Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 16 - Bliss in Meditation
Date: Sun Nov 23, 2003 2:42pm
Q: I have been filled with bliss since beginning meditation. I sit and I am gone into a tingly silence inside. I disappeared for ten minutes yesterday before I realized it. I was gone in bliss again. I have such feelings of gratitude. My background is devout Catholic and it has been difficult for me to relate to the eastern traditions, though I have sensed there is much value there. This seems a wonderful approach — a bridge. I feel closer to Christ. Is it for real?
A: As our experience grows, stabilizes on a higher plane, and then keeps growing with practice, never ceasing to expand, then we have the answer to the question: Is it for real? The answer is in you. This is the truth of spiritual life – as we practice and open from within, the experience becomes self-validating. There is nowhere else you have to go to find it, to prove it to yourself. Once we know, our life becomes a joyous never-ending journey of self-discovery. Under these conditions, human life gradually morphs into a kaleidoscope of bliss.
Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven within, and all will be added to you.”
Bliss is our birthright, our true nature. It is time for us to step forward and claim it by awakening the natural abilities we were born with.
It is a long journey for most of us. It took a long time for us to become blocked so completely from our true nature. It stands to reason that it will take a while for us to open back up, even with the best of tools. At times we will experience a clear view of the bliss bubbling up in us. Other times we will feel blocked, or like we are getting reamed from the inside as we continue our daily meditations. The process will unfold in many ways. In time, bliss will predominate, and we will see the world as we have not before. Bliss will be seen bubbling up everywhere, constantly. A dirty pipe can’t stay dirty forever if we are flushing it through with the pure water of consciousness every day.
So, while the bliss you feel is a treasure, and certainly for real, keep in mind that there will be cycles of experience as your meditation proceeds. Sometimes you will feel like you did when you wrote of your bliss. Other times you may not feel so blissful as deep cleansing is going on. There may even be periods where you feel like you are stuck on a plateau of experience. Just keep meditating every day, no matter what. In the long run, what matters is your daily practice. Whatever the experience may be, if our practice is correct and consistent, we will have the results in the end.
You will experience many emotions in connection with your journey: wonderment, awe, gratitude, impatience, boredom, anger, frustration, pain… whatever the feelings are, use these to redouble your commitment to practice. If you can transmute your feelings, whatever they may be, into an unceasing desire to do your daily practice, then you cannot fail. For then you are devoted. Those who are unshakenly devoted always succeed, sooner or later. Your desire will always be the essential ingredient. Cultivate it well.
The guru is in you.
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