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How To Understand Samadhi?

Updated on April 11, 2013
Shiva In Samadhi
Shiva In Samadhi

Recently I was in Geneva on business. While I was there I visited with a friend who is a Ph.D. in philosophy. My friend Avi has written many books on philosophy and logic. He is a religious Jew who keeps the Sabbath but follows Zen for his cultivation. Like all of us, Avi wants to dispel all doubts and realize the essence of mind.

Despite his vast study and education, and in spite of his more than 30 year daily practice of sitting in contemplation, he has never entered into Samadhi. We spoke about it at length, actually to the wee hours of the morning.

Our conclusion was that Samadhi is only experienced by those few who are fortunate enough to keep in the company of holy men, who inquire into the mind and study the scriptures. We also believe it is a rare blessing bestowed upon you by God if you qualify to receive the blessing of enlightenment.

I brought up my frustration of not having entered into Samadhi with a Tao master (His reply is in my previous post) and begged him to ask Heaven on my behalf for the experience of Samadhi.

In his kindness and wisdom, the Tao master explained that Samadhi is a state that can only be entered into when one is qualified. Receive the Tao, do meritorious deeds and of great importance, practice and perfect the *Six Paramitas or in English, the Six Perfections.

I have taken his advice to heart and am restudying the Paramitas. I am going to do my best to follow them in the hope that God may bless me with Samadhi.

Samadhi eliminates all doubts because you enter into the One, the infinite consciousness. You no longer put in an appearance in the Triple World and thus you are sitting in meditation. The ego-personality is dispelled and your true self is realized. This realization dispels all doubts and from this moment on, you are the infinite consciousness. You are free from delusion and unfettered by the shackles of Maya.You are not the body, you are not mind. You are merely a witness to the absolute truth of the Tao.

I have not entered into Samadhi. I have however, studied the autobiographies of Sages who have. I am convinced that I must follow their example and enter into Samadhi if I am ever to find peace. This morning, in the middle of my morning prayer, a little voice inside my head startled me greatly. It suggested that despite the fact that I have never entered into Samadhi, I should live as if I had. I should hold in my heart the same faith and belief as if I knew it by direct experience. I should act as if I had dispelled all doubts and live accordingly.

This idea, though simple, had never occurred to me before. I asked myself the questions: How would you live if you were absolutely positive that the ego-personality is just a notion of the Tao? How would you live if you absolutely believed that the triple world is but an elaborate dream and its existence was non-existent? How would you live if you truly accept that existence and non-existence are merely waves on the ocean of infinite consciousness and that in reality only the infinite consciousness is real?

Pretend you have entered into Samadhi? What would you do?

*Listed below are the Six Paramitias for those of you who are unfamiliar with them.

1) The Perfection of Generosity (Dana Paramita)

2) The Perfection of Ethics (Sila Paramita)

3) The Perfection of Patience (Kshanti Paramita)

4) The Perfection of Joyous Effort / Enthusiastic Perseverance (Virya Paramita)

5) The Perfection of Concentration (Dhyana Paramita)

6) The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna Paramita)


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