The eighth limb of yoga is often called the final step, but
that implies that yoga has an endpoint like a game of checkers. Neither samadhi—nor
any other limb—is merely a box to check off. Every step is important, and
judging one limb as more important than another detracts from the journey.
Samadhi is also not a constant state – it ebbs and flows.
Samadhi is beyond meditation. The body is at rest but the
consciousness is aware. It is a state of merged consciousness –
interconnectedness and union with all living things. It is peace beyond the
illusion of separation. Rather than think of a candle snuffed out, think of a
drop of rain falling into the ocean. Does the rain drop fear the loss of
identity? It falls into the ocean and becomes part of it. Then, water molecules
rise as water vapor, form clouds, and become rain. Samadhi is a state of
enlightenment and union. Though one may experience samadhi and return to
day-to-day activities, the mind and life are transformed. You cannot experience such a profound
connection and still perceive everything the way you did before.
Striving for enlightenment, unity, and compassion is central
to the path of yoga. Wherever you are on your journey, do not discount your
progress! Stumbling blocks are part of the process. Part of achieving the
insight of oneness is recognizing that all steps of your journey are, indeed,
one – and your journey is one with others’ journeys. Every limb has its beauty.