The Eight Angas, Part 2: The Experiences
The remaining four angas are the Experiences. These four can all be subsumed under the single branch, Right Meditation of the Buddhist eightfold path. In chapter 15 we surveyed different types of meditation. Here the stages or depths of meditation are described.
Throughout the entire Yoga section, a central concept has been that of immersion. The concept was introduced in first discussing the postures and was then applied to different life examples (see especially chaps. 19and 21). Meditation and the process of immersion are obviously intimately related. Asana practice, as I have suggested, is a formal method for practicing immersion. So, too, are the various meditations described in chapter 15. Whether one meditates on an image, a concept, or practices mindfulness meditation, one is to immerse oneself as deeply as possible into that activity.
The four stages of experience that are described here are applicable, then, when one sits in meditation or when one becomes immersed in any activity. These stages are: