Posts Tagged ‘samadhi’

I officially have the crud, that awfulness going around. I don’t have the energy to do asana. Sometimes if I can just start doing a few poses, I know my energy will build. Not today. I just want to sleep. And sleep.

My mom woke me up from a nap around 4 p.m., saying she and my dad were leaving for my uncle Milton’s funeral. I thought about not going for about a second. Then I fell back asleep. Good thing she came back down and woke me up again. 

Even though my uncle didn’t go to church — he didn’t really go anywhere for the last 40 years or so — they had his funeral at the Mormon church his brother goes to. Compared to my nephew’s funeral, with the 1000 or so people who waited hours to view him, this was a small affair — in the Relief Society room vs. the chapel/cultural hall overflow situation they had with Cooper. My uncle didn’t have friends. He didn’t even want to see most of us, his family. 

Milton was a skilled athlete when he was young. His life had so much promise. I’m not really sure what derailed him. Listening to his eulogy, it wasn’t clear either. There was a lot of talk about his childhood, and his athletic ability. He married, and had a daughter (who is living on the streets, so we couldn’t even contact her to tell her that he died).  He divorced, and married again. And then, with no real explanation, vague references to his troubled soul. We never got the full story. Just “drugs,” in a hushed voice. He hadn’t supported himself in decades. He watched television and smoked. And slowly just faded away.

But now, the bishop said, he is at rest. He said he thought Milton had achieved that state of rest as a reward for his life. Which sounded comforting, but he said that just after talking about Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us, and then quoting a scripture that said that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of heaven — which i always thought had something to do with repenting. I really felt confused by this apparent contradiction. Milton wasn’t a religious man, though it sounds like he was the original member of my family to get into the Mormon church. In the eulogy, my mom said that he had gone to BYU on a baseball scholarship, but had left after a year. I had never heard that story before. I wondered why he chose BYU? She said she thinks he converted while at school there. 

The bishop talked a little more about rest. He said it is a place where there is peace and happiness. It’s not a place of relaxation — it’s a place of action. Oh, and then he mentioned the bit about how now Milton would have the option of choosing to accept the gospel up there. And that his temple work must be done for him here.  So, on the one hand, let’s say something comforting at the funeral, but in reality, is he really at rest?

This heaven is conditional.  I’ve never heard samadhi discussed with conditions. Samadhi is the eighth of the eight limbs of yoga. If there is an ultimate goal in yoga, it is achieving samadhi.  Mr. Iyengar calls it “a state in which the aspirant is one with the object of his meditation, the Supreme Spirit governing the universe, and experiences unutterable peace and joy.” In another part of “The Tree of Yoga,” he says, “When the soul, which is the cause of existence, diffuses and harmonizes everywhere, that is samadhi. Many people say that samadhi means trance, but trance is not the right word for it. In samadhi you are totally aware. Consciousness diffuses everywhere, through all the sheaths of the body and all its parts.” 

Samadhi is a state of oneness. An awareness of the connectedness of all. 

I like it so much better than heaven.

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