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    Yoga Sutra Verse of the Week: YS 1.39 Meditation on What Is Agreeable

    1.39 Or by contemplating or dwelling on whatever object or principle one may like, that is, anything agreeable or anything that interests us in a positive way; in this way the mind becomes stable and tranquil.

    Perhaps the simplest definition of the proper technique to achieve and support dhyana, or yogic meditation — the unbroken, unresistive, contemplative flow that is a precursor, intermediate step and support for the experience of yogic samadhi (insight or merger of the personal subjective mind with spirit, the creative energy and intelligence all physical reality.)

    For obvious reasons, it's easier to hold the attention on a wholly agreeable concept or theme than it is to stay focused on one that has little or no interest for us. It's even easier when we begin to feel a sense emotional ease or well-being as well.

    When we are able to focus and dwell completely on an agreeable thought, feeling and sensation, any dissonance or disagreement within the mindstream is dissolved or nullified, which allows for the progressive experience of samadhi.

    For this purpose, we can use a mantra: an agreeable mental concept, a positive “theme,”, which we experience first in the form of a word, then deepen it as an understanding, then an abstract “knowing,” and then eventually dwelling on it as a feeling or sensation. This allows for agreement at all levels of mind, the gross verbal levels of mind, the subtler levels of knowing, understanding, and extending to the deeper, clearer levels of positive feeling and emotion, sensation and even intention, extending all the way to the subtlest levels of incipient being. By training the attention to hold and propagate a single agreeable “thought,” we achieve internal alignment (dhyana) and set the stage for complete insight (samadhi).

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