Saturday, September 18, 2010

Do we dare to say we have had an experience of samadhi?

Sutra 3.3 “[When]… the individual is so involved in the object [of meditation], that nothing except its comprehension is evident. It is as if the individual has lost her own identity. This is complete integration with the object of understanding – Samadhi.” (Desikachar translation)

Samadhi is a word I first met in school. I was told that samadhi is the heaven of Hindu and Buddhist religion. This have somehow stayed with me, even through yoga-teacher-training and studying philosophy at the university. Sure, I got that it was something that you could reach through meditation and that it was a release from the bondage of earth – but here the reference to heaven and my old ideas about a Christian God (which also have changed through the years) took over.

Today it feels like wakening up. Samadhi becomes a whole new landscape where I actually have some experience.

A couple of years ago I had a professor at the university who said that we cannot have any experience without educating our intellect. Without experiencing it as an subject- object relation ( a subject who’s amount of knowledge grew). This is a part of the theory of “lifelong learning” (livslang læring) and “knowledge society” (videns samfundet). This was such a provocation to me and everything I had experienced – so I started to find academically honored theoreticians who have proved her wrong. And all they said is the same as Patanjali stated here 2500 years before!!!!

Anyone who has experienced losing oneself in art/nature/challenge/meditation (both in the creating and the receiving act) has tasted this unification, that Samadhi guides us towards.

My experience with this makes it clear, that there are some situations where intellect and sensation is lost and there is no “I” and no “object”.

This is where Iyengar takes it to the next level.

“For the yogi, however, whose “art” is formless and whose goal has no physical expression like a painting, a book or a symphony, the fragrance of Samadhi penetrates every aspect of her “normal” behaviour, activities and state of being.”

My favourite example is cutting cucumber, becoming aware of the sensation, the rhythm, the beauty and suddenly it makes it self, there is only a now – nothing else matters and it is self-fulfilling.

This is it – Yes. The process and the goal of the process becomes one. Moving towards perfection and being perfect is one – not oppositions but inclusions… hmm lack of words here.

Yoga as unification and the movement towards this unification becomes one – it is already done. Like praying/searching -well aware that everything is already given/found, and knowing that the prayer/search is still right, is still a true position.

This inspires me to go for the unification in class, breath and movement, body, mind and soul, the goal and the process of moving towards it. The limbs and the core. The front and the back. The here and now! It’s essence of change, move towards perfection knowing it’s already here. Open and courage is main focus as well, taking in that I get to teach and inaugurate this new yoga-space. Bring the sunlight in – Gayatri mantra :-) love and light

Jenni Saunte

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's so good to read your posts again. You're as thought provoking and inspirational as always.