This Finding Bliss post ties in with the last in our Detox for the Soul series that we have been working with in yoga classes to start 2022.
Please also read:
We are bringing together much of what we have learnt in the first 3 parts, looking within us and to nature, to find out more about who we are and what life is about beyond the 3D reality.
In yoga the state of bliss is known as Samadhi or Ananda, it is the state of complete absorption in focussed meditation, it is Enlightenment, a pure source of Divine Union between the Self and the Universe.
To know bliss, is to know the Truth, Light and Love. It is a state we can all taste, if only slightly, in moments on our yoga mat or meditation cushion when we glimpse that true state of liberation beyond the material dimension, when we witness complete awareness of the self, beyond ego and beyond mind.
Finding Bliss could also simply be called finding happiness, joy and a being in a state of lightness and love. The look of complete serenity and tranquility on the familiar face we all know of Buddha, could be described as pure bliss.
How do we find bliss when we live in the world we do? Is it something that seems simple for the ancient yogis living simple lives dedicated to their practice day after day, or the Bodhisattvas who follow the path of the Buddha throughout their lives? Our culture is not designed with bliss at its core? The constant search and struggle to find happiness, takes a lifetime and is elusive for most.
How do we find our bliss, when society hides it so well?
If our society were a family, the parents would be austere, authoritarian, ambitious, materialistically driven, consumer centred and possibly also abusive, deceitful, intolerant and very critical, but would keep the children comfortable, well fed and entertained. The children in this unpleasant family, would be controlled, obedient, passive, easily manipulated, afraid of abuse and criticism and willing to do anything to be allowed to stay in the home, be looked after and enjoy the benefits and comforts of living in this family.
Its not nice to have to admit that we live in an unpleasant world that is very toxic and it seems for millions of people living in our society, its much easier to bury our light and hearts and go along with the way things are. There is great fear of being ostracised or pushed out and therefore possibly having to struggle to live and lose all our comforts. We love our comforts!
But just as the children living in the family described above, might seem looked after, well fed and very well behaved, underneath they have lost themselves since birth and may never find happiness, because they don’t know themselves or what could make them happy, the inner compass and potential for bliss is lost.
To find bliss, we do have to step out of conformity and regimented ideas of what life is about.
We have to start to question everything and see if there is more to life than what we have been given and told.
There has to be a risk involved in letting go of the old ways of society and a willingness to try something new.
Life is made so complicated and society is designed to feed a toxic desire for more, to risk finding bliss, we have to trust that there is a simpler and more wholesome way.
Bliss is a State of Consciousness
To find bliss we must let go of all desire to make it happen, to create it or to try to fix and control the world into behaving in such a way that we can be happy.
The search for bliss is a futile one, just as a search for anything to come to us from the outside, will always be dissatisfying. Whether its a new car, job, relationship or holiday, we always need more, or the next one, or something to be new, different, fresh or exciting.
We could spend our entire lives searching for bliss, just as the next material gain, or do we instead try to find a new state of consciousness and see what we find within?
True bliss is not subjective to external events and circumstance in our lives. Its hard to connect with as our society teaches us from a young age, that this is absolutely not the case. We are taught that we need a comfortable home, a job, family, nice car, clothes and to be able to keep up with trends, neighbours and continually be moving on an upward trajectory in our career, finances, social life and so must our children in their lives, to prove our own success.
To break out of this programming is true liberation. We look to Eastern cultures and indigenous civilisations for spiritual knowledge and wisdom, but we can find all we need here where we are, just by reconnecting to ourselves and nature. We don’t need to journey to India, the Amazonian jungle or far off lands, to find our bliss.
How can we find our Bliss, when chaos surrounds us?
The search for inner happiness, begins with the liberation of programming and conditioning that the search is outside of ourselves and then moves towards a deeper spiritual connection.
We can go back to what we learnt about the spiritual centre we have within us, the Pineal Gland – Third Eye Chakra, the seat of spiritual awareness and consciousness within, read back over my previous posts here and here.
We can also go over what we discovered about the mysteries of Mother Earth and how she can support us in our search for inner peace and joy, read the post here.
I recently ran a yoga retreat where our theme was Finding Bliss, one evening we held a circle and I asked each guest to share how they found their bliss. Everyone came back to the same simple answer, as well as yoga, meditation and the love of family and friends, the repeated response was nature.
Being in nature takes us back to ourselves, we come home. Natures beauty reminds us that all is well, all is perfect, we are literally surrounded by bliss. More than that, living in harmony with nature is our natural state of being and to be in tune with Mother Earths rhythms, is to be in tune with our own hearts and our soul.
But if bliss is our birthright, for each and every human being on the planet, surely it must be detached from any external circumstance, including access to nature.
We have all heard stories of political prisoners, perhaps locked away for decades, who were able to stay connected to their bliss despite being cut off from all but the four walls that surrounded them. During lockdown of 2020, were we all suddenly refused to be in bliss because many of us were refused access to each other and the outside world? What would happen if we found ourselves confined to a hospital bed or had to spend time away from Mother Earths heartsong in the concrete jungle of a large city?
To truly be connected to the state of consciousness that is bliss, we must be able to remove all circumstance and be able to sit in pure joy and happiness, no matter what.
So lets try:
- Come to sit now, wherever you are, whatever the situation you are in
- Do not try to change the environment you are in, in any way
- If there is noise around you, let it be there, if you are not completely comfortable let that be, etc
- Close your eyes
- Take some deep breaths
- Tune into your breath and really feel it, hear it and enjoy it
- Turn to your body and relax, let go of any tension, recognise tightness and release it
- Look at what is happening in your mind, notice busy, chaotic thoughts, judgements and preferences about where you are and the environment you are in, let go of all of these and tune back to your breath
- Become more deeply aware of where you are, the feel of the surface you are sitting on, the sounds around you, the smells, allow your senses to expand and your awareness to evolve
- Notice the blank screen behind your closed eyes, Chidakasha, the sky of consciousness within
- Don’t force seeing your Chida, just gently allow it to be and watch, softly
- You are completely in the moment
- You are completely tuned into the now
- See what you find there…..
Allow the Chaos to be there, stay centred in your Bliss
Try this visualisation, this is a beautiful meditation to work with after a yoga practice, after the practice outline above, during a walk in nature, or at any time when life starts to feel overwhelming:
- Stand or sit and tune into your breath and relax
- Close your eyes
- Imagine you are stood in the very centre of a tornado, a whirlwind
- All around you is spinning, complete chaos
- Imagine that within this tornado are all aspects of your life that are overwhelming you
- See the faces of people, family, friends, colleagues, who are stressing you out
- See the places that you are having to rush around too, or you wish you didn’t have to go to
- See all the things in life that you have to do, chores, work, bills, responsibilities, to do lists etc
- Imagine them spinning around you, but stay completely centred and strong within this chaos
- Feel your feet or hips on the surface you are sitting or standing on
- Feel your breath holding you steady and stable
- Bring a half Buddha smile to your face, gently turn up the corners of your mouth
- Tell yourself all is well, in this moment and that this spinning whirlwind can not touch you
- Remind yourself that all is well within you and all chaos is created by the mind
- You can come back to this visualisation whenever you need to remember to be still and to not let life drag you into its drama