Dharana + Dhyana + Samadhi = ?


In several posts over the last couple of days, we have been exploring consciousness from several different perspectives and directions…

Now, one of the most famous maps of consciousness, 3,000 years old, is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras… especially in the sutras where he talks about Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi and… last but not least… Samyama

In my posts about Lucid Dreaming I admitted that I didn’t have much practical experience in that area…

… But when it comes to the above 4… Dharana, Dhyana, Samadahi and… Samyama… I have more meditation experience(s) to draw upon…

Now, that doesn’t mean I am enlightened… most definitly not… far from it… No, no, nope…

But I have visited a few times… and so I have a little bit of experience to draw upon (although the word experience isn’t exactly the right word really).

So this is my take on these focus / directions of consciousness.


This Sanskrit word is usually translated as concentration… which many commentators don’t like… because it implies a mental focus… and we’re talking about consciousness which is beyond and above the mind (so it cannot possibly be a mental phenonmenon).

Personally, I prefer the word lazer-like

Because the thing about a lazer is that it is 100% focused, and the light is 100% coherent.

So for me, Dharana is a state of consciousness where:

  • Consciousness is 100% focused on the object (whatever that might be)
  • Consciousness is 100% coherent, and so is not distracted

And so when you obtain a state of Dharanayou are fully in the moment… your attention is totally absorbed… and as a result… your consciousness is not open to distractions.

In fact, Dharana is very similar to a Flow Experience… and the one which the majority of people visit most often… especially if they are craftsmen, artists, or sportsmen.


This Sanskrit word is usually translated as flow of consciousness… and the image used to describe the experience is water being poured between two pots.

Now, in earlier posts I talked about Mirror Consciousness and Quantum Flirting… and when you can open to those experiences, then you are really experiencing Dhyana.

With Quantum Flirting, if you are looking at a flower… the flower is also looking at you… but also… you are experiencing the flow of energy / consciousness between you and the flower.

Which takes us back to the ancient metaphor of water being poured between two pots… energy / consciousness flows from you to the flower… and then energy / consciousness flows back from the flower to you…

As if consciousness was water… being continually being poured between two pots…

But the only diference between reality and the metaphor, the water / consciousness is going both ways at the same time.

And when Dhyana happens, then the consciousness of you / the other naturally falls into resonance… and many magic possibilities can come out of that resonance.


This Sanskrit word is usually translated as union or merging… which is actually are very good words to describe it…

… But something we really need to understand is that on different levels words can have slightly different connotations / meanings… and sometimes there are no words at all which can describe what is happening within.

The nearest physical metaphor I can find to describe Samadhi is where you have 2 glasses of water… and you pour the water in one glass into the other… so the water is merged and united in a single glass

This is why deep meditators describe the experience as… the observer becomes the observed

When it first occured to me, my light of consciousness and the light of consciousness of what I was observing suddenly merged and occupied the same space… there was no distanceno separationthe light was one

But there is another side to Samadhi… in that it is beyond experience… it’s as if when someone enters Samadhi they trance out, they are no longer in their physical body.

From my experience… it is beyond experience… because unless our mind can turn it into words, it either doesn’t register… or is marked down as mystical…

We just don’t realize how much we depend on our mind to process experience.

From my experience this is correct, Samadhi is beyond experience… because Samadhi doesn’t happen at the physical level… it happens on a higher level of energy / consciousness, where the energies literally merge, and occupy the same space… and our mind doesn’t functiona at that level.

This is why Samadi is beyond words, impossible to describe… and yet also limitless and ecstatic

… And when Samadhi occurs… your consciousness, merged with whatever, isn’t in your physical body… it’s up there (wherever there is).

And this is the thing… because most people live in their minds / heads… and Samadhi happens above their minds on a higher level of consciousness… it’s literally happening above their heads… but they have little awareness / comprehension of what just happened to them… a) they weren’t looking in the right direction, it literally went over their head… b) they can’t bring it down into words, and so can’t understand or explain.

So it’s classified as a mystical / magical event… a Gift from the Gods… which happened… but is beyond comprehension or explanation.


This is where you put it altogether… although that implies that you are doing it… like arranging wooden bricks into a pattern.

And it’s not like that at all.

You cannot do this… all you can do is create the right circumstances for the magic to happen.

It’s more like a resonance occurs between the 3 different states of consciousness, and they are drawn together, so they occupy the same inner space

Just like the gravitational force of 3 massive planets will draw each planet toegther, until they finally merge into one massive form…

But it usually starts with Dharana, that lazer-like focus of consciousness on an object…

Opens up into Dhyana, mirror consciousness, where you allow energy / consciousness to flow back to you from that object… and then the simultaneous flow, both ways, starts to occur…

Opens up into Samadhi… where the flow between you and the other creates an almost magnetic attraction… and the two energies are drawn together… and then finally… merge and become one at an energy level…

And when all 3 are occuring… simulataneously… that’s Samyama.

It’s when consciousness becomes multi-dimensional (best way I can put it).

We just don’t realize how much we depend on our mind to process experience… and when experience occurs which is beyond the mindcannot compute! Our mind really can’t process it… but 99% of the important / interesting stuff occurs on those higher levels… how weird is that?

Putting it into perspective…

But also… consider this…

Your heart beats continually, from the moment of your birth (… actually, scrap that… your heart starts to beat while you are within the womb)… until the moment of your death…

But for the majority of your life, you are totally unaware of the beating of your heart… it continues to happen beneath the level of your awareness (and you are not concerned enough to develop an awareness of the beating of your own heart).

And the same thing is true for the 4 directions of consciousness (name I use to describe it)… they can also spontaneously manifest for anyone, at anytime… and people go… Wow, that was amazing

But because the majority of people are not aware of their own consciousness, its workings and flow… they only have a shallow experience of what is happening at most…

… Which makes a lot of sense, because the majority of people spend most of their time in their mindwhile all this stuff is happening above the level of the mind

Like a kid watching fireworks making pretty patterns in the night sky.

Or a man who lives on the 10th floor of a skyscrapper, having no awareness of what is going on on the 20th floor.

But just as it is possible to cultivate an awareness of your own heart… and influence its beat and rhythm…

So it is also possible to develop an awareness of your own consciousness… and influence its flow and coherence…

And when you can do that… it’s not just that you are no longer in Kansas anymore… but you also step through the Looking Glass… and step into and through the Narnian wardrobeat the same time!

(c) Brian Parsons, December 2016

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