Many benefits come with learning to create and then stabilize a meditative type of focus. In classical yogic meditation training, this begins with pratyahara and leads to dharana. These Sanskrit terms are two of the “Eight Means or Limbs of Yoga” as given a long time ago by the great Indian sage and father of yoga, Patanjali.
Pratyahara means withdrawal: a drawing in of the senses from external stimuli and focuses such that a relationship with the inner is possible. Dharana means concentration: the cultivation of a one-pointed attention on that which the meditator chooses. By nature, the concentration or focus or point-of-tension will be inwardly oriented and not distracted by external stimuli.
Step 2, the Tip of the Nose, of The Practice of Living Awareness draws one inside by putting the attention on breathing. By attending to the tip of the nose in a general way, one brings one’s attention to the subtle act and experience of breathing. This is the first focus, the first organizing of one’s attention on the subtle and inner experience.
The Tip of the Nose also engages the ajna center, the brow center. Ajna center is necessary for all deeper forms of concentration and yogic attention. Thus, by attending to breathing from the tip of the nose through the entire trail of the breath, one is learning pratyahara and beginning the foundation of dharana.
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