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Yoga Sutras 1.18: Objectless concentration

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.18: Objectless concentration http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11718.htm#1.18 See also these articles: Types Versus Stages of Meditation:
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 17, 2005
      Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.18:
      Objectless concentration

      See also these articles:
      Types Versus Stages of Meditation:

      Five Universal Stages of Meditation:

      YOGA SUTRA 1.18: The other kind of samadhi is asamprajnata samadhi,
      and has no object in which attention is absorbed, wherein only latent
      impressions remain; attainment of this state is preceded by the
      constant practice of allowing all of the gross and subtle
      fluctuations of mind to recede back into the field from which they
      (virama pratyaya abhyasa purvah samskara shesha anyah)

      VIRAMA = cessation, stopping, receding

      PRATYAYA = cause, cognitive principle, content of mind, cognition

      ABHYASA = practice

      PURVAH = preceding, coming before

      SAMSKARA = deep impressions, imprints in the unconscious, deepest
      habits, subliminal activators, traces

      SHESHA = residual, subliminal

      ANYAH = the other (the other samadhi)

      OBJECT AND OBJECTLESS: The four stages of concentration described in
      the previous sutra (1.17) were all concentration with object, which
      is called samprajnata samadhi. In the current sutra, concentration
      without any object is being described, and this is called
      asamprajnata samadhi. In this state not only the gross and subtle
      thoughts, but also the senses and thinking instruments of mind are in
      a latent state. It is a very high state of knowing, and is of the
      kind that is often described as not describable in words.

      SAMSKARAS ARE IN LATENT FORM: Samskaras are the deep impressions that
      are the driving force behind karma (actions). In objectless samadhi,
      all of the samskaras are in their latent form, although you are fully
      conscious. This means they are not active in the dreaming,
      unconscious level of mind, nor in the active, conscious level of
      mind. By reflecting on the nature of the objectless samadhi, it is
      somewhat easy to see why the foundation of practice and non-
      attachment (1.12-1.16) is so important in relation to uncoloring
      those deep impressions (1.5, 2.1-2.9, 2.10-2.11).

      See also the article:
      Karma and the sources of Actions, Speech, and Thoughts:

      INTENTIONALITY OF LETTING GO: There is a paradox in the practices
      leading to objectless concentration. In letting go of all of the
      impressions, even the intentionality is surrendered. However, to do
      that, there first needs to be will power to do the letting go of the
      other deep impressions. By being aware of this paradoxical balancing
      act, it is easier to gently practice the intentionality of letting
      go, without either suppressing impressions or overly exerting the
      will power. Then, seemingly in a moment, the letting go can come.
      Although the objectless samadhi is a deep state, this gentle balance
      of intentionality and letting go can be practiced at the earlier
      stages of meditation as well. Then, when the time comes to do so at
      the deeper levels, it is a familiar thing to do.

      THIS IS NOT JUST QUIETNESS: It is important to understand that the
      objectlessness being addressed here is far deeper than simply
      quieting the noisy conscious mind as in beginning meditation.
      Allowing that noisy mind to gradually still itself is an important
      step, however, it is only a stepping stone to opening the veil to the
      unconscious. Then the many impressions that are normally not seen are
      allowed to come forward, along with awareness of the sensing and
      thinking instruments, the subtle energies, and the subtle building
      blocks of mind and matter. All of these, not only the surface level
      thoughts, are the subject of objectlessness.
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