The other kind of concentration (anyah), attained by constantly practicing (abhyasa) detachment, is that in which the consciousness contains no object (virama) but only subconscious impressions (samskara), which are like burnt seeds (sesah). An experience of one’s true nature happens in this state.
PRACTICAL LIVING When one successfully achieves letting go in its highest form, there are 2 states that can be achieved: (1) timeless connection with an object which happens gradually (refer to Sutra I.17); and (2) timeless connection without an object. In the first case, one is completely absorbed in a moment through an object. Common examples are artists losing themselves in a project, writers in a novel, or me dancing in a drum circle :). In this state, one loses track of time and their surroundings and is fully present in the experience; there is a direct and intimate connection. In the second state, one is again fully present in the experience but there is no object. This is the ultimate state in Yoga, complete bliss (samadhi) beyond description. Neither of these states can be practiced or planned: they are results of the fruits of our actions. But what can we do? Patanjali has already given us a few suggestions: commit and experience (see Sutra I.1); focus on one thing for a long period of time (see Sutra I.2); put effort and let go on a daily basis (see Sutra I.12) and; act and let go for a long period of time, with enthusiasm, devotion and with no interruption (see Sutra I.15).
When have you felt complete absorption?
IN THE YOGA WORLD Commentators on the Yoga Sutra-s discuss that Patanjali refers to two types of samadhi (complete absorption): samprajnatah (with object) and asamprajnatah (without an object). The first one happens gradually (see Sutra I.17) and since it depends on an object (material, thoughts, ideas), the impermanence of that object necessarily implies the impermanence of this state. However the absence of the object in this second state of samadhi (where the activities of the mind (see Sutra I.5) have ceased to be a distraction), liberates one from this limitation. In this state one is free from passions, desires and appetites and can be maintained without end. It’s important to realize that a person in this state still retains memories and habits (samskaras) that allow them to continue living in the day to day world, but in this state these samskaras do not create distractions.
Many books refer to this state as being one of egolessness, or in other words, losing the sense of ‘I’. A beautiful metaphor to visualize is a river joining the sea, the mind is dissolving into the Self/Purusha (refer to History).
Meanwhile, we have lots of work to do, which is the whole point of Patanjali compiling this text for us!
Gabi comes to my mind as I struggle to write this sutra (yes, I am a few days late).She has, many times and through different ways, taught me about the sutras and how to apply them to life. She has become an important part of my yoga journey through her emails, comments, conversations in India and skype phone calls. Her enthusiasm and devotion to understanding the human being, laughing at herself and enjoyment for life is inspiring to me! Sometimes there are moments we share with others that are precious in deep ways. I can think of a particular conversation we shared over skype (transcontinental) where I expressed an experience and really felt I was heard and understood.
Thank you Gabi for being a wonderful listener, a devoted life lover and an enthusiast of the sutras 🙂 I so look forward to seeing you soon! Un beso grande mujer!
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and we will look at how different people have different types or amounts of work to do to experience peace.