In our life we seek out and enjoy the pleasure of relationships and possessions. We depend on this for our happiness. Especially in times of hardship we need these comforts to get through it all. What we notice over time is that these attachments we hold so tightly come and go… and it’s out of our control. Thus we endure disappointment and grief over these relationships and possessions as they come and go. What can we do to find enduring happiness? It is not the fault of the people and things that drift in and out of our life that causes this suffering. It is our attachment and expectations that fire our emotions into turmoil.
The problem is that we have been turning outward to the world to find happiness; this only brings pleasure and pain. Relief comes as we turn inward to the stillness of the impartial witness. In this state is the bliss of the Self; transcendent to the suffering of the mind. Let’s look at this state of bliss, what is it really? First we can understand the word bliss, that comes from the Old English word blithe. ‘Blithe’ means happiness or indifference. Bliss is the happiness of just being, free from the entanglement of the mind and its appetites. Indifference gives us a step back from the drama, simply being the observer of things just as they are.
Now let us look at the actual experience of merging into the Self, consciousness knowing itself. In the beginning, sitting quietly in meditation is trying to hold on to the emptiness, but the mind resists. Fortunately the mind will eventually like the stillness and we can sustain the stillness for longer periods of time. It is at this point that we begin to discover the fullness of the emptiness. We awaken to know the Self as peacefulness, contentment, sweetness, compassion, and love.
In this we begin a new relationship with ourself. Previously we knew ourself as the body, mind, and senses. Through this inward turning we develop a new relationship with our true Self. Meditation is spending time together, just the one of us. Eventually we realize that we are not the mind or body, but that consciousness is the aliveness in our being. Consciousness is separate from the body and mind, and is the watcher of the form and the ego drama. When we become the watcher, we are free from the tyranny of the mind. Thus, the inner bliss is the perpetual happiness we have sought all our life.
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