Relief in meditation

B.K.S. Iyengar

This photo of B.K.S. Iyengar appears to illustrate his enigmatic and perceptive view of entering the state of dhyana or jhana. “Concentration is like tightly held fist. Open the fist and concentration is extended. There is freedom. This is meditation.”


An interpretation: After the meditator has been “holding” the object of meditation steadily for some time, there is a shift in the mind. A state of concentration (dharana, or access concentration) has become established and there is a sense of relief. If the state of one-pointed mind is maintained for a longer period, there is another shift in mental state upon entering true meditation; dhyana or jhana. Each state requires ever more skill and patience to maintain. (Photo taken in 1990 at the Hotel Ganga Kinare, Rishikesh).

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