Samadhi: Ancient Wisdom in the Modern Space Age

by Robert Engelbach on June 30, 2014

samadhiWhile nations raced neck and neck to land on the moon and plant the first lags, little did they realize destiny’s greater purpose to this “one small step for mankind”. The first hint of anything unusual occurring was the photo of earth captured 20,000 miles away as a bright, clear “blue marble” floating amongst the myriad of constellations. The starry realm in which earth was suspended seemed much more distinct and varied in sizes and colors than seen through the atmosphere from earth observatories. The crew and mission control were so absorbed in getting to the moon in front of them that they almost missed this view in back of them. It was so different than expected that some critics claimed the first manned moon mission was taped in Hollywood and digitally enhanced.

NASA brought back rocks, pictures, surveys, and all sorts of technical data from the moon. But after all was said and done and the parades were over, that image of our precious tiny blue marble suspended in the cosmic clouds still lingered in the memories of millions who had seen it on TV. They had been mildly touched by something which was subtle, quietly awesome, somewhat undefinable, yet fleeting.

Then on a later moon mission, an astronaut with an engineering background just doing his job at the console of a space vessel which was slowly rotating around itself while in moon orbit, found himself becoming memorized as he watched the entire galaxy revolving in a 360 panorama, with the blue marble reappearing each cycle. After several hours of progressive mesmerizing, whatever had been subtle in previous encounters became magnified into a powerful revelation of cosmic consciousness, a burst of recognition of the deeper meaning of everything. If you have not seen the one minute short version account of this defining moment, check it out first at Then watch this two minute one with a sociological twist


This event in space changed hundreds of lives and set into motion a chain of events still playing itself out many decades later. As time goes by, it is turning out to have more significance than just a profound experience; it may eventually save our planet. An inspiring full-length movie about it is designed to raise planetary consciousness and stir hearts to action. Keep an eye out for it next summer (2015). It is entitled “Planetary” and is coming to a theater near you. Watch this 19 minute totally super awesome trailer


What is Samadhi?

This phenomena experienced on the moon missions and more recently on the International Space Station have been coined “The Overview Effect”.   Lifting off our planet and seeing it from far, far away is as eye opening as looking down on your own body in an out-of-body experience. For lack of better understanding, Western psychologists classify the Overview Effect as a “cognitive shift”, the same term used to describe sudden changes in perception and emotional excitement reported from subjects taking psychedelic drugs. But the intensely positive impact and very long range effects of the Overview Effect are much more accurately described by the altered states of consciousness experienced by highly disciplined Hindu, Buddhists, Gnostics, TM, and Sufi who practice meditation and yoga.


Samadhi in the Bhagavad Gita

One of the earliest mentions of Samadhi were in the Indian “Upanishads” including the “Bhagavad Gita”. In Chapter 2, part 5 of the Bhagavad Gita, entitled ”The Yoga of Knowledge”, Sri Bhagavan explains the characteristics of one who attains Samadhi.*

*For an expert commentary on this passage, see


“Arjuna said:

O Keshava, what is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the super conscious state (Samadhi)? How does one of steady wisdom speak?   How does he sit? How does he walk?


Sri Bhagavan said

O Partha, when a man completely casts off all the desires of the mind, his Self finding satisfaction in itself alone, then he is called a man of steady wisdom. He  whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures and  who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom. He who is not attached to anything, who neither rejoices nor is vexed when he obtains good or evil – his wisdom is firmly fixed. When like the tortoise which withdraws its limbs on all sides, he withdraws his senses from the sense objects, then his wisdom becomes steady. The objects of the senses fall away from the abstinent man but not the taste for them. But even the taste falls away when the Supreme is seen.

The turbulent senses, O son of Kunti, do violently carry away the mind even of a wise man though he may be striving to control them. From anger comes delusion, from delusion the loss of memory, from the loss of memory the destruction of intelligence; from the destruction of intelligence he perishes. But the self-controlled man, moving among objects with his senses under restraint and free from both attraction  and repulsion, attains peace. In that serenity there is an end of all sorrow; for the intelligence of the man of serene mind soon becomes steady.

The  man whose mind is not under his control has no Self-Knowledge  and   to the  unsteady no meditation is possible and to  the  unmeditative  there can  be no peace and to the man who has no peace  how  can there be  any happiness ? When the mind runs after the wandering senses, it carries away his discrimination as the wind carries away a boat on the waters.

Therefore, O Mighty Armed Arjuna, his wisdom is steady whose senses are completely restrained from their objects. In  that  which  is  night  to all beings, the   self-controlled  man  is awake and where all beings are awake,   that  is  the  night for  the man who sees (has vision). He attains peace into whom all desires enter as the waters enter the ocean, which is full to the brim and grounded in stillness, but not the man who is the desirer of desires. That man attains peace who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, devoid of the sense of `I’-ness and `my’-ness. This is the Brahmi-state, O Son of Pritha. Attaining this, none is deluded. Being established therein, even at the hour of death, one attains final liberation in Brahman.

Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between  Sri Krishna and Arjuna ends the second discourse entitled The Yoga of Knowledge.”


Further Explanations and Levels of Samadhi

Other aspects of Samadhi are explained by this excerpt from

“Samadhi in Hinduism means higher levels of intense meditation, or dhyana, in Yogic schools. Samadhi is the state of mind in which the mediator is absent from the thought of one’s own self. The thing or object meditated upon, are all considered to be but one.

Samadhi is a Sanskrit word which means the state of realization achieved by complete meditation. The word Samadhi is derived from `sam` meaning together or integrated, `a` means towards, and `dha` means to get or to hold. Thus Samadhi means to acquire integration or wholeness, or truth.

In Hinduism Samadhi is the main subject of the first part of the Yoga Sutras called Samadhi Pada. In the Mahabharata it is mentioned that yoga is samadhi that is total control over mind.

The Overview Effect is closest to Savikalpa Samadhi, which is explained in contrast to Nirvikalpa Samadhi in this excerpt from

“Savikalpa samadhi, the highest of spiritual states of consciousness, second only to nirvikalpa samadhi (infinite bliss). The sanskrit word Savikalpa samādhi is a state of samādhi in which one’s consciousness temporarily dissolves into Brahman. According to Great Master Paramahansa Yogananda: In this state, one lets go of the ego and becomes aware of Spirit beyond creation. The soul is then able to absorb the fire of Spirit-Wisdom that “roasts” or destroys the seeds of body-bound inclinations. The soul as the meditator, its state of meditation, and the Spirit as the object of meditation all become one. The separate wave of the soul meditating in the ocean of Spirit becomes merged with the Spirit. The soul does not lose its identity, but only expands into Spirit. In savikalpa samadhi the mind is conscious only of the Spirit within; it is not conscious of the exterior world. The body is in a trancelike state, but the consciousness is fully perceptive of its blissful experience within. Describing Savikalpa Samadhi, Sri Chinmoy a Spiritual Teacher from Bengal wrote: Samadhi is a spiritual state of consciousness. There are various kinds of samadhi. Among the minor samadhis, savikalpa samadhi happens to be the highest. Beyond savikalpa comes nirvikalpa samadhi, but there is a great gulf between these two: they are two radically different samadhis. Again, there is something even beyond nirvikalpa samadhi called sahaja samadhi. In savikalpa samadhi, for a short period of time you lose all human consciousness. In this state the conception of time and space is altogether different. For an hour or two hours you are completely in another world. You see there that almost everything is done. Here in this world there are many desires still unfulfilled in yourself and in others. Millions of desires are not fulfilled, and millions of things remain to be done. But when you are in savikalpa samadhi, you see that practically everything is done; you have nothing to do. You are only an instrument. If you are used, well and good; otherwise, things are all done. But from savikalpa samadhi everybody has to return to ordinary consciousness. In savikalpa samadhi there are thoughts and ideas coming from various places, but they do not affect you. While you are meditating, you remain undisturbed, and your inner being functions in a dynamic and confident manner. But when you are a little higher, when you have become one with the soul in nirvikalpa samadhi, there will be no ideas or thoughts at all. When you enter into nirvikalpa samadhi, the first thing you feel is that your heart is larger than the universe itself. Ordinarily you see the world around you, and the universe seems infinitely larger than you are. But this is because the world and the universe are perceived by the limited mind. When you are in nirvikalpa samadhi, you see the universe as a tiny dot inside your vast heart. In nirvikalpa samadhi there is infinite bliss. Bliss is a vague word to most people. They hear that there is something called bliss, and some people say that they have experienced it, but most individuals have no firsthand knowledge of it. When you enter into nirvikalpa samadhi, however, you not only feel bliss, but actually grow into that bliss. The third thing you feel in nirvikalpa samadhi is power. All the power of all the occultists put together is nothing compared with the power you have in nirvikalpa samadhi. But the power that you can take from samadhi to utilise on earth is infinitesimal compared with the entirety. Nirvikalpa samadhi is the highest samadhi that most realised spiritual Masters attain. It lasts for a few hours or a few days, and then one has to come down.”


How Do I Attain Samadhi?

These sample references describe various paths for attaining Samadhi. Browse through them and pick out one that suits you, or google “How to Attain Samadhi” to obtain more references. If you are looking for videos, google “How to Attain Samadhi You Tube”.





Other sources say that Samadhi can occur naturally once one has learned to let go, sort of like just relaxing quietly to tap into bliss consciousness once the mind has been deconditioned. Of course, it may take a rigorous discipline to decondition it.

