This week, my Inner Introvert needs some serious down time and rest, so I have the honor of presenting a series of guest bloggers writing about Unexpected Bliss.
Today, we are lucky enough to have the insights of Yogini and Kundalini Yoga Teacher extraordinaire, Ana Brett, who I interviewed here. (She also graciously responded to a body image discussion we had here.) You can find her website here.
Ana's post is full of wisdom and a mantra teaching at the end that we all could use.
In scanning my memory for a moment of recent unexpected bliss, it occurred to me that what I have been discovering is that bliss is right here, just under the surface, everyday! And it was becoming increasingly easy, after bouts of stress, to tap, or ease back into, that source in a moment's notice!
Not that my life isn't stressful. It's been a roller coaster lately -- three family members suddenly hit with serious illnesses. Because of this, I've had some real lows. Such deep sadness has grounded me in a way in which I'd not been grounded before, although I wasn't sure if I'd ever get my joie de vivre back!
Then, I finally reached a breaking point where I had to surrender to the thought, "Let go and let God." Give up the worry. Accept that life can be both tragic and ecstatic in turn, and painful twists in the road are an inevitable part of the journey.
And then this curious thing happened. I suddenly noticed, after some time had passed, that I felt light again. I started to laugh more. I started to worry less. After having my worst fears realized, I felt a new strength, because I had handled them. I had survived! This new strength made me feel like superwoman! Ready for any crisis that may come my way.
And, because the pain had touched me on such a deep deep level, I had contacted my core Self in a way I hadn't before, and gosh that core me is strong! So, once the wave of craziness receded, I was left with this newly forged connection to a part of me which is an inner strength and guide and whom I know is there as a quiet observer to catch me when things get crazy again.
Acknowledging the beautiful polarities of life one arrives at this equation: The level of pain one goes through exists in direct proportion to the level of bliss waiting to be tapped.
The root cause for unhappiness is not so much what's happening externally. Our own minds obscure our bliss. When I had surrendered in my bout with sadness and grief, and gave myself over to it, my feelings of joy and bliss returned. The Saints and Sages of the ages have given us methods to tap into our bliss and mind our own minds.
Here is a meditation I have been practicing for mental tranquility. It has helped me to remember that pain/pleasure, gain/loss, and even life/death, are part of the same flow. Enlightenment is when we know ourselves to be part of that flow and are able to construct a raft of inner discipline so that we can ride the current and not be pulled under.
This meditation will help you tap into your the ever-present source of bliss inside of you!
Meditation for Mental Tranquility
Even three thousand years ago, people found that tranquility & bliss were elusive propositions. In fact, Buddha's disciples prevailed upon him for a cure for their minds' erratic natures. Buddha taught them this meditation called Man Subhavee Mura Kriya, which means, discipline which is pleasing to the mind.
Your hands are at sternum level, six inches in front of your body, forearms parallel. Your thumbs and middle fingers of each hand are meeting fingerprint to fingerprint. Fold your index fingers in so that they meet each other along their length from the first joint to the knuckle.
Your eyes are 1/10 open looking down and in towards the tip of the nose. Inhale through your nose, hold your breath and repeat Sat Nam (Truth is your Identity) mentally 12 - 15 times. Exhale through your nose, hold the breath out and repeat Sat Nam 12 - 15 times.
Start with 3 min. and build up your time of practice over time. Sit in silence for a few minutes afterward and bask in bliss!
(Photo Credits: Ana Brett)