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  • Writer's pictureSusan Pattis

What Is Samadhi? (Part V)

Laya: Samadhi is essentially un-distractedness. The level of undistracted focus exists on a sliding scale of no Samadhi to very strong Samadhi; somewhere in the middle of that scale is what the explorer is looking for during their meditation practice. In Buddhism, Samadhi as a scale is more rightly defined and extrapolated upon with voluminous sermons by the Buddha as the "Jhanas" and commentary up to the present day by modern authors and teachers. In no other system than Buddhism exists such a highly technical and detailed exposition of the various states of Samadhi.

Ghanti: Samadhi is simply a method of meditation with no delineated levels of achievement. It is a lifelong practice and is essential to those who wish to learn other forms of meditation. It is sometimes called calm-abiding meditation because the object sits and allows the constant stream of thoughts that bombard their conscious minds to fall into the background. When we can achieve this practice of not following a train of thought for a while, our minds feel still, and we catch a glimpse of what it is like to experience the sense of resting in its nature. My best dualistic explanation of how this might seem is when you are reading a book in the rain. You know it's raining, but you're not paying any attention to it because your awareness is focused on the book, just as we strive to allow our awareness to be on mind resting in its nature.

Majidi: The basic general definition of Samadhi is a state of silent bliss consciousness that can be experienced in meditation. How long it takes to achieve this state depends on the predisposition of the practitioner. Still, most people who have a consistent daily practice will experience at least a fleeting glimpse of Samadhi within a couple of years. That quick taste of silent bliss is called Samadhi, in which thoughts may come and go; but they do not disturb the meditation.

Marty: Samadhi is silent ecstasy and oneness without the intrusion of the thoughts or awareness of subject or object distractions. You don't just "feel" bliss; you become bliss, like drowning in an abyss of ecstasy. Samadhi can last for hours or days before one reluctantly reenters ordinary waking consciousness. I have simultaneously experienced the silent bliss and oneness of Samadhi while still functioning in the world. The Samadhi, which I initially only momentarily glimpsed during meditation, then became more profound and more prolonged in meditative states, finally bursts forth and overflows into my waking consciousness. At first, this is quite startling and requires some adjustment, but it eventually becomes the new normal. It is difficult to remember what existence felt like before when I carried my ego around on my back. The burden has now been released, and the formerly constant chattering of the monkey-mind has quieted down.

Tian: Samadhi is a whole new reality when everything looks the same and life goes on. The incredible love and bliss pour through the heart center and flow out into the world to bless all beings. The slightest devotional thought results in waves of orgasmic ecstasy. At first, you feel a bit awkward because your best friend might say to you, "Are you high?" Eventually, others feel good vibes emanating from you that make people smile.

David: Samadhi happened to me once in 2011 after thirty years of yoga and meditation practice. My reality permanently changed after that five-minute experience. I used to be lazy getting up for work in the morning. Now, I can do my job and live my life more efficiently and effortlessly than before! I can shift gear between different levels of consciousness at will, depending on what I am doing. The storms on the surface of life continue, the waves go up and down as usual, and I can ride them or remain in the center of love and bliss in the depths of consciousness.

Charley: Anyone who has an experience of Samadhi does not talk about it because it can only be understood theoretically, and the experience usually doesn't match that theory. Each experience is unique. From my limited understanding and experience with studying my mind, I have realized that Samadhi is an increased or heightened awareness that happens gradually, and moments of realization are experienced in pockets when we can be focused and present in our minds. As long as you live a current life with a sincere heart, you will get the truths of realizations that you can handle consciously and unconsciously.

Xing: I would like to share my meditation practice with your readers. I sit in a semi-lotus position, back straight, and imagine a string pulling up on the crown of my head, so it is slightly tilted. Fold arms in your lap with one palm on the other and touch your thumbs, forming an "O" then, breathe. The goal is not to let one thought that spontaneously arises in my mind lead to another. Just let it go. I can sit and allow this process to occur independently without any great effort.

To Be Continued.


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