Friday, October 31, 2008

Dhāraṇā Meditation

I've tried Dhāraṇā meditation many times before but found it so hard in the beginning I quit after only a few minutes each time. RAW and Aleister Crowley talked about visualising a Red Triangle and mine just seemed to have a life of its own! Alan Chapman in The Camel Rides Again calls it Exclusive Concentration (and Josh Davis calls it the meditative way of affirmation - scroll down) and equated it with a mantra meditation as this too is focusing on a sense and I found mantras easy, so why not give it another go? Not only mantras were suggested, but even looking and focusing on an external object was possible. Ok so you might think why not choose a mantra then? Well to each his own, mantras for me just seemed to be an extra program running and my internal dialogue could just continue - which is not the intention. I also want to improve my visualising skills, so no to the external object, as it's a wonderful skill to have.
So I started visualising my red triangle, the first day it went skipping about wildly, but with my renewed associations I was able to re-establish it like a mantra, and I noticed it was very easy to silence the internal dialogue, not only that but I even popped into the Samadhi state rather easily (My near-daily practice of vipassana is obviously an important factor in that). The next day I made improvements as instead of looking to fix my triangle on where one of my walls would be, I located my triangle's two bottom corners at my eyes and the top one at my third eye, obviously! And I popped even more easily into Samadhi. So thanks again to Alan for the wonderful book and if you're not reading it yet, do it! 66 pages of pure excellence.

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