It is known that the restless mind cannot immediately enter into a state of thoughtlessness. That is why meditation is practised in stages. A 2005 paper “Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness” by Antoine Lutz and his colleagues contains a very succinct description of this graded process accompanied by a concise table, which we highlight in this post. Continue reading
Vyasa, in his commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, defines five planes of the mind (i.e. Chitta Bhumi)
- Kshipta: Disturbed and restless mind due to the predominance of Rajas (kineticism).
- Mudha: Dull and forgetful mind due to the predominance of Tamas(inertia).
- Vikshipta: Occasionally steady mind which gets easily distracted by impulses. In this state, neither Sattva (illumination), Rajas or Tamas is dominant.
- Ekagra: One-pointed concentration of thought is possible.
- Niruddha: Complete mastery over the thought process.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Nolini Kanta Gupta, a disciple of Sri Aurobindo, on the progressive stages of meditation as one leads the mind to the last stage of Niruddha or Complete Mastery described above: