On this episode of the Be Here Now Guest Podcast, Gil Fronsdal takes a practical look at the state of consciousness known in Buddhism as Samadhi.
The Journey and Letting Go (Opening) – Gil reflects on the nature of the journey of awakening and the goal of alleviating suffering through non-attachment. He discusses the ways in which we must prepare ourselves for the journey. We explore Samadhi, which is the final preparation for we must make.
“The deepest kind of letting go that helps us the most is not easy to do. So we prepare ourselves for that possibility and create the optimal mind, body and heart that sets the stage for being able to see the deep holding we have and be able to release it.”
Coming Home (10:20) –Gil reenvisions Samadhi as a kind of coming home. Finding the deepest most place of comfort and safety inside where we can rest in full awareness. We look at the collective aspect of Samadhi that gathers us together and unifies our consciousness.
More Than Concentration (18:55) – The state of Samadhi is often mistranslated as a state of concentration. Gil explains how quickly and easily concentration can become unuseful or unhealthy when it is not entered with a foundation of relaxation and wellbeing developed from practice.
“There needs to be some modicum of relaxation and wellbeing for Samadhi to be useful and healthy. It is possible to get concentrated not only with an act of will, but with greed, aversion and all kinds of unskillful states of mind but that is not Samadhi.”
Ram Dass shares stories about the states of Samadhi that people experienced around Neem Karoli Baba in Ep. 15 of the Here and Now Podcast.
Intention Towards Attention (30:45) – Gil describes a common approach to mindfulness practice based around sustaining the application of attention. He reminds us to not only bring ourselves into the moment of awareness, the application of attention, but to rest in that place, to sustain the attention.
“If I want to polish this bell here with a cloth, it would not do much good to simply place the cloth on the bell. I have to touch the cloth to the bell and rub it. Bringing the cloth to the bell is the initial application of mind and the rubbing is the sustaining – the being there with it. Some people are really good at the first but never do the second.”
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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash