True Samyama

True Samyama

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a short but potent text that describes Yoga or union. It also contains dozens of formulas to get specific results, like knowing past lives, getting great strength, or flying through the air. You can go into any spiritual bookstore and find many translations of this text. There are also many yoga studios. And yet most have little clue of what the simple contents are describing.

This is because it’s experiential. It has to be taught properly so the experience can unfold.

Right off the top, the text defines Yoga.
Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind
Then the observer is established in the Self [in his own nature]

The text then talks about the nature of the mind and impediments to settling.
1v17 talks of the stages of this settling, known as samadhi:
Samadhi with an object of attention (samprajnatah samadhi) takes the form of gross mental activity, then subtle mental activity, bliss, and the state of amness.

We can also see these as transcending or stepping down the koshas into subtler and subtler layers of our being.

For a long time, people have been taught to use mental effort to control the mind and gain yoga. But this is doing it the hard way, partly because it’s using the mind to control the mind. Much more straightforward is an effortless meditation. This takes us directly through these stages and brings regular samadhi. Yoga becomes the habit of the mind.

Only when samadhi is an easy habit can samyama be performed. This is because samyama requires the ability to have an intention without disturbing the silence. That’s when the sutras begin to have real potency, when we can intend from silence without losing silence.

Samyama is defined at the beginning of Book 3 with three parts: Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Essentially flowing attention in silence into which you place an intention or focus. Samyama itself is composed of 2 root words: sama = evenness and yama = desire.

Based on regular samadhi, Transcendental Meditation began teaching this in the 1980’s as the TM-Sidhi program.

More recently, Lorne Hoff discovered that the clearly awake, who are in samadhi 24/7, can bring their attention to the exact point where liveliness first arises out of silence. Intending from the point of becoming is much more potent than simply intending in open awareness in general.

We can refer to the closing verses of the Rig Veda to understand:
Go together, speak together, know your minds to be functioning together from a common source, in the same manner as the devas [celestial beings], in the beginning, remain together united near the source.

When you intend from “near the source” you’re working more directly with the devas or laws of nature that make things happen. And indeed, the technique evokes the laws themselves rather than just “flavours.” Because we’re bringing cosmic awareness to the laws directly, we’re also waking them up and loosening them up in universal awareness.

3v5 Through mastery of samyama, the splendor [world] of complete wakefulness dawns.

Of course, such a process is superior if refinement is also well along so the fine details can be experienced directly.

This is really a much truer form of Samyama. Lorne and Lucia have begun to offer it in a retreat format.


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  1. Michael

    Thanks for this explaination!!
    Yes, when the intention comes from “near the source” that has to be much more powerful!
    This has to really open up much more posibilities!!


    1. Right, Michael. I’ve been working from there in various ways already but the specific formulae have a direct relationship with laws of nature too, making them quite potent. There is a surprising amount in the simple phrases of those sutra.

    1. Hi DJ
      Not exactly. That would mean waiting until you’re there, manipulating a thought, and is working more locally.

      As the Rik quote notes, this is intending in a universal place, beyond mind. A giving direction to attention we could say.

      The first key is effortlessness. Any effort in there is mind controlling which gets in the way of it. Also, establishing presence so that thought can arise without disturbing silence. Then an intention can be made on that level without pushing us off it.

      This article is not describing the technique, just it’s nature. Techniques like this are experiential so need to be taught and guided so there isn’t control or other issues in the way of it.

      These are potent levels and you don’t want to be creating difficult karmas by messing around.

  2. DJ

    Thanks. That’s more like what I remember from learning the TM Siddhi’s back in the 70’s. By the way, your book on the 7 states has been a great help to me. #1, it helped illustrate why we did some of the Siddhis. #2, The experience of self dropping off occurred a few months ago, before God Consciousness or Unity, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. “I” am still desiring UC even though there is no one here to desire it. What is here that desires? It’s taking time to integrate this shift.

    1. Yes, the way TM teaches is it is good as long as the approach is effortless and doesn’t go japa, enforcing a certain count. But after your perception refines enough, you can get more specific about where to “place” the sutra.

      Thanks, and nice. The sage Vasishtha spoke of the importance of desiring Unity. Not as something for a person to accomplish but to encourage the unfolding to continue.

