Yep it’s true, my body again insisted on resting. I have an ache in my neck which warrants rest, I may have over done my head stand recently. Still pressing on with the pranayama however. Spent last night avidly reading up on Samadhi or Concentration. Kriyanandas excellent descriptions of the 9 stages of Samadhi leading up to Kaivalya, God-Consciousness, makes for an engrossing read. Every time I go through this section I understand a little more but much manages to evade my grasp of understanding. Topics do not come much deeper.
I managed to iron out some of my own misunderstandings concerning Samadhi, as I kind of saw it as a state you attained to be in, rather than a process to be gone through. With this subtle information and much more I delved into Concentration with vigour. It is difficult to explain the process but I shall give it a go.
Starting with sense withdrawal, I would pull my senses inwards and hold them towards the inner world until they settled down and got used to it. When I had got comfortable inside, I would then concentrate my mind upon visualising a golden ring at the ajna chakra. I would spin the ring, hold it still, zoom into a closeup of it or simply hold it steady, the idea behind the process being to hold the mind to one pointed attention and not allow it to wander. I found if I visualised myself from the side visualising the ring, the process got easer. This way I was not simply visualising the ring but visualising myself visualising the ring. Confused? It gets worse.
After holding the mind to a one pointed attention for a while I then kept the level of attention but allowed the ring object to subtly transform into a feeling of unselfish love. This is the stage where concentration morphs into meditation. Holding a feeling of unselfish love really intensely seems to release a flood of feel good brain chemicals. This level of intensity I could not hold for too long, so, as it starts to fade I would let the feeling state morph into a nothingness. Holding the nothingness with one pointed attention allows a much deeper level of internment. I am aware of my vision gazing at ajna but little else except a whole body consciousness of swirling, enmeshing energies that seem quantum in scale and movement. Holding to this state of nothingness without allowing any thought to rise is what I understand to be the main goal, process wise, of Yoga. Once you know the process it’s simply a matter of practice, practice, practice.
I find I can go into Samadhi much easier lying down rather than in a sitting posture. Maybe because my leg is still healing from a biking fall and pains me when I sit for more than 20 minutes. Hopefully as the leg heals I will be able to sit for longer. Today I started by going into a total relaxation, first body, then mind, then morphed through the different stages outlined above. I hovered around the breakthrough threshold for a while in deep Samadhic trance. The deeper I got it was as though I subtly broke through dark veils of consciousness. The longer one can hold the one pointed nothingness without thought arising the deeper into the state one falls. Imagine Alice falling down the rabbit hole, but if she thinks, she stops falling and returns to the surface.
Tha Causal realm.
What is the difference between the astral realm and the Causal realm?
It seems to me the astral realm is the deep levels of the mind, including Jung’s collective unconscious, archetypes and even past life memories.
The Causal realm is other. It is other than human mind in this earthly realm.
This is my current limited understanding on the topic. I hope I will understand more through direct experience of Samadhic states.
Wish me luck!