Samadhi as defined in Raja Yoga of Patanjali is the state of union with the Infinite consciousness. But does that mean that nothing is achieved or happens before that state is reached? Does it mean that you continue to live your miserable existence till that ‘big gong’ moment when you ‘merge into union’. The good news is ‘NO’. During all my years of teaching Yoga and Vedanta, I have noticed one reality about human beings – they may listen to ‘samadhi talk’ but deep inside most just hope that they could find a way out of their existing misery. Their misery could be a broken marriage, a troubling teenager, sheer loneliness, an underlying disease or any one of the other great samsara humblers. When I talk about Ashtanga Yoga in a class and get to the topic of Samadhi I can see the unasked question “Do you really believe I can achieve Samadhi in this lifetime?” in the faces of the audience. It is a genuine question, an honest question. It is like asking “Can I become as good as Itzhak Perlman with practice?”. While the answer to that question is affirmative, it comes with the caveat of a daily practice of several hours. So I started modifying my instructions to point out the ‘immediate’ benefits of meditation. Yes and their faces do light up when they hear that!!!
Just sitting in silence is nothing but the practice of Ishwara Pranidhanam or surrender, one of the niyamas of Yoga. Like a blotting paper that gets soaked in ink, your constitution gets soaked in the nature of the Infinite consciousness which is ‘bliss’. Little leakages of bliss occur that bring unexplained peace in the midst of your problems. Synchronic events (co-incidences in common parlance) start occurring which take you closer to a solution of your problems. If you have a health problem you may suddenly meet someone who may have a solution or get a forwarded e-mail which may be the ‘real thing’. That’s how the super-consciousness works. Drop your intellect with the faith that there is a much higher intellect – the one that created you, the one that designed your eye, heart and peristaltic motion in your intestine. Don’t analyse and don’t ask the question, “How is this possible?”. JUST SURRENDER like you do to the surgeon on the operating table. Take a vow today to practice sitting in silence for 20 minutes everyday. Let me know what happened after 3 months. May peace be with you.