I hate Monday. A sentence which is not relevant anymore for me in the last few years. Monday has been becoming a day which I always wait. Because at this day, in the afternoon after office hour, I can release my tension in a Hatha Yoga Class in my Office. I’m glad that my office is one of the few offices which provide Hatha Yoga as one of the exercising class as part of the human development program. This monday, as usual, I left my desk at 5 PM, prepared my self for the class at 5:30. I packed my stuff, put it in the bag and grab my Yoga mat. And then with a couple of my office mate, heading to the class in next level of the building. Something interesting has happened for several times, on the way to our Hatha Yoga class. Just like last monday, one of my office mate, which I met in the elevator, asked us curiously where we were heading to, complete with our mat which’s hanging on our body, which pretty much made us different compared another passenger. “We are going for a yoga class”, one of my colleague answered his question spontaniouslly. “Okhh Semedi Semedi?” he said and we could not answer more than a simple smile about that question. “Have you been able to fly?” he continued, and it made our smile even sweeter. This kind of question is thrown almost every time we meet “similar kind of people” on the way we went to a Hatha Yoga class, with our mat hanging on our shoulder. And I can not blame their ignorance about what we are actually doing during a Hatha Yoga class. Hatha Yoga itself basically an ancient physical exercise system which was design in order to improve our physical body just like another type of modern exercise. And with a healthy body, we can use it as any kind of purpose in life, either spiritually or another kind of activities or improvement in life. It’s not some kind of a religious ritual or something like that, even though in the ancient time this exercise was used as a preparation for more advanced spiritual practice like another kind of Yoga, which required a very healthy body in practicing it.
Semedi is the word which is very familiar in Indonesian culture, especially in Javanese and Balinese language and culture. And interestingly, most of Indonesian people, when they hear the word “Yoga” the first image which arise into their mind is a person which is sitting in a Lotus posture, which they call “Semedi”. And they have also a little bit negative image for people which is doing this “Semedi” activity. Yup, for those, the aim of the people, which are doing this activity, is inorder to get some magical power, and it’s prohibited by many major religious traditions in this country, including Hinduism and Buddhism, which actually have a very deep relationship with meditation. Why? Because if the goal of a practice is to get some magical power, like flying, just like what was imagine by my colleague above, moreover when it’s used to harm others or to fulfill desire more and more, then this “semedi” stuff will be an activity which will drown a man in more and more deeper attachment. So I pretty much agree which prohibition that most common people has in their culture, about this “semedi”. It’s not a beneficial practice to be done. So don’t do it.
The word “semedi” itself actually came from a sanskrit root Samādhi, which is very well known and used in several Indian schools of Philosophy, especially Patanjali Yoga School of Philosophy. Samādhi is not a verb or activity, it is the latest limb of Patanjali Yogic System, as the goal of their method as described in here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi). This term is also widely used in several Buddhism and Jainishm Schools of Phylosophy, as a Non-Dualistic State of Consciousness in which the Consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object. It said that samādhi is a meditative absorption, attained by the practice of dhyāna(one pinted mind). In samādhi the mind becomes still. It is a state of being totally aware of the present moment; a one-pointedness of mind. We actually sometimes experience this state of Consciousness also in “deep sleep”, a sleep where there is no objects or events which build a dream. Not event time and space were presented. We intuitively experience the period of this event in a very short of time, like a blink of an eye. The space is also seems collapsed, completely blank, no-thing there to be experienced. This is because in this moment, our mind is completely resting as Pure Consciousness. Time and space which are products of the mind are dissolved as the mind becomes completely still.
However in Samādhi we do it willingly with fully aware about the process of dissolving the mind. Start from the absorption of all physical objects of senses perception into the mind realm(Pratyahara), until the absorption of the mind itself as the result of the focusing(Dharana) and Contemplating(Dyana) the mind. It is not about emptying the mind, it is about directing the mind in one-pointed object and then turn or dissolve the focus into its source, the Consciousness. And the moment the mind purely falls and stay into its source, is called the state of Samādhi. This is the most peaceful state which man could have. A Non-Dualistic state where all problems, as the result of the mind-world interaction, are dissolved. The objects and the subject become One, as the meaning of the word Yoga itself, Union. This state is like fragrance of a rose, the closer we are, the stronger the fragrant of the rose we smell. Even though we don’t reached this state yet completely, the closer we are along with our practice, the more we might have wisdom from it. We might understand many things, like the nature of the mind along with its contents, and even the wisdom about death. And the most important wisdom we might have is the understanding about our true nature, “The Indestructible Self. Indestructible… not because it’s so strong, but because it’s so empty” my mentor said.
“Sunyata, The Empty Void. Void not because there’s nothing there, but because our mind has no idea about It” -Alan Watts
We all, whatever tradition we take as our spiritual path, always live in three state as the evolution of the Consciousness. Awaking state, where we perceive the senses objects as the material world, Dreaming state where all senses perception objects are dissolved and only the mind which is active and create the dream world, or maybe heaven and hell realm, by itself. Even though we’re in heaven as most tradition believe exists after we die, we are going to experience the objects of heaven. Let’s say we have a beautiful flower in heaven, there will be shapes and colours as its objective perception and there will also be “beauty” as the mind conception. This again will be the source of desire and attachment, and perhaps one time the “beauty” of it would also be very boring. That’s the nature of the mind isn’t it?
However when all of this objective senses perception and mind conception rest in its Source, Consciousness, there will be the ultimate peace we might experience. Far beyond Heaven and Hell, No more good and bad, no more beauty and ugliness, no more “black” and “white”, no more subject and objects, just an ultimate peaceful inseparable unchanging state without any judgment at all, therefore no more problems, questions and doubts. Only the Ultimat Happiness, Ultimate Peace(Parama Shanti) . And to attend this condition, first we have to let go or rest both perception as the product of the senses, and conception as the product of the mind. We “Surrender” completely both elements, senses and mind to their Source.
See.. there is no magical power, or any other hijibiji experience to be attained whatsoever. Forget about magical power, we rest all ordinary things, we even rest all desires of world, all attacements, all emotions, all concepts and the most important of them, we rest our body and mind, fall them back to its Source, The Consciousness. This is Samādhi, this is the goal of a real Yogi, even many great traditions also. A total surrender, not only surrendering the world, but also the mind and all of its contents. You might throw away all these terms , Samādhi, Yoga or whatever terms which came from a particular tradition. It’s not something you have to believe, but a stuff you might explore in day to day experience. Look deeply into our life, our problems and turn them inwardly within. Layer by layer from our body, our mind and beyond.
The “I” which is capable of perceiving this vast Universe, The “I” which capable of creating a dream world as real as the awaking world by itself. What could it be? What is the nature of it? The “I”? As what now quantum physic also said, “The Observer, without which, the physical world is just a matter of potential, just a mirage”. I really really hope more and more people are interested in this subject. Don’t have to put it as a believe or something religious and mystical , just get use to it, falling back home to The Source, the Pure Consciousness, the state where the ultimate peace can be attaind or at least fall to its fragrance. The state which will bring a great understanding about the true nature of our self, and that we’re just having fun in this life, in all of these experiences, nothing will last forever, therefore nothing to be afraid, live our live in a happy way, whatever coming will also left behind, just like a dream. This will charge our energy in facing this ever-changing world. At last, May Peace will always be available for all Sentient Being.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti OM