrations occurring on them blood
circulation, biological functions are studied. Merely by observing the mind
gets so sharp that it gets the healing power.
Preksha(perception of the physique centers)
Preksha of various glands,
endocrine system is called Chetanya Kendra Preksha. Our body is sorrounded by
an electro-magnetic field. There are specific zones in our body that are prone
to these electro magnetic fields. Once we concentrate on these parts of our
body through Chetanya Kendra Preksha we will be able to overcome our anger
fears and endless worries. By meditating at the naval region our adrenaline
glands get activated.
It is difficult to define the
sweetness of sugar without actually ever tasting it, it is difficult to learn
swimming without going into the depths of water so also it is difficult to
explain Dhyana without ever experiencing it. So we have to learn the technique
of meditation with the help of some experienced experts. Preksha Dhyana can be
learnt and practiced by anybody, normally a ten day camp is a suitable means
to acquire a basic training.
For merely relaxing oneself
from tension and fatigue 15-20 minutes are sufficient. For a successful
meditation session no fixed time can be prescribed. The practitioner has to
look at his convenience and the purpose.
Posture is an important feature
of the exercise. The practitioner must remain quiet, motionless and alert for
the duration of the exercise. Strain or discomfort must be avoided during the
session. Any of the following postures may be chosen-
Lotus Posture (Pdamasana)
Half Lotus posture( Ardha
Simple posture ( Sukhasana)
Mudra-The position of the
practitioners hands is called Mudra.
Keep your right hand on your
right knee and likewise your left hand on the left knee, palms facing upwards.
Touch the index fingers to the tips of the thumb. Keeping the spine and back
upright keep the eyes closed lightly.
Relaxation (Kayotsarg) For a
successful session of meditational practice, it is necessary to relax the
whole body tension.
Concentrate your mind on each
part of the body from the toe to the head part by part one by one.
Allow each part of the body to
relax by the process of auto suggestion and feel that it has become relaxed.
An internal journey(Antaryatra)
This exercise promotes better
generation of the nervous energy which is essential for the subsequent
Maintain the posture focus your
full attention on the bottom of the spine called the Sakti Kendra direct it to
travel along the spinal cord to the top of the head-Jnana Kendra. When you
reach the top, direct it to move downwards taking the same path until you
reach Sakti kendra again. Repeat the exercise for about 5-7 minutes.
With complete awareness notice
the life energy and the vibrations occurring in the back of the spinal cord.
But why do we chose this
Starting from the Sakti Kendra
(i.e. the anterior end of the backbone) the sympathetic and the
parasympathetic nervous systems reach towards the Gyana Kendra ( the top most
region of the head where the head-Knot is tied). When these two get activated
the life energy gets increased.
Breath is the source of vital
energy and the source of life.
a) First make the breath slow
and rhythmic. From both the nostrils breathe out air slowly and then breathe
in very slowly. Practise this for at least 2-3 minutes.
b) Now bring your attention to
the naval region, observe it with closed eyes, while breathing out it comes in
and while breathing in it expands. Perform this technique for at least 5
c) Feel the breathing has
become slow, deep and rhythmic.
d) Shift the attention from the
naval and focus it inside the nostrils, at the tip of the nose. Now become
fully aware of each and every breath. Not even a single breath should come in
or leave without your knowledge. Feel the freshness of the incoming
breath(oxygen) and the warmth of the outgoing breath( carbon-di-oxide).This
exercise is also to be performed for 5 minutes.
If the mind wanders away from
the breath then hold the breath for a few seconds (Kumbhak). But beware not to
force the breath in. Do not stop thoughts forcefully even if they keep coming
one by one then only observe them without getting involved. Once the art of
observing is perfected then the thoughts will stop coming by themselves
Maintain awareness during the
whole Sadhna practice.
In the end take one or two deep
long breaths and open eyes slowly to end the practice. For the beginners a
practice of 15-20 minutes is sufficient and can be increased slowly with
practice. We will go into greater detail later on.
Some empirical results of
1 Balance between activity and
2 Development of will power.
3 Purity of the mind.
4 Increase of the tolerance
5 Peace of mind.
6 Change of mental attitude
7 Prevention and cure of
8 Effortless concentration:
freedom from nervous and emotional tensions.
From the works of Acharya
Compiled by Mrs. Vidya Jain