Tuning into samadhi

Question

Good day. I’ve recently read Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and I’m curious as to how one moves past at least the first initial samadhi state. Without the benefit of a guru I’m not sure how to move forward. I’ve attained a state of non bodily awareness in meditation but fear I might become stuck without some guidance. Thank you.

—Ryan Madej, Canada

Answer

Dear Ryan,

To clarify – the initial stages of samadhi include AUM Samadhi, which is oneness with the infinite Cosmic Vibration, through which one perceives all Creation as consisting of innumerable vibrations of AUM.

Then there is sabikalpa (or sampragyata) samadhi which is conditioned oneness, in which some trace of ego remains. Here one has experiences of samadhi but doesn’t remain in that state, and slips back into some degree of the ego.

Then there is nirbikalpa (or asampragyata) samadhi – unconditional oneness, or final enlightenment, where the “I” of ego has become completely identified with the Absolute Spirit (meaning that there is no effect from the ego on the soul). This is the stage where one becomes a “jivan mukta” or “freed while living”.

To answer your question – tuning into a true guru is very important as one advances spiritually. Otherwise it can too easily become just a “spiritual circus” that we can get caught in if we haven’t developed that attunement. The real goal of yoga is to bring us into our oneness in the Divine. It is our working on releasing the ego (and all the vrittis and obstacles that we have gathered to ourselves for many lifetimes), along with the Guru’s guidance and grace, that we finally can attain our oneness.

I hope this is helpful.

Blessings on your spiritual journey.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pranaba