Associated with the notions of dhyana (1) and bhavana (2), samadhi is one of the terms used by Buddhist texts to designate meditation. But unlike the other two, samadhi means more of a meditative state than the practice itself. It is the culmination, the summit. But what does it mean exactly? What experience is it the name of? The answer is in the word itself. To understand it, it must be related to another term, this one of Greek origin, but which has the same etymology and the same structure as samadhi – a sort of linguistic twin brother – namely “synthesis”.
Samadhi is the ultimate state of mind which accords with the wholeness of all that is.
For us, the term synthesis has taken on a completely theoretical meaning and therefore very little meditative. But basically, it designates the idea of unity understood as gathering. In Latin, we would call this “composition”, that is to say the fact of putting things in such a way that they make a whole. Thus, the unity of synthesis is not that of isolation. It is not produced by the elimination of plurality in order to leave only one term. It is the unity of the whole, the dimension where everything comes together: in music, the “symphony” and not the “solo”! Applied to meditation, the samadhi therefore refers to an open unity state. This term is sometimes translated as “concentration”, but we now clearly see the limit of such a translation which would commit us to having another experience than that indicated by the word. Indeed, if concentration is indeed a form of unification of the mind, it occurs by disregarding the environment, by focusing on a precise and exclusive point. You only have to observe a cat on the hunt to get a good idea of it. Concentration is in this sense a fabricated, mind-provoked state that relies on the power to abstract itself, that is, to select objects of attention to the exclusion of others. . Concentration is an exercise, and it is in this capacity that it enters the preparatory phase for attaining samadhi. But it should not be confused with the latter. Samadhi is the open attention where everything is included, where everything comes together and where nothing is set back, and therefore also brought forward. Samadhi is the ultimate state of the mind which accords with the wholeness of all that is, that is to say, the attainment of what has traditionally been called "non- duality" - when mind and world are one, that is to say a whole