2a. Pratyahara and Dharana

Meditation has two primary components: peace or tranquility and focus or concentration. If these are present and stabilized, a state of meditation will ensue. In addition to a state of meditation, states of wellness and of mind will also be present. These are vital to a meaningful and productive life. The states of wellness include calm, openness, patience, and non-personalization. States of mind that are beneficial include tranquility and focus include clarity, wide-mindedness, creative thinking, appreciation, and assessment of meaning or purpose. Through meditative states and states of well-being and mind a further overarching quality is experienced: care – an genuine altruistic care for others, big and small, familiar or strangers to us.

4747874_orig: Spirit FireStep 1: Smile began the training in peace. Because Smile was unified with “a long, slow, deep breath,” the beginnings of focus were also seeded. Step 2: Tip of the Nose is an earnest commencement of the art of focus and concentration. Yet, this step is not a dry boring attempt at focus, but instead is one rich with sensations and invitation. The invitation is to “notice the usually not noticed” such as the vastness of air itself, and how it magically has traversed the world before being breathed by you. Therefore, the tip of the nose is an interface of the limitless and the uniquely limited: you.

Pratyahara is a Sanskrit word. It is one of the Eight Means to Yoga given by Patanjali millennia ago. It means to withdraw one’s attention from the external and turn one’s attention to the inner states of being. Dharana is Sanskrit as well and is not only another of Patanjali’s Eight Means but is also a focal point within the Buddha’s Four Mindfulnesses which is the source of the current modern practice of mindfulness. Dharana means concentration, meditatively or yogically understood. With Step 2 of The Practice of Living Awareness both are combined through the fullness of the technique Tip of the Nose.


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