synonyms: ecstasy, bliss, euphoria, enchantment, delight
Shortly after learning to meditate in 1974, I was watching a videotaped lecture given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He brought Transcendental Meditation® to the West, and I was receptive to much of his teachings. He frequently said “the nature of life is bliss.” This pronouncement, though, confused me; there wasn’t any bliss in my life.
Nevertheless, as a good student, I followed the instructions which were to meditate twice a day for 15 – 20 minutes at a sitting. I was told that my life would become more in tune with nature’s ways. Like floating your canoe downstream rather than paddling upstream against the current. That sounded promising to me.
At the age of 26, when I learned to meditate, my live was in turmoil. I had a promising career as an Industrial Engineer, and yet I was depressed and anxious. My hopes and plans had come crashing down with the recent death of my young wife. I was floundering to say the least. Just a few years earlier, I had graduated from college thinking that would solve my problems. Boy, was I wrong.
Fortunately, I decided one August evening to enroll in the meditation course that a friend introduced me to. I’m pleased to say that it’s been a game changer. Until the moment I learned to meditate, I never had such a deep experience of peace and inner calm.
During the meditation, I wasn’t thinking about what I had to do later in the day, and I wasn’t concerned about bills, or personal relationship issues. There were moments when I wasn’t thinking about anything and yet I was awake, not asleep. When my instructor told me that what I had experienced was meditation, I thought, FANTASTIC! I knew that I could recreate this experience. And, the best was yet to come.
Bliss to the Rescue
Two hours following this first class and meditation experience, I had lunch in a sandwich shop with a friend who started the meditation course with me. After eating, as I walked to the cash register to pay my bill, I felt a wave of euphoria and burst of energy. It was as if my brain lit up. I started skipping. It was just 1 or 2 skips, but delightful. I felt great, and was clueless as to why. Could it have something to do with meditation?
This pleasant experience continued to show up in my life although not every day. I was aware that I was smiling and laughing more easily. A year or so later, I had the thought, this must be bliss. By that point, I was hooked on the daily practice of meditation. I knew I was onto something good. I was certainly much happier since I had begun to meditate.
How to Find Bliss/Rapture
Bliss need not be elusive. To experience it, try some of the following:
• Be still, pay attention – listen, feel, and tune in.
• Spend time in nature. Stepping outside for a walk, after working on a computer, does wonders for the spirits in just a minute or two.
• Engage in creative pursuits such as painting, writing, journaling, or just playing. They help us get reflect and explore deeper levels of our lives
Perhaps no one in modern time said it better than philosopher, Joseph Campbell in his PBS interviews with Bill Moyers. To have a fulfilling life, he encouraged us to “Follow our bliss.” Pay attention to the voice of your soul.
The good news is that bliss is everywhere that we are. Finding it is not about doing more. To the contrary, it’s about BEING more. Many would say the simplest and most effective approach to bring more bliss and rapture into your life is to meditate.
It has worked wonders in my life. Effortless Meditation™ will take you into the domain of bliss and rapture every time you sit to do it. With practice, our nervous system refines and spontaneously we identify more and more with the good feeling inside. And our behavior, health, and sense of well-being improve dramatically.
We’ve got nothing to lose, and much to gain by reaching for rapture and bliss every day. Life was not meant to be a struggle. As the man said, the nature of life is bliss.
Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help you. I have been practicing and teaching meditation for over 40 years.
Stress Reduction Resources, Director