The search for bliss is what drives human beings from cradle to grave. If we contemplate ecstasy, it may bring to mind an orgasmic state, or the high that comes when a person wins the Olympics, or other such euphoric moments. The opposite of ecstasy, agony, is also a momentary state. Both of these extremes cannot last, like waves, which arise and then melt back into the ocean from where they came.
Bliss is different. It is a state of being, which is unbounded by time. It is eternally present, breathing through all of life. When we are identified with the waves, we are unaware of the ever-present reality of oceanic bliss.
The quality of bliss cannot be touched by momentary events or changes. In my experience, it is our undercurrent, a space we return to again and again whenever present moment awareness is awakened within.
Sometimes, it may happen when we see a magnificent sunrise or sunset. Or seeing our baby sleeping, in deep innocence, trust and relaxation could bring it on. Knowing we are truly loved by another human being, brings such a deep let go that we find ourselves enthroned in bliss.
The master key to accessing oceanic bliss is meditation. Methods of meditation are not going to give us bliss on a silver platter. But by practicing meditation, we cleanse those layers within us, which are preventing us from recognizing bliss as our ever-present reality. When we practice meditations which use the physical body, it is easy to enter into bliss, simply because the body is always in the present moment. The body becomes a teacher, helping our mind to drop into pure presence, opening us to wholeness. When body mind and soul are all in alignment, this is when bliss becomes a way of life.
There is a wonderful mantra from India that reminds us of how to attain bliss as our ever-present reality. Sat (Truth) Chit (consciousness) Anand (bliss.) Living our truth with awareness will result in a bliss-filled life. In short, bliss is a reconnection with our true nature, that which was, is and will always be, the eternal beyond time and mind.
My spiritual master Osho used to say in regards to work, “it is not what you do, but how you do it that is important.” This has been a very important mantra in my life. I discovered that work is ‘love in action’. Whether I am cleaning floors, cooking, doing massage, or teaching, the quality of devotional love remains unchanged. Of course, life brings many changes and challenges, and sometimes there may be times of both ecstasy and agony. But having deeply embraced the quality of timeless bliss, which underlies all of life, I experience these challenges as waves, coming and going, within the ocean of bliss, which is my nature.
There is a wonderful saying, ‘follow your bliss.’ Like a bee moving to the center of a flower, life is continuously offering us opportunities to find that point of resonance where body, mind and soul are all aligned. In truth, there is nothing more important than the search for bliss. It is our raison d’etre.