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  • Writer's pictureSusan Pattis

What Is Samadhi? (Part IV)

Samadhi is about the state in which the subject, the meditator, and the object of meditation merge into one when the ecstatic condition in which the limited sense of individuality fades away. Yes, Samadhi is the last stage of the eightfold path described in the Yoga Sutras. It is also the latest stage in the process of actual self-identification. You could say that Samadhi is the ultimate step before the final liberation of eternality. The simplified practice from concentration to meditation then could be as follows:

· You can concentrate on an object, for example, a candle flame, again and again, bringing your mind back to this object whenever thoughts appear.

· Meditation happens now when you find yourself in a peaceful, effortless state in which the candle flame constantly flows in your awareness, repeatedly calling your attention, as if the flame fascinates your life.

· You need to take twenty to thirty minutes every day, without anxious desire, just letting your thoughts go; someday, the state of Samadhi arises, then you will understand the condition of no separation between you and the candle flame.

The best way to reach Samadhi is not to long for Samadhi, or to crave it. Just be in the present moment and enjoy your sensations. Do not look into the future because the moment you hope for something, or aim for something, you are not in the present moment. Anxiety for the future creates stress and pressure on your mind because you are forcing it to be something. Don't force your mind to be what you want, nor let yourself be moved by the thoughts your mind creates. Samadhi is the true middle path, as described by the teachings of Buddha because both ends are extreme. Forcing your mind is as bad as being pushed by it. When you are engaged in meditation, just give up all your wishes, desires and yearnings. Clearing your thoughts will enable you to keep to the objective of your meditation which, of course, you know is your breath, your compassion, your pure love, etcetera.

Toni: I have experienced a two-week state of Samadhi that followed about four months of awakening. I’ll try to describe my experience without getting into cultural dogma. The best way to describe the process is to recognize the hormones at play. When we experience stress, our body produces cortisol. When we have bliss, we have serotonin and endorphins, and when we solve a problem, we have a surge of dopamine. Now, imagine you have chosen to make every experience empower you. When something happens that you would generally react negatively towards, you figure out how it helps you and get the dopamine. Now, you meditate for hours a day to be sure that for everything you experience, you can see how it empowers you. Every day, your body is flooded with positive hormones, and it becomes easier and easier to do until it becomes effortless. At that point, it happens to you automatically without you even having to try. Everything you experience is for your benefit, and the body is constantly being dosed with blissful hormones. For me, this is Samadhi.

Ava: I experience myself as being without edges or content beyond the universe, all-pervading, and being thrilled, absolutely delighted with every motion that my body makes. With everything that my eyes see, my ears hear, and my nose smells. There is a delight in the sense that I can penetrate my consciousness. My intelligence pervades everything I see, feel and think.

Curtis: Unless you have access to an enlightened teacher, your best bet for regularly "experiencing" Samadhi is learning and periodically practicing transcendental meditation. Note that Samadhi isn't an experience, but the absence of experience. It is where the mechanism by which the brain is aware that external sensory and internal mental, emotional, and memorial activities have temporarily shut down, even as the brain continues to be in its alert mode.

Monk: Be aware that there's no guarantee that such episodes emerge with any frequency. I'm not sure what Samadhi is by definition, but I agree with the thoughtless state. I don't aim for "magic" conditions, so some mundane techniques come to mind, such as counting numbers, imagining steps or focusing on the breath.

Betty: The mind cannot attain Samadhi as the mind alone is responsible for pulling you unconsciously out of Samadhi. Ask "Who wants to achieve Samadhi?" and the answer may come, "I." Investigate into the nature of this "I," and you'll find the one who was never out of Samadhi. It depends upon your nature, which path is good for you. But I guess investigation is the direct path that will help you directly know the mind's fallacies.

To Be Continued.


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