The Overview Effect and Samadhi are important parts of esoteric wisdom “written” in the One Holy Book, the sacred scriptures found in nature alluded to by the Sufi*, and are partly synonymous with Gnosis, Revelation, Holy Spirit Guidance, Epiphany, Release of Kundalini, and Cosmic Consciousness.

*Refer to my previous post “Is there Only One Holy Book?”

As co-citizens on this magnificent but tiny blue marble, we have two choices. We can run around like hordes of ants bumping blindly into each other, sometimes eating each other, all performed in competition for resources. Or we can realize how connected we are on this little planet, then spend more energy preserving those resources for everyone and assuring our long term survival as the most highly conscious species we know of in the universe… so far.

Some cosmologists have speculated that the reason we have not yet made contact with off world civilizations is not because they were not numerous, but because they failed to realize their connectedness that would have saved them from self-destruction.

So my friend; find yourself a quiet place, a pose, a prayer, a dance, a mantra, or just stretch your legs; and tune in to the cosmos. I hear it sounds beautiful.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Pedro June 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Interesting post, Robert. Thanks for all the links. Having delved into the Hindu scriptures, Edgar Mitchell, and having extensive experience with entheogens such as ayahuasca, I enjoyed this.

Speaking of outer space – what does it mean that the Vatican has a team of astronomers searching the heavens with one of the world’s most powerful telescopes in southern Arizona on sacred Apache land? The very Church that persecuted Galileo is reported to be on the lookout for extraterrestrials. Of course, as more and more people are realizing, we’re far from being alone in this galaxy, and there are infinite dimensions that can be accessed through the pineal gland. (And if you’ve had a NDE or possess skills as a lucid dreamer, you may have wondered if the silver chord attached to the astral body is indeed a two-way wormhole.)

And what is the name of the Vatican’s hefty telescope? I kid you not, they’ve dubbed it project LUCIFER.

Perhaps the motive behind things like HAARP, adulterated food, fluoride in the water and countless medications, and the chemtrail phenomenon aren’t so much about keeping people closed and unconscious on the ground, but preventing higher forms of consciousness getting in from beyond…


Justin July 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm


Your last comment is interesting to me. I don’t know that I agree with it, but I see where it comes from and acknowledge it as a possible truth. I think that, without evidence, we are left to speculate the reasons for “evils” you mention and for me that speculation leads to a place where humanity is still being controlled by fear. This fear leads us to do things that allow for control of others, rather than allowing people be free. I could be wrong of course, and it may be that those with influence are actually protecting the masses from something we are not ready for yet.



Pedro July 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they’ve been fooled. – Mark Twain

The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. – Nikola Tesla

My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists. – Nikola Tesla

Everyone should consider his body as a priceless gift from one whom he loves above all, a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty, and mystery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay, a thought may injure it. – Nikola Tesla

Invention is the most important product of man’s creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs. – Nikola Tesla


selina July 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm

I totally agree that the brain is a receiver Pedro, Nikola Tesla certainly knew a thing or two, lol. I hope you and your family are well Joshua.


Joshua Tilghman July 9, 2014 at 11:31 am

Thanks, Selina. We’re great! I hope all is well with you as well.


Raymond Phelan July 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Hi Robert,

Thank you for this really good expose on samadhi. As a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation or TM for over 38 years and a daily student of the Bhagavad Gita for almost as long, I concur that this post offers a path to seekers of Self-Knowledge.

Many take up meditation for relief of personal stress or seek other health benefits, and this is good. But for some, when the particular stress or healing is achieved, they then “give up” the daily practice thinking there’s no further need of meditation. Wrong decision. I say this because, through my own early spiritual immaturity, I was that person who gave it up after relief from depression. I didn’t realize that meditation was a life-long commitment : a daily chore similar to anything else like brushing our teeth or washing our face. How many of us would face our partners, family or work colleagues without performing either of these chores? As cosmic beings, “performing” in the world or immediate environment daily is similar to such ignorance.

Samadhi follows in proportion to the mind/heart’s ability to withstand bliss. For that reason bliss has to be cultured into the nervous system through regular daily practice. After meditation (20 minutes twice daily) it’s important then we engage in normal, gentle mental activity. It’s this “activity” which kick-starts the nervous system into expressing cosmic or bliss-consciousness naturally. By this activity after meditation the mind gradually retains more and more bliss between sessions until eventually bliss-consciousness becomes established as permanent cosmic consciousness. Our samadhi consciousness thus becomes a channel (of Life) in progressing evolution divinely thereby benefiting ALL of mankind to include our “blue marble”.

Blessings, Robert, and all,



Joshua Tilghman July 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm


Such a helpful comment for all of us. Thank you!


