Definition - What does Dhyana Mudra mean?
Dhyana mudra is a sacred hand gesture or ‘seal,’ used during yoga and meditation practice as a means of channeling the flow of vital life force energy known as prana. Dhyana mudra is one of the most commonly known and widely practiced hand gestures, found across several religious and spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and yoga.
Dhyana mudra is a hasta mudra, which means it is performed using the hands. It may be practiced in any stable seated posture, such as sukhasana (easy pose) or padmasana (lotus pose). It is performed by resting the right hand on top of the left, palms facing up and the thumbs slightly lifted so that the tips touch one another.
Dhyana mudra has no contraindications, and can therefore be practiced by anyone at any time. For maximum benefits, this mudra should be practiced daily during meditation for at least 30 minutes.
Dhyana mudra is sometimes also called yoga mudra or samadhi mudra.
Yogapedia explains Dhyana Mudra
Mudras are used within yoga and meditation practice as a means of moving, controlling and sealing prana within the body. Dhyana mudra is specifically used to deepen concentration and guide the practitioner towards inner peace and equanimity.
The right hand, representing enlightenment and states of higher consciousness, rests over the left hand, representing maya, or illusion. This is believed to bring balance to the two sides of the body and brain as a means of quieting the mind.
This mudra represents the gesture of total balance. The person using this mudra during meditation is immersed in the limitless space, completely untouched by the outside world. The right hand symbolizes wisdom and awareness and the left one symbolizes the illusion of existence.
Sanskrit for "meditation," dhyana is the seventh of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, distinct from the practice of concentration known as dharana. Dhyana is a state in which it is no longer possible to perceive the act of meditation or separate a sense of self from it, and is the preliminary stage before samadhi (bliss or absorption).
Dhyana mudra can therefore help the practitioner to progress from dharana towards deeper states of meditation.
The Buddha is often depicted as practicing dhyana mudra whilst in meditation, and its triangular shape is said to represent the three jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, sangha (community) and dharma (teachings). The connection of the thumbs is also believed to symbolize the union of male and female principles that are present in every human being.
According to Buddhism, dhyana mudra was practiced by Sakyamuni Buddha during his meditation under the Bodhi tree. As such, this gesture is symbolic of enlightenment and freedom from suffering and can be found in many artistic depictions of the Buddha in meditation. In Theravada Buddhism, the Buddha is depicted with thumbs resting against the palms rather than with the tips of the thumbs touching.
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