• Rebecca Laidlaw

What is Samadhi?

We have reached the final 8th limb of yoga, the final stage meaning enlightenment. Which contrary to popular belief does not mean a state of bliss, happiness, and constant joy. Samadhi is the ability to see the world as it is - seeing the world equally. The yin and the yang, the good and the bad, and judging neither.

In being the final step of the process it may be a surprise that Samadhi is not always a permanent state. It can be maintained for long periods of time however we are not always completely free from our human experience and can return to stages before Samadhi easily through ego and old belief systems.

It is possible to practice Samadhi daily. Recognising your soul as a part of this universe, recognising your light, and your connection to all - to nature, to your loved ones, to random people on the street - we are all a part of one consciousness. How often do you have a great idea maybe for a business or product? You don't act on it, then someone else 'steals' your idea. It's because we are one!

Practicing presence, truly being in the moment, and seeing it for how it is not worse than it is or better than it is. Immersing yourself in this moment, action, or situation. 21st-century example: not checking your phone when giving time and energy to another person.

As an extension of these points when we strive to live without our ego. Without comparison, judgment, envy, greed, and unkindness. This relates to others and to ourselves. This brings us closer to the one-ness of Samadhi.

In this series, we have explored Patanjali's 8 limbs of yoga on a relatable level. These are a guide to a yogic life as set out by tradition. You may choose to follow some or none at all - that is your choice. I encourage you to follow what aligns with you.

To sum up, here's a saying I heard on my traveling days in New Zealand that has become a mini motto of how I show up in life and I believe encompasses the 8 limbs of yoga perfectly:

"As long as your happy and you're not hurting anyone - it's cool bro". Imagine the world we'd create with this mentality. A wish for you to be happy, for others to be safe in the process, and not to be judged. That's Samadhi right there.

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