Raymond Phelan July 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Hi Josh,

Thank you. Just to add to my comment. It may help if we understand “the return” (repentance) of “the prodigal son” not simply as a once-off event in our lives but a twice daily trek into Transcendental Silence. For, intellectual knowledge alone does not alter the state of the soul : the mind needs to experience direct bliss “contact”, or Samadhi, gained in meditative silence or, transcendence.

In other words, when the intellect is drawn deep within, the mind gains “contact” and comes out (of meditation) infused with bliss. The emphasis primarily needs to be on practice, on merging the lower ego (material world) into Transcendental Silence thereby spiritualize our consciousness — gain Samadhi or Christ awareness. Thus the spiritual fruits of meditation are further shared through our conscious-point use of mind.




Robert July 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm


Thanks your for the advice on how to bring more bliss between sessions…. engaging in gentle mental activity right after meditation. Makes a lot of sense. Will try to schedule some specific activities as part of my self- training. I might try lumosity or playing with my dog. It is remarkable how much bliss has already sunk into my everyday life from simply practicing mindfulness and researching esoteria. Every time a crisis comes up now, I find myself astonishingly calm. I know me, and it just does not seem like me when I am that calm in a storm. I like my new self much better. I still lose it once in a awhile but they are short lived wobbles instead of headlong falls. Somehow I know that growing like this is very important, it raises my level and the level of everything associated with me.



Raymond Phelan July 3, 2014 at 4:15 am


Thanks for comment. By gentle activity is meant, not to go deep into any mental analysis after meditation, rather, let the new flowing bliss permeate the mind and body for as long as possible as heavy thoughts cut flow of. Practice continuing the meditative “present moment” using senses only : be present through the senses to what “is” without mental evaluation. In other words, hear what we hear, see what we see etc without THINKING ABOUT what we hear and see. Yes, your correct, others certainly benefit from our bliss flow practice!

I too, like Josh, would like to send healing and love to your wonderful wife, Liz. What a truly spiritual woman!

Blessings to you both,



Pedro July 2, 2014 at 12:01 am


You said:

“This fear leads us to do things that allow for control of others, rather than allowing people be free. I could be wrong of course, and it may be that those with influence are actually protecting the masses from something we are not ready for yet.”

There is no time but NOW. You suggest that at some “future” date or time things will change. This only assures that no change comes about, for this projection plants a seed in the subconscious that says freedom and enlightenment is not here but WILL come later. Since later doesn’t exist save for in your mind, freedom doesn’t arrive. Then again, plenty of people do all they can to escape freedom without being compelled…

The Light is Here, Now. All the Secrets (which have been right under our noses all along) are being revealed. Consider the following, for it is immensely important. As I’ve said before, it’s numbers, numbers, numbers:

Coral Castle in Florida:

Link between Edward Leedskalnin and Grand Masonic Lodge in Philadelphia:

Solfeggio Sound for Healing:

Your body is 70% water. Water is a crystal. Water has memory. Knowing is remembering…

Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed. – Walter Russell



Robert July 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments. I’ve been off the radar for a few days. My wife was hospitalized for symptoms that looked like she might be developing a stroke, but it turned out to be temporary side effects due to some changes in her daily medications, and she is back home recovering slowly. Still can’t walk well or eat well yet. But her vision and judgment are back. Just before things really started to go bad and I had to rush her to the ER, her inner voice told her everything was going to get fixed, everything was going to be alright. She learned a lot from this. She never had that kind of divine direction before.

Blessings all.


Joshua Tilghman July 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm


Liz will be in my prayers, and I’m sure others who are reading this too. We all wish her a speedy recovery and for the doctors to get to the bottom of whatever is going on.


Justin July 3, 2014 at 8:58 am


I am sorry to hear about Liz, I’m glad she is alright and getting better. I will be sending as much love as I can muster to you both. Its great to hear that she heard her inner voice with such clarity, it will aide in the healing processes immensely and is quite the blessing in itself.

Be Blessed;


David Gantt July 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I remember when I had a cognitive expansion; I admit that I was nervous because my mind never didn’t that before. The experience happened when I was studying the 1st Chapter of Genesis and Metaphysics. Every time I study “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth” , then synchronized it with “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with Elohim, and the word was Elohim” opened my mind to a whole new level or cognitive shift. How did it shift those do it? Elohim is Spirit; therefore, we worship in spirit and truth, right? So if Emmanuel means Elohim with us(me), and the Word said He’s the Door, then that means we enter the kingdom by praises, mantras, etc. (Psalms 100). I never knew the power of the spoken word and according to Metaphysics the Word is the Idea or Idea in Mind because Mind and Spirit are synonomous; for they’re both w/o shape and form. The Mind creates the Idea, it is expressed. Be bless :-)!


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