The process of Attention
The process of Attention moving inward moves through stages:
1. Dharana, or concentration:
The effort to repeatedly bring the attention to that one point of focus, while learning to remain undisturbed by the activities of the world, the sensations of the body (though this exploration is a preliminary practice), and the many other streams of the mind (though these are also explored in the purifying process).
2. Dhyana, or meditation:
When the attention remains on that one point of focus for a sustained period of time, or said differently, when the same object repeatedly arises in attention, without other intervening thoughts capturing attention, this is called meditation.
3. Samadhi, or absorption:
With concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana), there are three things: 1) observer, 2) process of observing, and 3) object that is being observed. With deep absorption, or samadhi, it is as if these three collapse into only one, the object. It is as if there is no longer an observer and a process of observing; there is only the object of observation. The three have merged into one, unbroken experience.