For me the reality of bliss within is not just a nice, fanciful New Age idea. It is not a mood, or an attitude of happiness. Bliss is a way of being in the world, and can be established as an achievement from meditation and one’s own personal development. Inversely, trying to create happiness on a surface level is not sustainable and can even create strain, especially if one actually feels bad, but is pretending to be happy.
Trying to be happy or positive can foster an insincere and disingenuous state of mind, or mood making. Mood making is not healthy for our emotional state and can tend to put others off.
I am certainly not speaking badly of someone who is trying to change his or her mood and be positive, but if it is forced it will not have a lasting effect.
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.
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. The bliss I am speaking of here 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. In its most stabilized form the continuum of bliss is a hallmark of the state of enlightenment.
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 I very naturally and spontaneously live bliss more and more in my everyday life. It is this feeling, and this message I most want to share with the world.
Wishing you all peace of the truest kind,
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Ann Purcell. Ann is an author and has been teaching meditation around the world since 1973. In addition, she has worked on curricula and course development for universities and continuing education programs. Her latest book, The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Journey of Enlightenment, was released on March 13, 2015.