(Sanskrit; Tibetan sampten; Pali: jhana; Chinese: Ch’an; Japanese: zenna or zen) The Sanskrit term refers to “meditation,” but is used to mean mental stability and active meditative contemplation on the nature of an object.
- In Hinduism, Dhyana is the fifth of the six stages of Patanjali’s yoga, and refers to state of conscious stillness, with perfect concentration on the object of meditation. From this, the sixth stage of Samadhi can be reached.
- In Buddhism, Dhyana is the fifth of the six Paramitas (perfections). In Tibetan, the term sampten or bsam gtan means “definitive” or “established,” because this is the basis from which all conscious realizations are reached. Therefore, in Buddhism, the term Dhyana is equivalent to the Hindu use of Samadhi: they both refer to conscious, meditative absorption.