When pratyahara practices are finished then the eyes are kept closed. Ideally, at this stage most internal and external disturbances should have faded away. The second group of kriyas is then practised to induce dharana. This is done gradually by first of all rotating awareness throughout the inner psychic circuits. This slowly induces more perception. As the kriya practice progresses, one’s awareness is confined more and more so that it becomes increasingly one-pointed. Dharana arises spontaneously.
The distinctive feature of kriya yoga is that concentration is not forced; it spontaneously arises as a consequence of performing the mechanics of the kriyas. Often concentration is forced during meditative practices which leads the individual nowhere, only to a headache and frustration. Many people grit their teeth, tense their facial muscles and light their mind in an effort to bring about concentration. They do this because they know that concentration is an essential part of higher yoga practices, and that if they can attain high states of concentration then they will induce dhyana, but dhyana must be spontaneous. Forced concentration is not really concentration; it creates tension in the mind, which leads away from the path to dhyana. Practise kriya yoga and concentration will arise. Dharana leads to dhyana.
Dhyana: We have nothing to say about dhyana, for it is the realm of the unspeakable. When it is known, no words are needed. Before it is experienced words will only cause confusion, misconception and over-intellectualization. It is better to say nothing. There are no techniques for dhyana; all the techniques of kriya yoga are intended to bring about the state of dhyana.
It is a continuous flow from pratyahara to dharana to dhyana. There is no rigid division as we have given; this classification has been given for ease of explanation. Don’t take the classification too seriously. If you master kriya yoga to a reasonable degree then you will automatically flow from one state to the next. You will not need to think: “Ah yes, I must start dharana” and so forth. Everything will happen spontaneously. All you have to do is practise the kriyas in the correct manner.