How do we get it?
Can we get more of it happening in our lives?
These are legitimate questions to ask – freely and without constraint. Bliss can flood into our consciousness without warning. But when that happens we may be unable to recreate the experience. We forget what we felt. Or it passes by so quickly we don’t even notice, let alone remember.
The practice of mindfulness is a means to cultivate states of bliss. As you begin to pay attention to your feelings (mindfulness practice) you learn to discern not only what you are feeling (which is not always easy!) but to investigate the subtleties of awareness that being aware of these feelings entails.With time and practice we start making decisions about what we want to feel. This is deliberate, conscious and accomplished amidst joy and wonder.
Learning to savor your emotions (sadness and happiness, joy and grief) takes some practice. This is not about reacting – this is about resting – in awareness.No judgments. Feelings are happening because this is what feelings do. How we work with what we are feeling – now that is something very different.
Last Monday I stepped into an unusual feeling. And thanks to mindfulness practice – I knew it – and I labeled it. Bliss pocket.
How did I enter into this bliss pocket?
Stop and drop.
‘Stop’ means coming home – turning your awareness toward your own inner (body) experience with the understanding that there is nothing (in this moment) that is out of place, nothing wrong, nothing needed, nothing lacking – for just this moment the reality of that awareness flooded into me.
At that moment (sitting on the sofa in my living room) nothing needed to be ‘fixed’. Nothing was ‘off-line’. At that moment and – IN THIS MOMENT – everything was right where it needed to be. Bliss has no borders. According to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘bliss’ and ‘bless’ were used interchangeably for hundreds or years in the English language. Perhaps this explains why bliss can be so intimidating.
Too often we think of biiss as ‘heaven’ – as some place ‘out there’ beyond this earthly plane. We have to be a certain kind of person to step into bliss (we think). But that is not true.
Bliss pockets are downright approachable. They can be found in cars, on corners and in stairwells – on the side of the road, or waiting in traffic.
Joseph Campbell has some interesting insights into bliss. Click here to listen to his interview with Bill Moyers. Though filmed many years ago the topic is as relevant today as it was then.
Stop and drop dear ones. Do it often. Bliss abounds!