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Meditation
Sunset Over The Ocean
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Meditation

The benefits you can achieve through meditation are very profound and can change your life.  There are many systems, approaches and teachings from anything from faith and religion to relaxation practices for mental health.  You may find you need to explore and sometimes not feel comfortable with the viewpoint that a teacher or school of thought promotes - but by experiencing this you will get there.  You will be able to distill all that you will learn and experience to form a practise that suits you, works for you and in which you can trust.

Below is a quotation from Mircea Eliade 'Immortality and Freedom' that gives a perspective on how meditation can be viewed within yoga.  I have included this because it gives one persons view of the practices of yoga and how they can be interpreted.  The book records a history of the evolution of yoga and details of its practices - just one of many.

"Techniques for Autonomy"

Concentration on a single point

The point of departure of yoga meditation is concentration on a single object; whether this is a physical object, or a thought, or God makes no difference. This determined and continuous concentration, called EKAGRATA, is obtained by integrating the psycho mental flux. This is precisely the definition of yoga technique: yoga cittavrtti-nirodhah.

The immediate result of EKAGRATA, is prompt and lucid censorship of all the distractions and automatisms that dominate-or, properly speaking, compose profane consciousness. Completely at the mercy of associations, man passes his days allowing himself to be swept hither and thither by an infinity of disparate moments that are, as it were, external to himself. The senses or the subconscious continually introduce into consciousness objects that dominate and change it, according to their form and intensity. Associations disperse consciousness, passions do it violence, the "thirst for life" betrays it by projecting it outward. Even in his intellectual efforts, man is passive, for the fate of secular thoughts (controlled not by EKAGRATA but only by fluctuating moments of concentration, KSIPTAVIKSIPTA) is to be thought by objects. Under the appearance of thought, there is really an indefinite and disordered flickering, fed by sensations, words and memory.

The first duty of the yogin is to think- that is, not to let himself think. This is why yoga practice begins with EKAGRATA which dams the mental stream and thus constitutes 'psychic mass', a solid and unified continuum.The process of EKAGRATA tends to control the two generators of mental fluidity: sense activity and the activity of the subconscious. Control is the ability to intervene, at will and directly, in the functioning of these two sources of mental whirlwinds. A yogin can obtain discontinuity of consciousness at will; in other words, he can, at any time and any place, bring about concentration of his attention on a single point and become insensible to any other sensory or mnemonic stimulus.
Through EKAGRATA one gains a genuine will-that is the power freely to regulate an important sector of bio mental activity. EKAGRATA can only be obtained through the practice of numerous exercises and techniques in which physiology plays a role of primary importance.



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