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Three levels of focus

Patanjali’s Yog Sutras broadly define three levels of focus: dharana, dhyan, and samadhi. Dharana, the first level of focus, is where you begin to intermittently direct your focus towards a particular object or objective. Dhyan, the second level, is when this focus becomes effortless and continuous. Samadhi is when there is no longer any difference between your focus and the object of your focus; like absence of any distinction between dancer and dance, or musician and music.Most of our ordinary tasks require some degree of focus so that we can perform them satisfactorily, whether it is studying for exams as a student, working in office, cooking or gardening. But dharana is deeper than this. It is a method to train the mind to become more disciplined about the thoughts and possibilities it focuses on.Focused attention allows for deeper creativity leading to innovative solutions and fresh perspectives; dharana reduces mental clutter and promotes greater clarity of thought, enabling us to make decisions more effectively and navigate challenges better. Dharana also cultivates emotional resilience and self-awareness, enabling us to navigate interpersonal dynamics effectively.

At a personal level, dharana helps to improve our memory; mind is relieved of worry and negative thoughts. It frees us from toxic patterns, habits and lifestyles. And, with complete focus on the task at hand, we can reinvent our lives from within.