What is Samadhi?

Yogis!  What is Samadhi?  What is this deepest state of meditation?  It starts with concentration.  Concentration on one object.  Hold your focus on that one object.  You don't choose to meditate.  Meditation happens.  Meditation is sustained concentration.  The longer you hold your focus on your object of concentration, the more your mind will try to distract you.  A tremendous battle is going on inside you when you choose to concentrate on one object.  It's you against your mind.  You want to concentrate and your mind wants to distract you.  Hold your focus.  It's going to get intense.  Let it get intense.  Let the fire build.  Go towards the fire.  Surrender into the fire.  Don't fight with yourself.  Surrender.  This is what leads you to meditation.  

Concentration is sometimes described as looking at a very close up picture of water being poured into a bucket.  It doesn't actually flow in continuous stream.  When you look closely you see the individual drops of water.  This is like when we are concentrating on an object.  The individual thought is repeating over and over again.  The same thought.  It's like if I am concentrating on a candle flame, my mind is registering the thought "candle flame" and then immediately the next thought is "candle flame" and then the next thought is "candle flame".  Over and over again.  Candle flame, candle flame, candle flame, candle flame...etc.  This is concentration, these thoughts are the individual drops of water.  When your concentration becomes meditation it is often described as a steady stream.  Now it's like you are pouring oil into the bucket instead of water.  Even if you looked at a very close up picture of the oil it wouldn't be separated like the individual drops of water.  There's no individual drops of oil.  The oil pours in one steady stream.  Candle flame, candle flame, candle flame becomes

"Caaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnndddddddlllllllllffffffllllllaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmeeeeeee".  

When you are able to hold your concentration long enough that it turns into meditation and then you continue to bring the opposites together, concentrating on your object and surrendering towards that object, you eventually lose a sense of yourself and reach a state where there is no separation between subject and object, no separation between you and your object of concentration.  There's no thought of concentrating on the candle flame.  There's no awareness of yourself and the candle flame.  There's only the candle flame.  This is Samadhi.  The deepest state of meditation.  You've merged with the object of concentration.  There's no ego, no mind, no thoughts, no body, no outer world.  There's just the object and pure awareness of the object.  Think about that.  In Samadhi you lose your sense of your ego.  The mind is quiet.  There's no you.  In Samadhi there's an instant realization, though, that there is something beyond the body, mind, thoughts and ego.  You're not there.  But YOU are there.  The pure consciousness part of YOU is there.  There's the object and your awareness.  That's it.  Self realization.  The realization that in the stillness I'm still here, witnessing, experiencing the stillness.  It's like there's no phone anymore.  Just the signal.  You're not the phone.  You're the signal.  

Samadhi is often described as the container that is pouring the oil just tipped over and fell into the bucket.  Subject and object merge.  You become the candle flame.  

Now, what happens after Samadhi?  What's that famous quote:  "So, you've reached enlightenment.  Now, it's time to go do the laundry." Well, you come out of it but you're different.  You found yourself.  No matter how much you get distracted and caught up in the noise now, you know you always have a way back in.  And the process starts all over again.  You practice taking the journey again and again until you realize you can be taking the journey every moment.  You ARE taking the journey every moment.  Samadhi is really the journey to Samadhi.  Over and over again.  It's the journey, NOT the destination.  The journey is WHO YOU ARE.  The journey you are on is who you are!  

We contract.  We expand.  Inhale and exhale.  Over and over again.  Concentrate, water becomes oil, go into the fire, fall into the bucket, lose yourself.  Reconnect.  Now, find yourself and do it all over again.  Take the journey!  

And don't forget to go do the laundry! :)