Samadhi: to live woke.
Neuroscience and medical science tells us that to be conscious is to be awake, responsive.
Ancient and mystic sciences tells us that to be conscious is to be woke, to be sensitive to the wholeness of life. There are no thought waves, no seeds of desire/attachment, no separation between the self and the full unity of the invisible, the indivisible, the pure consciousness we can call atman, or bhraman, or anything at all because naming no longer matters.
The ancient eastern standards are a bit higher.
Like any normal awakening, we begin by flickering in and out of consciousness, like fluttering eyes at dawn. We have moments of seeing the colors of the dawn sky, and then slip back to viviid dreaming, the inner illusions, and the darker depths of sleep before we wake to a pure light.
Once we are fully woken, we can, of course, slip back into sleep, the way that others do. To stay woke, to stay in our own awakened consciousness regardless of the illusions others ascribe to reality, requires work. It begins with effort, the effort of attention, repetition and learnings before the work becomes self-sustaining, effortless, a true mastery of awareness.
Why doesn’t modern science share this perspective? We are limited by the presumption, so foundational because it is un-provable, that the brain gives rise to the mind which gives rise to consciousness, all emergent properties of one another. The body is left to doctors as a car is left to mechanics.
But when the body changes, awakens, what happens to the mind?
Awareness expands within, no longer limited to the small space behind the eyes, and the mind learns to inhabit the body to increasing degrees, deeper layers. This training happens though yoga asana, pranayama, but also through martial arts, and introspective exploration.
Consciousness acts. It acts upon the mind, upon the body, upon the actions we think are habitual, inevitable, more than the actions we deliberate endlessly.
Consciousness pours into humanity, naturally, just as humanity naturally reaches for, seeks consciousness. This is what we mean when we look for meaning, for purpose, within ourselves, and around ourselves.
To recognize our belonging in the cosmic fabric is the ultimate belonging. There is no longer a need to engineer life events, career moves, family planning, post-pandemic planning. We simply belong, here, now.
To stay steady in that knowing is samadhi, the culmination of the yogic path, where the journey is the destination is the action is the state of being in yoga.
To do all of that in locked down New York City? That’s the holy grail of modern life.
Be safe, be well, be woke.