In the true sense of the word, samadhi is a state of consciousness, a loving, peaceful openness that arises from merging with the essence of life. In samadhi, we experience a sense of inner fulfillment and the feeling that everything is perfect just as it is. Therefore, we don’t feel alone or insecure. “There is no fear in samadhi,” Kaia Nightingale explains. She is a BSc, MA in Psychology, and honorary Doctor in Meditation, as well as a speaker, artist, and writer who offers a variety of yoga, meditation and counseling classes in Centretown, Ottawa, Canada.
The more popular use of the word samadhi refers to any time our awareness expands beyond our thinking and we experience a peaceful state of consciousness. We reach samadhi when we become free of our sense of individuality and efforts to control our minds. Samadhi is the only pure state of constant peace of mind.
We can get away from our busy lives and allow ourselves to relax and become more receptive and open, perhaps during summer break, on the beach by the sea, or in the mountains. The result is a temporary sense of well-being. Embraced by nature, we are not prisoners of our own thoughts anymore. Consequently, our bodies and minds get their much-needed rest.
Because we can’t always be on vacation, we can access this relaxed, open state inside us through meditation. We can meditate anywhere, and there is no need for special clothes or a special place.
“Meditation is a state of consciousness that exists within [us] at all times,” Kaia Nightingale comments. There is a part of us that is always in meditation, although we are often unaware of it, because our minds being constantly preoccupied with daily worries and thoughts.
Through meditation, we clear our minds and become more aware of the love and peace inside us. We allow our thinking to slow down and relax. We can’t tell the mind to be still, but, since the mind takes the shape of whatever it attends, if we attend something peaceful, the mind will follow.
We all can benefit from meditation and become calmer, less dissatisfied, and generally happier. Health conditions scientifically proven to respond well to meditation include tension headaches; addictions to tobacco, alcohol, and drugs; asthma; chronic fatigue syndrome; stress and anxiety; epilepsy; insomnia; irritability; pain; and psychosomatic disorders. Many other medical conditions spontaneously improve with meditation. For example, meditation may help some patients decrease their medication. Patients suffering from diabetes; thyroid problems; and depressive, anxiety, and heart disorders should consult with and have their doctors monitor them, in case their medication can be decreased.
Meditation can also help in cases of some mental illnesses. Exceptions are people “with not enough grounding or internal structure to stabilize expansive openness,” as Kaia Nightingale explains, or people who have suffered a great deal in the past and find it difficult to open their minds and clear the past pain. However, if they want to deal with their past trauma and move on, meditation is excellent.
Samadhi also gives us a steady inner core, helping us through the ups and downs of everyday existence, thoughts, or emotions. As a result, we experience a constant love-light essence of life, always blissful and at peace, independent of the changes in the world around us. Our health improves naturally because our physical body benefits when freed from tension and stress.
Some people reach a very deep state of openness in their first meditation session. Others take longer, especially those more intellectually focused, partly because they are used to focusing their attention on their thinking rather than the space between their thoughts.
Meditating on a regular basis can change our lives for the better and help us align our outer lives with our inner spiritual aspirations and cultivate inner listening. It helps us connect with an internal wellspring of energy, fulfillment and peace-of value for everyone. A 20-minute daily meditation session can clear the day’s stresses and return us to a harmonious way of being. Also, we don’t have to touch samadhi to benefit from meditation.
“One way to meditate is to sit comfortably with your attention lightly resting on the rise and fall of each breath,” Kaia Nightingale says. “Soon your attention will come to rest in the present.” There is no need to agonize about tomorrow’s problems or about pains from the past. Here in the present moment, everything is just fine. There is not much, if any, pain that can fit in the moment. We begin to live in the moment . . . and life becomes clear.
Living in the moment is especially essential for patients suffering from terminal illnesses. For instance, in his book, Hope – A Story of Triumph, best-selling author Joel Rothschild talks about his surviving AIDS for almost two decades while living a positive life, a moment at a time.
For some people, samadhi is the key to the liberating oneness. Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God, talks about this “oneness” in his forward to Joel Rothschild’s book, Signals – An Inspiring Story of Life After Life, a bridge of true love between two friends caught in two different worlds-the life and the afterlife.
Through samadhi, we find a body-mind-soul unity, or “oneness,” which, in turn, helps us make peace with our own passing and understand the afterlife. The moment we learn who we are as spirit-essence, as one indivisible consciousness, we become love and light. And love dissolves our fear.
“When [we] know oneness, [we] know [ourselves] in truth,” Kaia Nightingale says. We come to know “the inner essence of all beings” that liberates us from fear, the creator of most of the pain in our lives.
People of different religions and beliefs-Jesus Christ included-have reached, at one point, a state of samadhi. We can all reach this state during a spontaneous moment in our lives-such as a mesmerizing sunset-or for an extended time, when we remain connected to our higher selves.
“The experience of deep samadhi is a powerful experience that one never forgets,” Kaia Nightingale explains. Those that manage to remain in this openness are called enlightened. Samadhi unfolds during deep meditation. Its experience makes us much more alive and sensitive, more attuned to the environment surrounding us, and more in touch with the spirit that shines in everyone’s eyes. We become love.
We can prepare to arrive at samadhi through love and surrender to life in a deep and profound way, and through preparing our bodies and minds for the immense light, love and energy we open to in samadhi. Meditation and yoga, along with many other practices, prepare the body and mind for samadhi, as does being less engaged in our self-preoccupations.
There are physical signs that are visible in people who’ve reached samadhi, such as tremendous love, an inner joy, a love of life, and a connection to one’s soul purpose. When not in the deep state of samadhi, most people tend to revert to their old patterns.
Our individual consciousness creates the wind of the mind. Samadhi, the state of windless, clear mind, is always within us. All we have to do is try to find our way to it.