In recent correspondence, we explored bliss. A perspective came out I thought was worth sharing.
Various experiences may trigger bliss early on: awe, giving, doing good, leading from other emotions like gratitude, and so forth.
The most reliable way, though, is through an effortless meditation. Transcending takes us down into pure consciousness. On the way, we pass through the bliss body and thus experience a wave of happiness on the way in or out.
During our regular practice, this may be quite occasional, as unresolved mental and emotional baggage can fog the windows of perception. They put a “blanket” over more refined levels.
The bliss body is a subjective name for what’s also called the causal or celestial. It’s the field of first becoming, a lively ocean. We can experience that lively becoming as bliss, vibration, or sound.
Settling into pure consciousness (samadhi) also gives an opportunity for the body-mind to heal. Gradually, healing increases clarity and allows the bliss body to be experienced.
When we’re established in Self Realization, not only are we established in the Self, but also in the bliss. Thus, it’s described as satchitananda, absolute bliss consciousness. The upper 3 koshas dominate, rather than the body, mind, and emotions. However, this doesn’t mean bliss is “loud” all the time. It becomes an ongoing quality of life, sometimes foreground, sometimes quietly in the background.
As we go deeper into reality, we discover qualities of the Divine prior to consciousness. Three key ones are alertness, liveliness, and intelligence. Those combine to create self-aware consciousness. We can experience that quality of liveliness on any level as bliss.
So bliss isn’t just a quality of the bliss body. Touching a leaf or a lover can be blissful. Any form of perception enlivens qualities, making them blissful. This is a key quality of the Refined stages, beginning with God Consciousness.
And yet, the physiology adapts very quickly. What was intense becomes the new normal. Blasting becomes a steady pleasantness. A quiet joy becomes a backdrop to whatever is being experienced on the surface. We can forget that this quiet joy would be overwhelming in the not so distant past.
Just as in meditation, bliss can be clear or foggy. Noticed, or a bit lost. There are darker emotions like anger and grief that coexist with bliss. It’s strongly affected by our degree of refinement. It can come well before or well after awakening. So bliss can’t be used as a yardstick for awakening. It is a good sign of becoming well-established later, though.
Finally, life is literally bliss. The lively flow of our life force (prana) can be experiences as bliss.