According to an ancient Hindu spiritual tradition – truth, awareness, and bliss are all one and the same thing.
The Sanskrit word is made up of Sat – truth or pure being, Chit – awareness or consciousness, and Ananda – bliss, in other words Satchitananda.
So why is bliss all rolled up with awareness and truth? It sounds a bit like one of those marketing ‘mash-up’ ideas that are popular now.
Perhaps the ancients expressed it this way because it’s a state that defies description. But why should awareness be bliss? Having brushed up against this state, through my practice of Ascension, I’ll attempt to share my experience.
With a dedicated meditation practice, over time, stress leaves the nervous system. It’s a bit like taking a huge heavy back-pack off; you feel lighter. It’s easier then to get to know your mind and watch how the ego tries to replay old negative programming – and be able to step out of the way. You keep on getting lighter – I suppose that’s why it’s called Ascension.
My teachers say that the outcome of this practice is to have a better relationship with your mind. Scientists strive to find out more about the universe, but haven’t even begun to fathom the depth and breadth of the mind. It is so stupendously clever that a part of it called the ego can convince us that we are small and separate.
Awareness, or being in the fullness of the moment, creates the healing space for us to realise that the constant mental chatter in our heads is not who we are. If we can be aware of it, it’s not us, right?
Eckhart Tolle, a gifted and enlightened spiritual teacher says that we are all like ripples on an ocean. One day one of the ripples saw itself in a mirror, then took a ‘selfie’. Soon all the other ripples were doing the same. Then some ripples felt victimised by others, and arguments broke out. Other ripples then joined their causes, and then wars broke out. I recommend watching this talk on Eckhart Tolle TV, as I’m sure I haven’t done it justice here.
We are One being – eternal spirit, experiencing life as many – but most of us have forgotten. We suffer because we believe we are separate and isolated; but we can find Oneness again by realising that it never left. That’s bliss.
Having had a taste of freedom, I’m aiming to be in it all the time – with a little help from my friends and teachers. The reports from those in the know is that it keeps on getting better – so who wouldn’t want to?
I’m off on a ten-day meditation retreat to hone my skills of experiencing peace, stillness, and bliss. I’ll report back.