Mudras, or hand positions, facilitate the flow of subtle energy through the body and mind, deepening and offering strength to your spiritual path. In Sanskrit, the word mudra means “seal” or “gesture”. There are a variety of different mudras that can enhance your meditation and yoga practice and we will be going over one per blog article.
Each of our fingers represents a primordial element, and different hand positions create a different flow of energy in the body:
Thumb = Space Index finger = Air Middle finger = Fire Ring finger = Water Pinky finger = Earth
How to do the Dhyana Mudra
To do the Dhyana mudra, place your left hand flat on your lap with the palm facing up. Place your right hand on top of your left hand with the palm facing up (your right-hand fingers resting on the fingers of your left-hand). Then connect the tips of your thumbs, creating an ovular shape. The entire mudra creates a bowl shape with your hands. The right hand represents enlightenment and the left hand represents the world of illusion.
The empty bowl represents receptiveness to the truth and the experiences life has to offer us. When we approach a situation with an empty bowl, we are empty of our pre-conceived notions, judgments, and opinions, and we are open to learning from everyone and everything in our lives. By being empty, every experience is fresh and exciting. The minds of our children perfectly embody this perspective, approaching every new experience with interest and wonder. Shunryu Suzuki refers to this perspective as “zen mind, beginner’s mind.”
The Origins of Dhyana
Dhyana is the foundation of all mudras, and is incredibly beneficial when used on a regular basis. Most statues and images of the Buddha seated in meditation portray him using the Dhyana mudra, though the Dhyana mudra pre-dates Buddhism and has its roots in ancient Hinduism. Dhyana is said to have been the mudra that Buddha used during his enlightenment under the pipal (or Bhodi) tree.
Dhyana is the most powerful mudra for concentration and balance. It balances the right and left sides of your body, quiets your mind, and keeps you focused and alert. With strong concentration comes deep realization, wisdom, and tranquility. When we do seated meditation with the Dhyana mudra, our hands line up with our Solar Plexus chakra, which is the power center of our energy body, and strengthens our will and insight when the chakra is open and balanced.
Crystals for Focus
To amplify your focus and concentration further, you can hold a crystal in your hands while you meditate, or you can wear crystal jewelry such as a mala, bracelet, necklace, or earrings. Crystals we recommend adding to your Dhyana mudra include:
Fluorite – improves mental coordination and clarity.
Hematite – the ultimate grounding stone, Hematite helps you let go of excess thoughts and be in the present moment.
Celestite – brings mental calm, clarity, and uplifting joy into your life.
Clear Quartz – amplifies all thought and intent, also increasing the efficacy of all other crystals.
Smokey Quartz – offers grounding energy and replaces negativity with positive energy.