The 8 Limbs of Yoga: Samadhi "Absorption"

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

Samadhi (absorption) is a state beyond words and is the final step on Patanjali’s eightfold path. The word ‘samadhi’ is formed from three components: ‘sam’ (equal, balanced, complete), ‘a’ (eternal), and ‘dhi’ (buddhi, cognition, knowledge). It is an egoless state in which the practitioner reaches complete union with cosmic consciousness; where there is no distinction between the witness, the witnessing, and the object witnessed. This uninterrupted dhyana (meditation) is a state in which the I-consciousness (ego) disappears and becomes pure consciousness, liberated from the awareness of itself, time, and space. The feeling that remains is supreme bliss (ananda). Samadhi is the highest state of consciousness and is the goal of yoga.

Samadhi is the fourth state of being (waking, sleeping, dreaming, samadhi). In this state, the practitioner withdraws from the conscious mind and moves deep into the subconscious where our soul meets the Self, the never-changing truth. It is an egoless state that changes you in a profound way. When the ego disappears, the thinking stops, and we are no longer aware that we are meditating. Instead, we are absorbed inside beyond the layers of the conscious mind and deep within our subconscious. Samadhi clears blockages deep in the subconscious mind, and at the physical level, the heart rate and breath slow down. In samadhi, we enter the 6th chakra (third eye) and start our journey to the 7th chakra (crown) where the mind is purified. This can be quite a long journey, as the subconscious mind is filled with clutter in the form of memories, desires, feelings, and other blockages. Samadhi purifies the mind and clears the baggage, leading to the 7th chakra, which is enlightenment. Siddhis, or spiritual powers (clairvoyance, astral projection, and telepathy), can also be developed as a result of reaching samadhi.

Samadhi is not something we can do, as there is no doership. The practitioner can only create conditions (sense withdrawal, soft concentration, deep meditation) which involves a trust in the process, a deep relaxation towards whatever is happening. The continuous flow of consciousness in meditation soon leaves no distinction between the witness, the witnessing, and the object witnessed. At this point, samadhi happens. Don’t expect too much or become frustrated when samadhi does not come right away, just keep trusting the process.

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