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Five Stages of Pratyahara Meditation - MP3

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Five Stages of Pratyahara Meditation

This talk stands as one of the cornerstones of meditation in the Hard Light Center of Awakening and is a revolutionary teaching!

In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali begins by explaining that Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind: "Yogah Chitta Vritti Nirodhah". In the remainder of the Sutras, he then goes on to carefully explain how to do this by outlining the eight arms of Yoga with great exactness. Over time, these eight areas of attention work together to deliver one to the state of complete realization and enlightenment. Of these eight, the first three are principally devoted to facets of how to best lead one's life: the yamas, the niyamas and asanas. These set the stage for a quiet mind. The remaining five arms are aimed at the practice of meditation itself, and it is these that meditation master Mark Griffin brings to Western audiences with a clarity seldom seen.

In describing these five-fold attentions, Mark reveals that they are not really sequential, as they are typically described to be. Rather they form a tapestry that should be woven together into an organic whole, worked back and forth like the shuttle of a loom, thereby leading to deeper and subtler states of consciousness.

The five arms of yoga dealing specifically with meditation are:


  • Pranayama: the use of the breath and specific breathing techniques to rouse and engage the kundalini, which then powers the meditation, charging it with spiritual force and vitality and direction. It is this super-charging of the system which enables success with the remaining aspects of the meditation techniques.

  • Dharana: the exclusive concentration on one thing, such as the breath, a mantra or chakra center;

  • Dhyana: the encompassing awareness wherein one merges and fuses with the object of attention;

  • Pratyahara: the withdrawal of sensory input to the brain, achieved by going to the root of the senses and switching them off through specific techniques taught in the Shiva Sutras;

  • Samadhi: the direct, intuitive perception of the highest truth.

Almost everyone who has meditated and practiced yoga has heard of these steps, yet they often seem difficult to attain or lofty theoretical ideals. We're seldom sure "Are we doing each step right?", "Is there a better way to meditate?" What's remarkable is Mark Griffin's explanation of how to proceed, and his guidance with each facet of the technique. He has a unique way of making the whole process straightforward and easily attainable for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in these truths. His approach is born of decades of study, as well as his own profound experiences. He combines his deep understanding with his love of teaching and guiding genuine seekers on this path of awakening.

The result of his personal guidance is the experience of a mind truly awake in silence, free of fluctuations. It is an experience difficult to describe, yet so delicious that once you've tasted it you'll only want more. And fortunately with this audio download you'll be able to attain that state again and again.

The guided section is 62 minutes long, followed by 17 minutes of gentle music, allowing for an extended session of meditation.


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