11/27/17 Weekly topic: The Sixth Limb of Yoga-Dharana

Dharana is the state of deep concentration or intense focus.

How many times have you tried to focus on one thing, only to find yourself getting side tracked? With multi-tasking being a routine part of daily life and doing more with less, it is challenging to just do less. Set aside some time today, maybe 5 minutes or however long you choose, to do one thing.  It can be anything you choose, but try to focus only on that one thing.  If you are limited with time, set a timer and do not look at the timer until it rings. (Yes it will ring, focus on your task.) Here are a few suggestions of things to do;

  • Go for a walk, with no end point. No place to be.  No goal on how far. Just be the best walker you can be. Focus on how your foot strikes the earth. Notice if your arms move while you walk. Be aware of your body’s reaction to just walking. Focus on only walking. (This is surprisingly more challenging than you think.)
  • Wash a window or the dishes. Set no goals on how many windows or dishes get washed. Concentrate on the act of cleaning the one thing in front of you once it is complete, perhaps you have used all of your time or perhaps you have time to clean one more window or dish. Let your mind focus on the amount of cleanser on the item, the amount of wipes it takes to clean the item, the cleanliness of the item once it is finished.
  • Write a thank you card. Think about what you want to write. Notice how the pen scratches against the card. Pay attention to the formation of the letters as you write them. Place the card in the envelope observing how the corners of the card fit into the envelope. Inscribe the name and address on the envelope and affix the postage stamp and place the card in the mail. Ensure you complete all of the steps of the thank you card or perhaps the Dharana you just put into doing only one thing may not be complete.

Set a realistic time frame. Too much time and you may find yourself easily distracted or become bored. Too little time may cause anxiety or undue stress, if you run out of time perhaps you have more time to finish the task or perhaps you can come back to the task at a later time or decide not to come back to the task at all. Either way it is all okay, no one is judging you, no  one expected you to finish it all, your are not competing to be the best. You are only trying to acomplish thinking about the task in front of you, that is all.

Good luck with your Dharana challenge.  The more often you practice intense focus, the less murky life becomes. Let us know how you did.