Sunday, August 23, 2020

Kingdom of Heaven – Samadhi


Epistle Romans 12:1-8

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

My favorite verses to go with these teaching (not read this Sunday) 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

Matthew 16:13-20

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Word definitions:

Simon – He who listens

Peter – Rock

Sela – Rock (Hebrew), Shila – Rock (Sanskrit), Selah - to lift up, exalt, silence or pause, end, a louder strain, piano, a pause in the voices singing - while the instruments perform alone, or intermission. (Hebrew).* Note - I love how close in form the above three words are.

Asmita – Ego (Sanskrit) one of the Kleshas (obstacles)

Ashmita – True Self (Sanskrit)

Samadhi – No separation between object and the self, the seer and the seen, the inner connectedness of all.

Okay I think I have set the stage! 😊

Samadhi is the eighth limb of yoga.  It comes after we have spent time with our ethics and morals, our ten commandments, via the yamas and niyamas.  Then we move into a physical practice via asana (poses) and pranayama (breath practice) to calm the mind.  Next moving inward we remove all senses via pratyahara, focus on one single thing in dharana, move into meditation dhyana, only to then connect out with all and feel the sense of you and me disappear as we move to a state of no separation via samadhi.

So why did I choose samadhi as the focus for today?  Let’s start with one of Jesus’ questions: “who do you say that I am?” In the New Age world “I Am” has been studied and interpreted a lot!  I don’t get all caught up in this, except to say to me “I Am” represents the godliness – the example we all should live – our ashmita or true self.  But asmita – ego gets in the way and leads us down the wrong path, instead of leading us to samadhi or full connection to all. We struggle and through the eight limbs, prayer, etc. we can find our way back to samadhi.

The disciples are struggling.  They are struggling to accept their place in the greater plan for the world and to even figure out what that place should be. Our recently past lessons found the disciples learning Jesus’ ethics (yamas and niyamas) via parables, walking on water (asana), and last week speaking of “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart” or pranayama (breath). Finally, the disciples are ready to move to their inward life.  

As stated in Roman and Corinthians (see italics) everyone has a different gift to bring into full communion (samadhi) with all.  Jesus opens a conversation with questions that pull the disciples into deep conversation, withdrawing their senses (pratyahara) from the world around them. He them moves the conversation to the disciple’s place in the world beyond Jesus’ ministry. He states that even though it is not apparent to them what they are to do, God knows and has a plan.  He then goes on to tell Simon (one who listens) Peter (Rock), using Peter as his rock – his dharana (single point), to share with all the disciples a great teaching or dhyana (Meditation).  Through this teaching he unites them and all of us in a Christian Samadhi.  The Kingdom of Heaven and Earth, Natural and Unnatural, Small and Large, all Plants, Animals…Everything is United in Samadhi.  The disciples are chosen, as are we all, to lead, to decide, to be seer and seen, self and object.  To be part of this huge undeniable yet difficult to understand Samadhi.



Picture from:


No comments:

Post a Comment