Ekagra in Yoga Meditation

QUICK EXPLANATION ON EKAGRA

Ekagra = one of the five states of mind (from yogasutra 1.1 commentary by Vyasa)
 
Ekagra = a concentrated, one-pointed state of mind
 
Five states of mind: (in order from not desired to desired state) kshipta, mudha, vikshipta, ekagra, and nirodhah
 

 
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ON THIS PAGE:
EKAGRA: PRACTICAL
YOGA SUTRAS ON EKAGRA
SWAMI RAMA ON EKAGRA
SWAMI JNANESHVARA ON EKAGRA


 

EKAGRA: PRACTICAL

In which state of mind are you right now… in the state of ekagra?
It is very useful to learn to recognize these 5 states of mind within oneself. Are you in the state of ekagra right now? How does it feel to be in this state of mind? If you are not in ekagra; in which of the other four states are you? If not; can you remember a moment when your state of mind was concentrated, focused, and stayed in the state for a while? This is the state of mind called ekagra.
 
Choosing a state of ekagra
Along the path a student wants to gradually leave behind the states of kshipta, mudha, and vikshipta, evermore residing in the state of ekagra, so that it can direct all its one-pointed energy towards the goal; diving beyond all the states of mind into a state in which the mind is nirodhah.
 
How to stay or come into a state of ekagra?
One thing a sadhaka wants to know is how to stay in the state of ekagra and to eventually bring it to a state of nirodhah. But when one is not is the state of ekagra how do you to get to the state of ekagra? Therefore one wants to become aware of the transition from one state to another and learn what made this happen. Become aware of the breath might be a way to transition from vikshipta to ekagra, or asking yourself the question; is that what I am doing right now useful or not useful? Thereby allowing the mind to choose that activity which is useful to do and decide to stay with this activity. Or to remember why you are doing the practices and remember your longing for direct experience of the Self. Your own experiences and experiments will give you numerous insights on bringing the mind to a state of ekagra and keeping it in this state.

 

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DAILY OBSERVATION AND YOGIC SELF-AWARENESS ASSESSMENT

Eventually the concept of ekagra will swim around in your awareness all the time, as it becomes a part of constant self-awareness. Also, becoming aware of ekagra will have the effect that you will increase your use of this word in your daily vocabulary to express yourself and you will discover how ekagra relates to other concepts, processes, or insights. For example, you may come to see that ekagra is related to sattva, or you find a relationship between buddhi and ekagra. Eventually you will discover how all these concepts dance together and coming to know this dance will guide you towards that which is beyond all the concepts. This is because as you increase your self-awareness, you will discover that everything you can observe is not who you truly are, your true Self has nothing to do with ekagra, you are the One that is able to witness all these concepts. Therefore ekagra itself have to be transcended, who you really are is beyond ekagra. This will increase the non-attachment towards ekagra itself, while you can be in awe of the beauty of the Divine dance of Consciousness that appears to play as ekagra. Therefore practicing self-awareness is actually practicing not-self-awareness by which the True Self will eventually reveal itself.
 
Look at the self-assessment PDF (assessment-yymmdd.pdf) and a PDF that includes daily internal dialogue and daily observation (sumseven-yymmdd.pdf) on the website of www.abhyasaashram.org (when you are on this page scroll all the way down to find the downloadable PDFs) These PDFs can be used as tools to explore and expand your understanding on ekagra.

 

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YOGASUTRAS ON EKAGRA

2.41 Also through cleanliness and purity of body and mind (shaucha) comes a purification of the subtle mental essence (sattva), a pleasantness, goodness and gladness of feeling, a one-pointedness with intentness, the conquest or mastery over the senses, and a fitness, qualification, or capability for self-realization.
sattva shuddhi saumanasya ekagra indriya-jaya atma darshana yogyatvani cha
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3.11 The mastery called samadhi-parinamah is the transition whereby the tendency to all-pointedness subsides, while the tendency to one-pointedness arises.
sarvarathata ekagrata ksaya udaya chittasya samadhi-parinamah
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3.12 The mastery called ekagrata-parinamah is the transition whereby the same onepointedness arises and subsides sequentially.
tatah punah shanta-uditau tulya-pratyayau chittasya ekagrata-parinimah
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SWAMI RAMA ON EKAGRA

”Patanjali has put all levels of the mind into five categories: kshipta, vikshipta, mudha, ekagra, and nirodhah. Kshipta is a completely distracted mind. Vikshipta applies to those who have no control over their mind. They do not have a concentrated mind, but if they make effort, they can learn. Sometimes they understand and sometimes they do not understand because of their lack of attention. Their minds are not yet properly trained, but they are capable of being trained and accepted. That mind which remains in a state of stupor is called mudha. Ekagra refers to those who have a concentrated mind and can concentrate well. Nirodhah described those whose is completely under their control. They have trained their mind perfectly and can use it as they wish.”
~ Samadhi pg. 11

 

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SWAMI JNANESHVARA ON EKAGRA

Read the whole article “Integrating 50+ types of Yoga Meditation” on www.swamij.com
Ekagra means one-pointedness. For meditation, the noisy, rambling, troubled, or distracted mind needs to be stabilized and trained to not get drawn into those mental actions. To stabilize the mind, one practices one-pointed meditation, or Ekagra. There are many objects on which the mind might be trained, and in the yoga meditation tradition of the Himalayan sages this is chosen carefully depending on the needs and predispositions of the particular aspirant. It may be a gross, tangible object, a mantra, or a subtle object or essence, and it may be religious or not religious in nature.
 
Read the whole article “Witnessing” on www.swamij.com
The Mudha mind is barely beyond the Kshipta, disturbed mind, only in that the active disturbance has settled down, and the mind might be somewhat more easily trained from this place. Gradually the mind can be taught to be a little bit steady in a positive way, only occasionally distracted, which is the Vikshipta state. Then the mind can move on in training to the Ekagra and Nirrudah states.

 

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Yoga Meditation, Contemplation, and Devotion for Self-realization

This site is an offering to those who deeply long to experience Pure Consciousness that is known as Divine Mother or Tripura (‘Tri’ means three, and ‘pura’ means city); She is the one that lives in the three cities of Waking, Dreaming and Deep Sleep. Temporary leaving behind the three cities and residing only in Pure Consciousness is called Self-realization. Another name for this realization is Yoga; the union of the individual self with the universal Self; the union of Atman with Brahman, or Shiva with Shakti; or the dis-union of Purusha and Prakriti. Some might think of Tripura as an anthropomorphic being but She is not, She is the Non-dual Reality in which all appearing manifestation seems to exist. All that is, is the Non-dual Reality.
 
On this site the teachings of Yoga, Vedanta, and Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra are offered to guide you in learning to meditate directly on Tripura by using modern ways of communication such as through animations, while preserving the ancient wisdom. These teaching have been given to us by an ancient lineage of meditation masters, lovingly called the Tradition of the Himalayan masters. These practices lead us to a space of stillness and silence where Yoga meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer converge into deep devotion and constant awareness of Tripura. At the end of the journey when all efforts are exhausted, grace will dawn. This is known as shaktipata, through which the final barrier is removed, which is the piercing of the bindu, and leads to the direct experience of Non-dual Reality. This finally reveals an unimaginable Joy from knowing the Non-dual Reality or Pure Consciousness!

 

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