The study of Raja Yoga encompasses the eight limbs of yoga:
- Yama – Social Conduct
- Niyama – Personal Conduct
- Asanas – Postures
- Pranayama – Breath & Energy Control
Mental Training & Experience (Meditation):
“Good health is the highest gain, contentment is the highest wealth, truthworthy ones are the best kinsmen, Nibbana is the highest bliss.”
The Life of Buddha
Patanjali Eight Limbs of Yoga from a Real Viewpoint
Letting go of negative actions, moral precepts.
Developing positive qualities of action.
Developing and letting go of the astral self. A practice dealing with the ego. In essence it is sila (virtue) practice: dissolving of negative qualities and the cultivation of positive qualities, a healthy sense of self, pure lifestyle whose purpose is to create a mind free of guilt and anxiety, creating a mind that is suitable for concentration. A mind without yama and niyama (e.g. a mind lacking of virtue) lacks the natural peace necessary for the practice and the attainment of one pointed absorbstion (Samadhi).
Keeps the body healthy, strong and in harmony. The control of the muscular, nervous and skeletal system. Conscious control leading to unconscious control, the true goal is to stop the body messages reaching the mind as the hinder the concentration process.
Literally meaning energy work. Bringing the subtle energy of the breath and prana (vital force) into the awareness of the practitioner, drawing the mind away from the coarser physical plane to cultivate awareness and control of the vital force.
The transition from external word to the internal world turning the senses and attention inward. The initial attaining of stillness in meditation.
The initial step of deep concentrative meditation, where the object being focused upon is held in the mind without consciousness wavering from it.
Absorbtion into a single point or quality of the meditation object. Accompanied by bliss, serenity, one pointedness. Fading away of five senses and mental fabrications.
Fading of meditation object and bliss, the apparent fading of dualism. The mind expands and enters into a bright awareness, equanimity. This state of Samadhi allows the mind to dissolve all ideas of separation, concept and feelings from self and object.
Self/object and self/other dichotomy. This is considered right concentration from the dhammic view. Often misunderstood as a union of the meditator and the cosmos or the meditator and God. This state is still dependant on causes and therefore not final realisation from a Buddhist point of view.