A Peculiar Story
Today, in our Yoga Teacher Training Course, I learned about Samadhi through a peculiar story as told by Master Sree. The story went something like this:
There is a bee on my Teh O cup. The bee enjoys sipping the small drops of Teh O along the lid of my cup. Now, what does the bee do if it wants more of the Teh O? … It has to jump in. But when the bee jumps in, it will die. That’s how it is with Samadhi. If you want to attain Samadhi, you cannot be afraid of death. You have to die to yourself.Master Sree
What is Samadhi?
Samadhi is made up of the Sanskrit words sama (same) and adhi (origin).
It is a complete mergence – where we return to our Origin, or Union. In this state of Union, there is no more separation of the self versus other. The tree becomes you. The wall becomes you. Life becomes you.
Samadhi can be attained through Dharana and Dhyana. Once Samadhi is attained, there is no going back.
To Jump or Not to Jump into Samadhi?
This story struck me because I could see myself as the bee savouring the small drops of bliss I get from practicing asanas, delving into philosophy, and having genuine, heart to heart conversations around spirituality.
Each time I learn something new about Yogic philosophy, I can feel something shift within me. My heart falls in love with Yoga and with Life, and my mind expands a little bit more. I am filled with gratitude for all the teachers and ancestors who have brought me on this path. I yearn so much to fall deeper and be soaked in this ocean of Union, a place where I am free from thought, judgment and separation. But, I think I fear death.
I fear what comes after death: The loss of my identity and every memory I’ve created of this Universe. The uncertainty of what comes next, and the suffering that ensues. The possibility of rebirth and coming back to an even more messed up world, with global warming and natural disasters that are out of control.
I think about the bleak possibility of attaining Moksha in this lifetime of mine. Also, isn’t it just another trap if I ‘want’ to become enlightened? Can I ever be free from these fears, or will they hold me back in this lifetime? In this sea of thoughts, I recognise how attached I am to the material world and how much I fear suffering and the unknown.
So, I sit back and watch the sea of thoughts in my mind (the practice of Dharana, concentration). In being the observer of my thoughts, I remember that I am not my thoughts. Then, they fade away ever so gently, like ripples in the water slowly coming to stillness (the practice of Dhyana, meditation). In this silence, I found immense peace.
Over the years, I have witnessed myself struggling with ruminative thoughts, judgments, and focusing on negativity. But as I discovered yoga and meditation, I have found that the storms of my mind have settled more and more with time and insight.
Perhaps I am still far from Samadhi (and it may take a couple more million times of practice beyond this lifetime), but I’m grateful to experience the few drops of peace that come with each yoga and meditation practice – and that’s enough for me.