Reaching for Samadhi—The Yogic Approach

Samadhi is the highest state of meditation, at which complete unity is reached. It can be attained through many different paths, however, when we talk about the yogic meaning of the word, we are describing the transcendental state of enlightenment. In India if you say "he or she has attained Samadhi", you generally mean that the person has passed away into the next life. In a sense, Samadhi is like that. You are deceased and detached from the ego, yet at the same time you are profoundly alive, conscious and connected to your true nature.

When I was studying Yogic meditation in India, my teacher would say to me “We will see our true nature only when we detach from the ego, when the "I" ceases to be." What he meant was that when the ego or "I" dies, you are free from the ego and only then can you be conscious and truly alive.

At that stage of consciousness you are able to become one with the Universe, and to live the highest truth—this is the essence of Samadhi.

This is the goal of all spiritual and many philosophical teachings no matter what you decide to label yourself as: Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Existentialist or of any number of names. Even if you don't have faith or believe in organized religion, it is not important because these beliefs are not needed realize your true nature.

All you need to see is that you are not your mind, the “I”, the observed, the ego! But where does the "I" dwell? It lives in the ego. Where does the ego reside? It manifests in the mind. In fact the ego is the very source of mind.

All the manifestations of the ego such as, thinking, feeling, emotion, sensation, form and willing can be grouped into one term—“mind." By purifying the mind using practices such as Yoga, the mind no longer becomes an impediment to discovering your inner truth. It becomes a perfect reflector of the self to see its own true nature or Samadhi.

On my travels I have discovered many ways to finding this truth from Meditation in Zen Buddhism, Chi-gung in Taoism, dancing meditation in Sufism and Christian mystic practices, however, I have found what works best for me is Yoga. It promises a holistic approach to finding inner truth that incorporates the entire spectrum of practice: diet, exercise, meditation, breathing and physiological and psychological self healing techniques.

Practicing Yoga is one of many paths for shedding the ego and discovering this inner truth, try it and you might discover it is also your path to Samadhi.

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