the pure delight of samadhi

With samadhi, our simple path of  awareness reveals the wonderful secrets hidden in the depth of our being.

Meditation has many wonders to reveal, but they remain hidden until we develop samadhi. Many insights into the nature of our existence lay waiting for the intrepid inner explorer. Many lost connections waiting to hook up again, like loose wires strewn about the neural frontier.

samadhi is the secret sauce of meditation

Samadhi, or focused, mindful attention in the Buddha’s vernacular, is the secret sauce of meditation.

Samadhi leads to a profound inner stillness that is frankly beyond the power of language to describe. But not just any focused, mindful attention. We’re talking very finely focused mindful attention.

how finely focused are we talking about here?

So focused you could hear the tiny bells on the anklets on the feet of an insect as it walks across the floor where you are seated, cross legged, meditating on the sensations of your breath at the entrance of your nostrils.

This focused awareness dispels the repetitive thoughts of the everyday mind.

This focused awareness allows us to see through the veils of permanence which enshroud our understanding of our lives.

It wears away selfish preoccupations.

This is samadhi.

a simple practice

It happens when we keep our attention steadily on a single “object” of our attention, such as the breath. We simply note the sensation of the in-breath and repeat the word “in” to yourself. We do the same with the out-breath and repeat the word “out.”

When we notice we are lost in thought we bring it right back. It’s not easy work.

taming the wild animal of your own mind

The ancient commentaries on this practice, originally taught by the historical Buddha in the 5th century BC, compare this process of concentration to the taming of a wild animal.

With time a patience, this focused, mindful attention starts to come together. The mind and body relax. Thoughts diminish, emotional pressures weaken, and a kind of calm sets in.

The Buddha compared this to the smelting of gold. When the impurities in the raw gold ore are slowly removed, gold becomes softer, more malleable, and bright.

We  feel delight as the impurities of the mind are smelted, as it were, by the focusing of meditative awareness. Joy arises and acknowledges we are more than our emotions and thoughts, that these emotions and thoughts have causes and conditions that are impermanent.

And that we have the ability, the freedom, to be responsive to them rather than reactive.

The poet Tsuchiya Fumiaki puts it this way:

At long last my heart calms down as evening comes,
And in the Four Directions I hear fresh spring

Our simple path of mindful awareness has the potential to reveal wonderful secrets hidden in the depth of our being.

And this depth of being is experienced as pure delight.

Just set aside some time today to practice and see what I mean.

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