The Five States of Mind Related to Meditation

Meditation pic


A established entrepreneur, Benjamin Shoval is the proprietor of Shoval & Co. Currently based in Seattle, Ben Shoval enjoys yoga and meditation.

In his commentary on the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, sage Vyasa identified five states of mind that form the concentration process. Each state of mind reveals something about distractions and how they hinder meditation.

These states of mind are:

1) Ksipta
In this lowest state, the mind is distracted and constantly disturbed. It cannot shake away the distractions that are haunting it. In this state, a person is agitated. He is unable to think, keep quiet, or listen attentively.

2) Mudha
In this state, the mind is stupefied. It makes things such as addictions and obsessions rewarding, and consequently debilitating. Those struggling to overcome this state can find peace through relaxed breathing, systemic relaxations, and yoga postures.

3) Viksipta
Here, the mind is distracted. It oscillates between calmness and restlessness. Though able to meditate, the mind cannot do it for long. It oscillates in confusion.

4) Ekagra
In Ekagra, the mind is very relaxed. It becomes one-pointed and is able to concentrate on a single thing. Attention is relaxed and the person is ready to meditate.

5) Nirodha
Here, the mind is absorbed completely in the object of focus. The mind experiences absolute stillness, shutting down all thoughts. It is the absolute condition of mind.


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