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The Three Levels of Meditation


Meditating WomanThere are three levels of meditation and it is very important that we allow the mind to experience these levels, in particular levels 2 and 3. It seems that some meditators become stuck on level 1 and this stalls their progress. In time they may even give up the practice as unproductive and that is most unfortunate! What is required is to identify the two aspects of the mind, conscious physical and conscious subtle, and allow your awareness to switch to the conscious subtle mind early in your meditation session.

Patanjali has given us the description of these three levels of meditation as:

1. Dharana - this is thinking the mantra. In practice we think the mantra as effortlessly as we think any thought. So we sit to meditate and close the eyes and begin to think the mantra, or we say "start the mantra." This is like starting the engine of your car by turning the ignition switch or pressing the "Start" button. Dhyana
2. Dhyana - this level is achieved when we identify two aspects of the mind: the conscious physical mind that is thinking the mantra (and probably simultaneously other thoughts as well) and the conscious subtle mind that is witnessing the activity of the conscious physical mind. We could say that Dhyana is "knowing the mantra" or watching and following it from a superior perspective of the mind, which is the conscious subtle mind. Dhyana
3. Samadhi - this third level is witnessing our own simplest form of awareness from the highest subtle mind. There is no thought and no boundary in the mind. This experience can be for a fleeting second or longer and occurs during Dhyana when we find that our subtle mind is actually composed of more than one mind and we are able to witness the lower subtle mind from the higher subtle mind. We have one conscious thinking mind and four subtle minds so there are various levels of Samadhi, depending on which subtle mind is the witness. Samadhi

Let's step back and look at the 5 minds and how each mind is associated with a kosha.  Look at this image that depicts the 5 koshas or bodies that we all have:

Five Koshas
Each kosha has its own mind and the Anandamaya Kosha is the mind of the universe - actually the Mind of the Creator. So we transcend from tiny individual physical-based mind to the vast, unbounded cosmic mind of the universe. When we accomplish this ultimate level of transcending we have achieved a glimpse of Moksha. When we can maintain our awareness on the level of Anandamaya Kosha all the time, 24x7, we have achieved Moksha.

In practice it is quite simple:

  • When we sit to meditate, first sit quietly and look for the silence that is within.
  • We identify with that silence, and know that silence is our own subtle mind. Maybe it is the pranamaya kosha mind, or it could be the manomaya kosha mind, or even vijñanamaya kosha mind. At this stage it is not important to know which level of your subtle mind is that centered, silence deep within, just find it and identify with it.
  • Then start the mantra by effortlessly thinking it as you would any other thought. As you think the mantra, notice there is no effort at all from your side to think this mantra. The mantra just goes on by itself like the motor of your car keeps running once you start it and release the ignition switch.
  • This is key, let go of the mantra early in the your meditation and be with that silent part of your mind which is also there. Let go of the mantra and follow it or watch it from your subtle mind.

The mantra is your vehicle of transcending. As with any vehicle, you use it to get from point A to point B. You do not continue to hold the ignition switch in the start position; no, you let the motor of the car run by itself. This is how we think the mantra, as a faint idea in the conscious mind and witnessed by that silent subtle mind which we have identified with as our own Self.

Patanjali says these three levels of meditation together constitute the practice of Samyama.


Patanjali gave us his Yoga Sutras where he carefully laid out the levels of meditation and the process of Samyama, then he provided a number of sutras that one can use to practice Samyama and gain siddhis or perfections. Samyama is the technique used by the Creator to create the entire universe. Lord Brahma, the Creator, was given the task to create the universe by Lord Narayana (the expansion of Krishna who is the Lord of our Universe). Basically, Lord Brahma performed Samyama on the 432,000 syllables of the Rig Veda and the entire universe, including all the initial people, appeared. We now live in this gigantic mental construct and think it is real and that we are real. Of course this is not the reality; this universe is maya, which means illusion or magic.

There is a place which is real and this place is the Absolute Realm of Goloka. Fortunately we can discover this for ourselves! Using the technique of Samyama, we can unlock the experience of our Absolute Self, which exists outside of this universe. Our universe is one of innumerable universes that have been projected from the Absolute Universe of Goloka where we all exist in our Absolute Bodies as eternal companions of Krishna.

You have an excellent opportunity in this life to achieve the Goal of human existence: Moksha. The following initiations will lead you to this Goal.



Atmavedi Meditation

Atmavedi Meditation consists of Dharana and Dhyana on a Sri Vidya mantra. This may seem complicated due to the use of the Sanskrit terminology, but it is quite simple in practice and easy to learn by anyone who can think a thought. The mantra is a vehicle of transcending that the mind follows to the deepest levels of consciousness in an effortless process. We experience our subtle bodies and the full range of the possiblities of the universe. This expands life to live in the state of full human potential and beyond to experience the freedom and liberation of Moksha... >> more

  Namaste Ananda Technique

Ananda Technique invokes the experience of Divine Love, pure Unconditional Love and Acceptance, on a very personal level. When we can experience this within our own heart, all knots of self-doubt, sadness, unhappiness, fear, depression and other negative emotions are dissolved in the Bliss of Divine Love and a glimpse of Moksha is gained. You will directly experience the Bliss that is your True Self ...  >> more
  Goloka Small Esoteric Maha-mantra

Krishna defines who are those pure devotees as those who perform samayama on Krishna's mantra. This mantra Krishna is referring to is the esoteric maha-mantra. In preparation for the Golden Age, Krishna has authorized the initiation into the practice of samyama on His esoteric maha-mantra to quickly establish Krishna Consciousness and a direct experience of Goloka and connection to your Absolute Self. ..   >> more
  Remote Viewing

Remote Viewing - 16th Sutra

This course is your initiation into samyam on the 16th Sutra of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Knowledge of Past and Future. This is part of the 1st lesson of the Remote Viewing Course and will give you the solid connection with the prana mind along with the programming to make your Remote Viewing successful. You will also be enrolled in the Remote Viewing course...  >> more

  Pineal Gland

Pineal Gland Activation Sutra

 This course is your initiation into samyam on the Pineal Gland Sutra of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Perceptions of the Celestial Realms. This is the 6th lesson of the Activate Pineal Gland Course and will give you the ability to perceive the Celestial Realms. You will also be enrolled in the Activate Pineal Gland Course...  >> more


Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Siddhis

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are the training manual for becoming the Lord Brahma of your own universe as a God Realized being.

The Vibuti Pada is the focus of this course to achieve the psychic abilities that are the basis of a fully developed human life. In the process, we will become experts in the practice of Samyama, the basis of all universal creativity...  >> more


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