THE RIVER METAPHOR
Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the senses)
Dharana (Focused attention)
Pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi can be compared to a boat journey on a river.
When you set out on a boat, you leave behind the land,
the trees, the bustle of the community.
Your senses begin to merge with the experience of the river.
This is pratyahara.
As the journey progresses,
you become more and more detached from
what you left behind. And more and more immersed in the rhythm
of the water. You are floating, melting, gurgling – you feel the river in
your veins, your flesh, in the taste on your tongue.
This is dharana – mental absorption.
A state of meditation, naturally follows.
In this state you and the river are one. The boat disappears.
You are the river – dancing through light, over reeds, across land.
Then, when the river finally flows into the sea,
Your I-ness completely disappears.
This is samadhi.
The dissolution of dichotomies.
The boat, your Self, the river, the sea.
All are one.