The Layers of Samadhi

The Layers of Samadhi

I’ve written several articles before about the layers of samadhi or transcendence described in the Yoga Sutra. These are the settling into the waves, then surface of the ocean of being.

When we wake up or become Self Realized, that inner samadhi becomes ongoing. Inner peace becomes ever-present behind the usual day-to-day life. We’re essentially in activity and deep meditation simultaneously.

Some people consider this the end of techniques. We can feel done and awake. If we’re already there, what need is there for going beyond? In my case, there was no longer a person to meditate so who was there to practice? But in a few days, things integrated better and I resumed.

Soon you discover there is a lot more depth to the ocean than simple awareness. As we deepen into it, it becomes progressively more universal and infinite, then inclusive.
At some point, we go beyond consciousness itself into Brahman. This is a whole new depth of totality.

And then still deeper, we settle into pure Divinity.

All of this is present everywhere, in every point of experience. But until we have the clarity and settledness to fall into the depths of what is here, it remains invisible to us. We only experience the side effects of much deeper functioning.

Curiously, it’s those side-effects that can lead us deeper. For example, with awakening we discover we are not the doer. Life happens and the body acts, the mind thinks, and the emotions arise all by themselves. Ego had just been claiming authorship after the fact. But then we might ask – what is actually doing the doing? That question encourages refined perception and the unfolding of God Consciousness.

Similarly the Brahman shift can happen when consciousness knows itself fully. It then does not need to continue to look in on itself and can turn and look beyond itself to discover it’s own origins. Until that point, this may seem ridiculous. What could be beyond eternal infinity? And yet, from whence it came?

While these layers are not defined in the Yoga Sutra, these much deeper levels are available to us through practice. We no longer “transcend” but rather step into pure presence and have the world fall away for awhile. As we’re going deeper, the practice can become unpredictable in length. If our schedule allows for it, we can allow this depth to unfold and enjoy what arises.

There is much more depth possible than Self Realization. But it helps if our life is such that we can support that. Sometimes we have to be patient and focus on worldly responsibilities. This has great value in integration and embodiment so whatever arises shouldn’t be rejected. Only in retrospect does it become clear why life unfolded as it has.


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  1. Michelle

    Thanks for this David,
    Is there an article you have written where you discuss and define Pure Divinity? Just about to read your book again, this would be helpful if possible.

    1. Hi Michelle

      Pure Divinity or ParaBrahman isn’t something you can expect the mind to grasp. Even concepts about Self Realization never meet the lived stage. It is sometimes described as beyond the beyond. In Brahman we step beyond consciousness. Pure Divinity is beyond that. It is simply Divinity.

      Also, keep in mind this is the unfolding of reality for a human. It is not reality itself. Here’s a couple of articles:

      Generally, you can find defining articles under the Key Posts tab. It’s sorted by general categories but doesn’t have a separate ParaBrahman section yet.

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