Question

hello sir,

i have been meditating frm an year now...i experience muscle twitching all over my body...especially very much between the eyebrows..secondly i want to knw what is samadhi?.

—nithin, india

Answer

Dear Nithin,

Twitching could possibly be due to carrying stress in the body. Perhaps it would help you to find a yoga postures class to help relax the body before you meditate. You mention that the twitching is especially between the eyebrows. Though I can’t at all be certain from such a short exchange, it’s possible that in your efforts to concentrate your mind at the point between the eyebrows that you are holding tension there.

Try beginning your meditation by inhaling deeply and tensing the body all over, including tensing the face. Then throw the breath out as you exhale and relax the body completely. Try repeating this exercise three times. After the third time, focus your mind on moving through the body and relaxing each body part, working your way up the body from the feet to the top of the head. Try to feel space in the various parts of the body, and then forget about them.

Devoting a little more time to focusing on physical relaxation might help your meditation. Swami Kriyananda said that in the beginning of meditation, the biggest obstacle is physical tension.

In “How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence,” Yogananda also offered several tips on reducing stress in general. These include avoiding quarrelsome surroundings, nervous people, loud music and talking too much. He recommended removing nervousness by tensing and inhaling, then relaxing and exhaling nervous energy.  He advised being calmly active and actively calm, and getting away from cities once in a while. To aid in achieving a calm demeanor, he said to avoid pickles, spices and onions, and to enjoy celery, orange or almond juice and almond butter. Moreover, he said to get outside daily for brisk fresh-air walks.

“Above all,” Yogananda said, “Remember moderation in eating, bodily enjoyments, sex impulses, work, money-making, play and social functions leads to happiness, health and mental efficiency.”

Regarding your question-What is samadhi? Samadhi is the state of oneness with God. If you are interested in looking into this more deeply, I highly recommend The New Path, which is available for reading without charge online. The whole book is marvelous, and I would recommend starting at the beginning and reading through it for an excellent introduction to the spiritual path. Samadhi is referred to throughout the book, but I think you will find the most satisfying explanation if you read Chapter 32.

Here is an excerpt:

“In cosmic fact, our egos are nothing but vortices of conscious energy that, within the vast ocean of consciousness, take on the appearance of having a separate reality of their own, like the eddies of water in a brook.

Before this world was formed, when its atoms were drifting about in infinite space, there were no distinctions of the forms and substances that man has come to look upon as reality. There were no trees, mountains, or rivers, no animals, no people — only nebulous gasses. Someday, so astronomers tell us, the material forms we know will once again become gasses. Considering their amorphous past and future, material forms are clearly not real in any fundamental sense. They exist, yes, but their reality is not what it seems.

In the last analysis, as unreal as are all these forms we see around us, so also are our egos. Spiritual evolution reaches its culmination when our separate vortices of ego in the greater stream of consciousness merge at last into Infinity.”

Kriyananda explains elsewhere in the chapter that there are different levels of samadhi:

“Liberation from ego does not come with the first glimpses of cosmic consciousness. Present, at first, even in an expanded state of awareness, is the subtle memory: ‘I, the formless but nevertheless still real John Smith, am enjoying this expanded state of consciousness.’ The body is immobile in this trance state; one’s absorption in God, at this point, is called sabikalpa samadhi, or qualified absorption, a condition still subject to change, for on one’s return from this lower samadhi one assumes once again the limitations of ego.”

May you find increasing joy in your spiritual life,
Nayaswami Anandi

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