The eight limbs of classical yoga provide the framework for a gradual ‘refining’ of conscious awareness until we reach its purest un-distilled ‘essence’. At this stage we need to let go into the stream of ever-changing reality.
By focusing first on our actions in the world, our actions toward ourselves (inner habits), our posture and ease of breath, we proceed to turn the senses inward and to abide in tranquility, undisturbed by mental fluctuations. By abiding in this state we allow the connection with divinity to come about.
Meditation is not a concept to be understood. Yoga as meditation in the body is just one form of cultivating intimacy with our lived present moment. When I say yoga I could more specifically refer to yoga asana. If we come to meditation with expectations and goals we limit ourselves. Our personal aims are necessarily conditioned by our past experiences. If however we are able to cultivate openness to what arises through the application of mindful awareness we are more likely to gain insight into the way of reality, untainted by our projections. The practice of sensory awareness is one way of doing this. Our sensations are lived in the present.
We learn tips to avoid common pitfalls such as the sense of being overwhelmed. We can break down the whole into smaller parts taking each moment as it comes. Mantra can be a useful tool for the brain to focus its attention on while the rest of the system can go about the good work of regenerating its natural rhythms and its connection to the web of life it is a part of.
We can go into greater detail regarding the quality of our experience, cultivating opposite states in order to expand the field of awareness.
Ultimately the technique itself can be relinquished and necessarily will be relinquished when the time is ripe. It’s important for any scaffolding that may’ve been constructed to scale the heights of meditation to then be dismantled, least we confuse our whereabout with how we got there.