Oneness

 

Oneness, or Samādhi (Sanskrit: समाधि, Hindi pronunciation: [səˈmaːd̪ʱi]), also called samāpatti, in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is the last stage or ultimate stage of meditation, when the person is out of physical consciousness. In samādhi the mind and soul are in equal balance. It is meditative absorption, attained by the practice of dhyāna. In samādhi the mind becomes still. It is a state of being totally aware of the present moment; a one-pointedness of mind. When someone dies in India, it is not uncommon to say, that person has gone to 'Samādhi'. The tombstone area is also referred to as a place of 'samādhi'.

In Buddhism, it is the last of the eight elements of the Noble Eightfold Path. In the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali.

Definition

There are numerous definitions of this amorphous concept.  According to Sarbacker, oneness is meditative absorption, attained by the practice of dhyāna.[1]  Diener, Erhard & Fischer-Schreiber argue that oneness is a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object.[4] Shankman describes oneness as an abiding in which mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience.[5]

Summary

Majjhima Nikaya 26:34-42, Ariyapariyesana Sutta, "The Noble Search", gives the following description of the four rupa jhanas ("form jhanas"), the fourarupha jhanas ("formless jhanas"), and nirodha-samapatti, the cessation of perception and feeling:[web 5][note 3]

First jhana

"Suppose that a wild deer is living in a wilderness glen. Carefree it walks, carefree it stands, carefree it sits, carefree it lies down. Why is that? Because it has gone beyond the hunter's range.[note 4] In the same way, a monk — quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

Second jhana

"Then again the monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

Third jhana

"Then again the monk, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

Fourth jhana

"Then again the monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The infinitude of space

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, [perceiving,] 'Infinite space,' enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The infinitude of consciousness

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, [perceiving,] 'Infinite consciousness,' enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The dimension of nothingness

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The dimension of neither perception nor non-perception

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, enters & remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The cessation of perception & feeling

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One. Having crossed over, he is unattached in the world. Carefree he walks, carefree he stands, carefree he sits, carefree he lies down. Why is that? Because he has gone beyond the Evil One's range."

The rupa-jhānas are described according to the nature of the mental factors which are present in these states:

  1. Movement of the mind onto the object (vitakka; Sanskrit: vitarka)
  2. Retention of the mind on the object (vicāra)
  3. Joy, rapture (pīti; Sanskrit: prīti)
  4. Happiness (sukha)
  5. Equanimity (upekkhā; Sanskrit: upekā)
  6. One-pointedness (ekaggatā; Sanskrit: ekāgratā)[note 5]

 

Cited: Wikipedia