Samadhi (2)

    James Austin, the author of Zen Brain, makes a distinction between external absorbtion (samadhi) and internal. He uses a fishing analogy that speaks to me as an ex fly fisherman:

    "Think back to some occasion in ordinary everyday life when a critical event captured your attention. To the angler who fishes with a bobber, one-pointed absorption comes when it plunges out of sight. Only a big fish could yank it this far down! Time evaporates to a standstill during such moments. Well-coordinated movements may go on with rod and reel, but consciousness of the physical self drops far off into the background. "

    I still remember the concentration on the end of the tip of a floating flyline for hours sometimes, and the electrifying shock when it suddenly straightened as a big rainbow trout started to run with your fly. The sensation still appears in dreams sometimes. Such an elemental feeling - it seemed to connect me to my human lineage of hunters somehow.


    "The central features of a major internal absorption include (1) no spontaneous thought; (2) an intensified, fixed, internalized awareness; (3) an expansion of especially clear awareness into ambient space; (4) the disappearance of the bodily self; (5) a distinctive closing off of all sight and sound; (6) a deep, blissful serenity; and (7) a marked slowing or cessation of respiration."

    I must admit I have never had this depth of experience.,0

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