• Anna

Ruminations on Bliss- Yogi Philosophy

“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.”

This quote from Joseph Campbell resonates so strongly with me, I have heard it many times and each time I hear it it is a reminder to not be afraid and to listen, to follow what makes me feel alive. It makes sense that by following the things that make us happy and give us goosebumps then more of these happy things will come into our life. When we follow our bliss we are not fighting against ourselves and our life flows more smoothly.

In our daily lives we enjoy glimpses of bliss. I experience bliss surfing a perfect wave, having real belly laughs, enjoying a book and dark chocolate and being outside in the sunshine. These moments are charged with happiness but don't last. In Sanskrit there is a beautiful word that describes bliss as a constant state, the word is Sat-chit-ananda. Sat is translated as truth which is enduring and unchanging. Chit is translated to consciousness, understanding and comprehension and Ananda is bliss, a state of pure happiness. In Sanskrit these individual words combine together to describe bliss as a constant state, our true state that comes from pure awareness. I am fairly certain I am not an enlightened being however through yoga I have momentarily felt this state. In the serenity following the yoga class, I have felt a deep sense of calm within me, a deep sense of contentment with everything is as it is in that moment and a sense of joy springing from that. I feel connected to a deeper part of me that is not influenced by the changing scenery of my life. Realisation that floods over me and in that moment everything is perfect and I am fine with everything. This feeling is nicknamed the 'yoga high’. Yogic philosophy talks of 5 koshas (or sheaths) that surround the body. The first one Anamayakosha, which is the physical body and the last the ‘Anandamaya kosha’ the bliss body. In the practice of yoga we become aware of the different kosha’s and begin to move through them coming closer to the bliss body. The bliss body is actually our natural state but it often gets hidden by our physical body, our energetic body, our mental body and our wisdom body (the other 4 koshas). The bliss body is described as a feeling that to be alive is good. Your bliss body is said to be filled with natural ecstasy, dynamism and goodness. It is the blue sky that is always there but sometimes covered by different weather patterns.

Sometimes we can feel lost in life because we are chasing highs, chasing things that we think will lead just to bliss, things that we feel a fleeting sense of joy from and then we are lost when the feeling goes. We chase things outside ourselves for fulfilment but we forget that we hold the real answers. Bliss is within us. I love that thought, that we are bliss and that the deepest connection between all of us is bliss. By coming more into contact with ourselves we can find what we have been searching so long to find, pure awareness and absolute bliss. Weather patterns may cloud it but once you know it is there it’s easier to find.

So follow your bliss, find your light, listen to the whispers of what you really love and journey to a different landscape.

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