      Yes, the big shifts usually take awhile to integrate, then embody. Other shifts may happen before that completes so then you get layers going on.

      What is desiring is actually what has always been desiring – the devata. 🙂

  3. Jim

    Thank you, David. Yes, it is through such abilities that the world is transforming rapidly. Relatively easy to act cosmically with this specific focus. I enjoyed your description of the intention that does not disturb silence. If it does we are reduced again to one, instead of oneness. Also the bit about aiming is so key. Yes, why dissolve our intention into the ocean, rather than follow a specific set of currents to fruition?

  4. Agreed Jim. There is a much higher skill level when perception is more refined and we can more accurately place intentions. Not to mention know the right technique – action without attachment or condition.

    Your name has come up twice over meals on the retreat from people reading your comments. 🙂

  5. Jim

    Hi David,

    Yes, this has been a very interesting process, especially that it emerged in Canada with Lorne around the same time I was getting used to it.

    I understand from what you have written that the parallel discovery in Canada was made in conjunction with the Yoga Sutras, which is wonderful, to have such a timeless underpinning.

    For me the genesis was organic. I was actually in the middle of a huge karmic undertaking for others, and was spontaneously shown this technique. In other words, it was literally played out in front of me by celestial beings so that I could then make use of it directly. It took a few months for me to distill it down to an overlay of activity glued to silence, pure samyama.

    Distinct from a more general use, I have long wanted to have a direct effect for as much of the planet as I could naturally purify. Now I am using one particular flavor/color/vibration regularly for the last year or so to literally wash peace over this country (USA) like a wave, west to east. It took some time to find the right size object for maximum effect without dilution, and something that is completely natural and effortless for me, dharmic.

    Takes that focus as you say, but like a sutra, that is all that must be done. No attachment to results either. Brings a deep and abiding sense of fulfillment.

    It has been a hypothesis for awhile now that once we live Brahman, that the cosmos has prepared us for larger and more efficient tasks. A graduation of sorts to be able to work on humanity’s behalf at large, as naturally as cooking a meatloaf. 🙂

    1. Hi Jim
      Lorne said he cognized the technique. He began a test with a few people a few years ago but limited time has delayed the start of teaching it more broadly. His first course this summer is just for the awake.

      Myself, I’ve noticed what he talked about but didn’t recognize a technique there. Using it was more powerful than expected.

      Always fascinating to see how we’re guided in different ways. We’re given or shown what is needed to facilitate our contribution.

      This weekend, I watched another law of nature awaken but this one seems to have a more direct relationship with the process here and the new practice.

  6. Jim

    Hi, Sounds really great. I am glad only the awake will be on the course. Could be seriously awkward otherwise.

    Yes, I would have no idea how to teach this, or learn it from a human being. It occurred with me because it had to, and when it did, it is so simple, and flexible and powerful that it has changed my relationship to everything. And I am not overstating that.

    Thank you again for mentioning this. When I began doing this on my own, I was very much wanting others around the world to begin expressing similar due to the size of the tasks ahead and the value of timeliness. I wasn’t anxious about it, but really had the attention cranked up it that direction. 🙂 All the best.

  7. Gayanee

    I have been listening to Nithyananda Swami’s disclosures on these. Quite powerful transmission for me. We are truly in remarkable times when these kinds blogs and those kinds of videos are so easily accessible.

    1. Yes, Gayanee, we live in remarkable times. Many long-hidden texts are being translated and made accessible too. But there is much work to be done yet. Still a lot of misunderstanding and barriers to the unfolding. But it is coming along well. 🙂

  8. Carl Smuda

    Wow. Thank you Davidya. That really blessed me to read. again nothing more important than my TM program – effortless meditation. After reading that I feel keeping a TM AM/PM is paramount. Seems I would want a Real Strong Program before I even think about trying to get the “siddhis.” not to mention the logistics and the $$$ it would take. Thank you.

    1. Hi Carl
      These days, based on EEG and other research, they consider someone who has meditated regularly for 6-8 months to be ready.

      Remember, your subjective experience of meditation doesn’t tell you how you’re doing. 🙂

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