Bliss Isn’t An Attitude
Bliss is slippery thing. The word itself conjures up emotion and preconceived notions about what it means to blissful. The dictionary defines “bliss” as “reach[ing] a state of perfect happiness, typically so as to be oblivious of everything else.” It even uses the example “blissed-out hippies”–which further cements the idea that bliss is perhaps a New Age-y, drug induced state of indifference or even ignorance. Wasn’t it Thomas Grey who penned those immortal words of “Ignorance is Bliss” all that way in the 1700s? So it seems, then, that bliss has been pulling fast one throughout the ages.
But that’s just simply not enough. What is Bliss? Is it Real? Can we truly experience bliss?
We love transcendental meditation guru, Ann Purcell‘s, take on matter, quite frankly, because it just makes sense. (to us anyway). She simply and matter-of-factly states that “Bliss is a way of being in the world, and can be established as an achievement from meditation and one’s own personal development.” On the flip-side (for those of you who are fake-happy), trying to create happiness on a surface level is not sustainable and can actually create strain. Bottom line: if you’re looking bliss, you can’t fake it.
Here’s how you can grasp and better understanding of and achieve bliss:
Bliss: A Bi-product of Diving Within
It is astonishing to think that within every one of the 8 billion people on this planet exists an ocean of calm. In each one of us there is a field of bliss, whereby we can access true peace. According to the Vedas, all of creation is ultimately made of bliss.
All Creation is Made of Bliss
The Vedas, the ancient literature from India, express that all creation is essentially made of bliss. It states:
“Out of bliss, all beings are born,
In bliss they are sustained,
And to bliss they go and merge again.
Anandaddheyva khalvimani bhutani jayante
Anandena jatani jivanti
-Taittiriya Upanishad (3.6.1)
Bliss: Our Essential Nature
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought Transcendental Meditation out of the Himalayas and introduced this concrete experience of bliss to the world. He described bliss as our own essential nature and often quoted a Sanskrit expression that explains consciousness as sat, chit, ananda.
- Sat means the absolute, non-changing reality of life.
- Chit means consciousness, or wakefulness.
- Ananda means bliss.
Bliss: The Message of all Great Teachers
Maharishi often said that “the purpose of life is the expansion of happiness” and that “life is here to enjoy.” When we experience our essential nature through meditation, this reality of bliss grows more and more as a state of Being. This inner experience of Being is not dependant on anything from the outside for its fulfillment.
All the great teachers throughout time have expounded this reality. Christ said, “the kingdom of heaven is within” and Buddha talked about nirvana. We do want to follow our bliss in the outside world, as recommended by the great mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell. However, if we really want the deeper values of bliss in our lives we need to dive within and experience transcendence.
The outside world is always changing and moments of happiness will always go as quickly as they come. Bliss is more than just a momentary experience of happiness in the outer world. It is a transcendental experience of wholeness, complete happiness, contentment, and heavenly joy. Traveling to experience this bliss within is the first step on the journey toward enlightenment. The most beautiful aspect of this journey is that you don’t have to go anywhere. The Self unfolds itself, to itself, by itself, within itself, for itself. By enjoying the bliss within you very naturally and spontaneously live bliss more and more in my everyday life.