Samadhi Part 2 (It’s Not What You Think)

Samadhi begins with a leap into the unknown. In the ancient traditions in order to realize Samadhi it was said that one must ultimately turn consciousness away from all known objects; from all external phenomena, conditioned thoughts and sensations, toward consciousness itself. Toward the inner source; the heart or essence of one’s being.

In this film when we use the word Samadhi we are pointing to the transcendent. To the highest Samadhi which has been named Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In Nirvikalpa Samadhi there’s a cessation of self activity, of all seeking and doing. We can only speak about what falls away as we approach it and what reappears when we return from it. There is neither perception nor non-perception, neither “thing” nor “no thing”, neither consciousness nor unconsciousness. It is absolute, unfathomable, and inscrutable to the mind. When the self returns to activity there’s a not knowing; a kind of rebirth, and everything becomes new again. We are left with the perfume of the divine, which lingers longer as one evolves on the path.

There are numerous types of Samadhi described in the ancient traditions and language has created much confusion over the years. We are choosing to use the word Samadhi to point to the transcendent union, but we could have used a word from another tradition just as easily. Samadhi is an ancient Sanskrit term common to the Vedic yogic and Samkhya traditions of India, and has permeated many other spiritual traditions. Samadhi is the eighth limb of Patanjali’s eight limbs of the yoga, and the eighth part of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. The Buddha used the word “Nirvana”, the cessation of “vana” or the cessation of self activity. Patanjali described yoga or Samadhi as “chitta vritti nirodha”, the Sanskrit meaning “cessation of the whirlpool or spiral of mind.” It is a disentangling of consciousness from the entire matrix or creatrix of mind. Samadhi does not signify any concept because to realize it requires a dropping of the conceptual mind.
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