Among the very most important texts in Yoga is the Yoga Sutras, written by the sage Patanjali in the 2nd Century, BC. In it, he articulates eight limbs which comprise the “Royal Path” of Yoga. The eighth limb, Samadhi, is absorption.
It is possible to live much of the rest of your life free from suffering, stress, anxiety, worry, anger and uncertainty. You can cease reacting to the ups and downs of the world around you and become content, experiencing profound joy and fulfillment in every moment, feeling connected, grounded and whole. It is even possible to be so fully merged with cosmic reality that you perceive the Divine in all things and the oneness of all that is. This is Samadhi, the eighth and final limb of Patanjali’s system.
Just as the sustained concentration of Dharana leads to the meditative state of Dhyana, sustained Dhyana leads us to Samadhi, which translates as absorption. In this state of immersion we are freed from the kleshas of our ego: Our likes, dislikes, judgments and fears. We live fully in the present moment, and each action we take is sacred and mindful. Washing and cutting vegetables for dinner, or doing mundane errands, is as blissful as a vacation or sunny day at the beach.
In Samadhi, we are always connected with our higher Self, we have full potency, complete balance and pure potential. This is Satchitananda, or Being (Sat), Consciousness (Chit) and Bliss (Ananda). We are in radiant mental and physical health, freed from the bubble of social conditioning and established in our true nature. Most importantly, our spiritual suffering, born of the ego, is eradicated. We have transcended our lust for material goods and sensory indulgences. We are no longer estranged from our hearts, no longer in sorrow, no longer incomplete or lacking anything.
I invite you to practice the Yoga of Samadhi in these ways:
- Seek to always come into the present moment with whatever you are doing.
- Pay closer attention to the world around you, noticing the sights, sounds and smells without judgment.
- During meditation, notice when you slip into complete absorption, even if for the briefest of moments.