Samadhi a 3 Step Process
Samadhi is a Sanskrit word made up of two terms, sama meaning equal and even, and adhi meaning to adhere or stick with. When you put them together they mean equal states of consciousness or unified consciousness, the joining of all aspects of our being: physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. It also means supreme bliss, super consciousness, heightened awareness, enlightenment and Atman Awareness.
Steps for Achieving Samadhi
These 3 steps will lead you towards the state of Samadhi, and Samadhi really depends on how often you apply yourself to the process. In the begging Samadhi will come in flashes of realization, which will begin to become long states of heightened perception. Until finally you will simply realize yourself. This is self-realization and is a gate way state that steps into Samadhi.
Step 1: Breathing
Conscious breathing or pranayama as it’s known in Sanskrit is one of the most “mindful” things we can do. There is simply nothing more present or in the moment than our breath.
Prana means life force or breath sustaining the body; Ayama translates as “to extend or draw out.” Together the two mean breath extension or control.
Traditionally, the practitioner does pranayama while sitting on the ground, with the spine long and erect. But if you aren’t accustomed to extended sitting in such a position you will often find yourself aching and fidgeting after only a short while; this interferes with your concentration and the efficacy of the breathing practice. If this is the case for you, sit in a chair or, better still, try lying on your back on the floor.
When you’re comfortably set up, begin watching your everyday breath for a few minutes, fixing it in the foreground of your awareness. Then, for another minute or so, mentally count the length of both your inhalations and exhalations; for example count slowly, “One, two, three, and so on (or “One Om, two Om, three Om,” if you prefer). Don’t be surprised if your exhalations are slightly longer than your inhalations; that’s quite common. Once you’ve settled into your breath, you’re ready to try this introductory breathing exercise.
Close your eyes. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose and pause at the top of the inhalation for a moment. Then, exhale completely through your nose. Repeat for 5 minutes.” Focus on the sound of your breath and relax your jaw, your teeth, tongue, and lips as you exhale.
This breathing exercise is a simple and effective way of calming the mind and redirecting awareness inward.
Step 2: Self-realization
Samadhi is sometimes confused with self-realization. Self-realization is a process, where you learn to accept yourself. It’s about accepting where you are now at this very moment. Tolerance, patience and love start at home in our own minds, because it’s all about you, no matter what you may tell yourself about your beliefs and the world, if you don’t respect who you are from deep within then you will never find balance.
Self-realization is about moving from a place of self-truth and self-acceptance, and only then we can begin to understand the nature of self-realization, in a strange way self-realization is an internal loop, that laughs at its own short comings. In this way you become your authentic self and you learn to love yourself.
Step 3: Meditation Practice
It only makes sense that we should meditate as the final process to achieving Samadhi, and mediation is more that just laying down with your eyes closed and contemplating relaxation. Which is why meditation has ritualized seating postures such as Lotus Pose or Easy Pose, or the Zen walking meditations. The mind needs structure to overcome its chaotic nature.
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind by using techniques that encourages and develops concentration, clarity, and silence. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice of quieting ones internal talk offers a means to cultivate new, more enlightened ways of being.
With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energized states of awareness that can accumulate in Samadhi consciousness or Unified consciousness.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Easy Pose — Sukhasana (soo-KAHS-uh-nuh) — is a basic seated meditation posture. It is depicted in some of the oldest images of ancient yogis in India, some of which are at least 2,000 years old. Also sometimes called “Simple Cross-Legged Pose,” Sukhasana is intended to be comfortable and calming.
Sit on your mat or cushion with a folded blanket or extra cushion under your bottom. Cross your legs just above the ankles and allow your knees to rest on the floor. If there is pain in either knee, place a blanket under the knee to relieve it. Sit up tall and rest your hands on your thighs. Close your eyes and breathe freely through your nose for a few minutes.
- Sit on your mat or cushion with a folded blanket or extra cushion under your bottom. Extend your legs in front of your body and sit up straight (Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana)). Then, cross your legs in front of you at the shins.
- With your knees wide, place each foot beneath the opposite knee. Fold your legs in toward your torso.
- Place your hands on your knees, palms down.
- Balance your weight evenly across your sit bones. Align your head, neck, and spine. Lengthen your spine, but soften your neck. Relax your feet and thighs.
- Gaze straight ahead with soft eyes.
- Hold for the duration of your meditation practice.
- Release and change the cross of your legs if you feel the need.
Practicing Easy Pose (Sukhasana) in correct alignment will automatically begin to calm your mind and senses. Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Keep your pelvis in a neutral position, balancing equally on both sit bones. To find neutral position, gently rock forward and back, and shift your hips side-to-side once you are in the pose. Once you are neutral, your pubic bone and tail bone should both be the same distance from the floor and both sit bones should have an even distribution of weight.
- Be sure to change the cross of your legs, not favoring one side or the other. Hold the pose for the same length of time on each side or use alternating leg crosses with each mediation practice.
- Let your legs cross naturally — there is no real “right” or “wrong” way for them to cross. In this regard, Sukhasana is slightly different from other seated cross-legged positions, such as Perfect Pose (Siddhasana) or Lotus Pose (Padmasana), which require a more precise foot placement. As long as there is a comfortable gap between your feet and pelvis and the pose feels “easy,” which is why its call the Easy Pose.
See also Seven Meditations, Zazen Instructions, How To Practice Mindfulness Every Day, Zazen Posture an Act of Impeccability, Understanding Zen through the tale of the Samurai and the Tea Master
Guide To Sanskrit Pronunciation
- Samadhi, Pronounced (SamAdhi) /s-uh-m-aa-dh-ee/
- Soul or Primordial Self – Atman, Pronounced /aht-muh n/
- Life force or Breath – Prana, Pronounced /prA-nA/
- Energy Control or Breath Control – Pranayama, Pronounced /prA-nA-yA-ma/
- Easy Pose — Sukhasana, Pronounced /soo-KAHS-uh-nuh/
- Seated Staff Pose – Dandasana, Pronounced /dahn-DAHS-uh-nuh/
- Perfect Pose – Siddhasana, Pronounced /si-ddhA-sa-na
- Lotus Pose – Padmasana, Pronounced /pa-dmA-sa-na/
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