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meditation tag

Follow your bliss

Interesting article by Deepak Chopra about following your “bliss”.

Let’s say that you want to follow your bliss as far as it can take you. There are essentially three stages on such a path. Stage 1 is the experience of personal joy, which all of us have known at least once in our lives. These moments touch the lives of people who fall in love or who achieve a triumph or who simply find themselves overjoyed for whatever reason. You grab and hold on to Stage 1 bliss as long as you can, but eventually the moment passes.

A change occurs in Stage 2. Instead of possessing an experience of joy, the joy possesses you. By this I mean that it is more impersonal. In Stage 1, bliss is all for me, the ego-personality. In Stage 2, you rise above personality. The Latin roots of the word “ecstasy” mean “to stand outside.” That’s how Stage 2 bliss feels. You go outside your normal boundaries.

Stage 2 feels light and sometimes out-of-body. Religious awe falls into this category, along with wonder before the beauty of Nature, or its immensity. There can be a sense that time has stopped or that your mind has expanded into a new space that is free, open, untroubled, peaceful, and forever calm. But the essential aspect of Stage 2 bliss is that it possesses you, not the other way around.

Stage 3 is the experience of Stage 2 bliss on a permanent basis, so that it becomes the default state of your awareness. Every person’s mind has a default state already, a set of grooved-in reactions, responses, beliefs, and attitudes that make up their personal story. Stage 1 bliss occurs inside this default setting, while Stage 2 takes a brief vacation from it, and then Stage 3 leaves the old default setting behind completely.

At that point, “Follow your bliss” has accomplished what it was meant to accomplish: liberation. There are many terms for this state, such as enlightenment, waking up, Nirvana, Moksha, or the peace that passes understanding. The important thing is the experience, which begins simply enough, by focusing on the bliss you can create in your life, valuing it, and beginning to experience, usually through meditation or Yoga, a settled sense of the quiet, peaceful mind.