Hatha Slow Yoga

Find Your Bliss

Samadhi is the eigth limb of yoga. It is considered to be the ultimate "goal" or destination of the yogic journey. It is the culmination of our practice of all the other 8 limbs.
One of the difficulties in explaining Samadhi is the fact that it is an entirely elusive concept, especially if it has not been experienced. So here are some  ways that it can be described:
  • Total absorption in the meditative state
  • Trance
  • Absence of Time
  • Merging of the person doing the meditation and the meditation itself.
  • Detachment from the intellect.
  • Union of the Self with the Infinite
  • A state of bliss
  • Contentment and absence of desire

 It is important that you find your way in defining what Samadhi means to you. And through the journey to achieve Samadhi, its meaning will alter or shift in time.

Samadhi is not so much something that you do but the result of all that comes before. So by applying all eight limbs, the effect of Samadhi is ultimately achieved.

Dhyana is the 7th and most elusive limb of yoga. It is both challenging to define and initially challenging to practice. But before one thinks that this is the reason not to do meditation, let’s break it down to some simple ideas.

Dhyana is deep sleep in a conscious state. So like sleep you are not attached to any outside stimulus. You are not thinking and you come to state of restfulness or calmness. Unlike sleep however you are conscious. So while you may be disconnected from external stimulation, you can recall it after your mediation. In other words, the mind is not processing stimulation during the meditation process. However, after coming out of meditation, you may recall that the phone rang or someone dropped something.

There are many ways to meditate and part of your journey is finding what works for you and then building on it.

Dhyana is part of the yoga process and including other limbs of yoga in the process are equally important. Pratyahara, withdrawal of the senses, along with Dharana, concentration, help us to the path of Dhyana and ultimately Samadhi, a blissful state. Here is simple example of blending these parts of yoga:

  1. Sit in a quiet dimly lit room with a candle. Finding a comfortable seated position.
  2. Take several deep calming breaths.
  3. Begin to gaze at the candle.
  4. Let thoughts come and go bringing attention back to breath and gaze.
  5. As you slow down, allow the eyes to gently close, keeping the image of the candle before you.
  6. Allow the image of the candle to drift away as all thought begins to dissipate.
  7. Hold this space for what feels to be a natural cycle for you in this moment.

For myself there is a natural cycle that feels to be about 20 min. For every person this will be different but I have anecdotally seen this cycle range from 15 to 25 minutes.

What happens if you keep getting distracted? Go back to 2 and work your way through the next steps. Each time we do so, we can get to stay in a meditative state just a bit longer.

If you find yourself in this place of timelessness, or that the time passes without awareness, you have reached a place of meditation. If you sense yourself being absorbed to the object of your focus to the point that the boundaries between you and object become fuzzy, you have found meditation.

We are never done improving this great tool and the more we study ourselves with relationship to it the better we get, the deeper we go and the greater bliss we can achieve.