Samadhi is an integral tenet for many practices of yoga. At its root, Samadhi is a form of meditation, which at its core is a practice intended to help you focus on your breathing, your mind, and ultimately your life.
Meditation helps you clear your mind of all negative energy and thought and focus on purely the positive. While doing yoga, meditation helps the participant to bridge the gap between their mind and their body. While concentrating on your breathing, you are able to explore your mind and body in ways that you may have never imagined. Samadhi has spiritual elements, it helps you to leave the ordinary and enter the other-worldly. We all live on a certain plane of consciousness. Samadhi helps to transcend the physical and mental planes and move you forward in your spiritual journey, much like Shamanic Journeying does.
As with all practices, Samadhi has varying levels. These levels can be achieved through meditation and practice. It begins with Savikalpa Samadhi. In this level, one can reach a transcendental state, freeing themselves from the previously known human plane of consciousness. Those who have experienced this state claim to have become aware of a shift in both space and in time. Further, people say that they have come to understand themselves more fully and with greater depth and truth. They become aware of facts, both mundane and extraordinary, that had previously been unknown to them. When the meditation is complete, the person once again becomes aware of their self and are greeted by a return to the everyday human consciousness.
The following level is known as Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In this state, a practitioner’s mind becomes free. While still being aware of the world around you - the sounds, the smells and that which is observed by all of our physical senses - you are able to free yourself from them. They are happening, but they do not bother or affect you. At this level, one begins to merge a bit deeper with their soul level of identity. It has been described vividly as a sort of melting away, and as a feeling of peace enveloping the entirety of the body and mind. Conventional human thinking ceases to hold you to the world you know and your perception begins to shift fully and completely.
Like scuba diving or flying, one cannot simply run back to the state where they first began. After the joy and immense pleasure experienced at this level, a practitioner must ease themselves back into life as they knew it and the everyday human state of physical consciousness.
While Nirvikalpa Samadhi is not an easy state to attain, many spiritual masters do find their way there. The next level of Samadhi has been said to take even more time to attain. This state is known as Sahaja Samadhi. At this level, the practitioner allows their consciousness to rise so far beyond the worldly that they are said to not quite fully return to the `mundane`. They will forever see our physical world through a new set of eyes, and this new understanding of the deeper level that everything runs upon will lead to deeper compassion and love for the world as a whole.
It can take years to reach even the first level of Samadhi, but the practice and the journey are themselves what matter. As you proceed, you will receive greater and longer lasting benefits from the practice. Start slow and allow yourself to be fully immersed in the wonderful practice that is Samadhi. It will change your life and shift your consciousness, creating from within you a happier person who can more easily cope with any struggles that life may bring your way.
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