The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has. - Michelangelo
In class 28 you will:
- Understand how blissful life actually is
For many to live in bliss is a fantasy.
To be happy is not seen as a permanent state but as a kind of fleeting moment, a gift that fate might offer from time to time. Some people even think of too much happiness as being slightly delusional or uncaring for those that are suffering. It is simply unimaginable that a person could live free from suffering, free from the occasional nightmare, free from anxiety or pain, free from any or all negativity.
But to live in bliss is possible. Not only possible but inevitable.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. - Ralph Waldo
Our most natural state is actually blissful. Many of us think we naturally are in a struggle with life, that we have to fight against fate, that we have to take what we need or we will be left behind.
The opposite is true. We are naturally really happy beings. Our experience of fate is dictated by our choices, by our thoughts and intentions. The universe is actually incredibly abundant. It is only that we have created a series of illusions that stop us from experiencing our real blissful nature.
You can never be happy at the expense of the happiness of others. - Chinese Proverb
To be very simple about this, the universe is love manifest. Stop for a second and get that. Make sure you understand that sentence. The universe is love manifest. When we experience this, we are blissful. When we are caught thinking the physical images that love projects through are the reality, we are not. It really is that simple.
Our problem is complicating our lives. With every complication we give more credence to the illusion than to the reality.
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. - Helen Keller, 1880-1968, American Blind/Deaf Author and Lecturer
Imagine this for a moment. Let us say you are watching a movie. It is a very intense movie and you are completely engrossed. People die in your movie and it evokes tears from you and again in the next moment someone finds true love and your heart is all a flutter. For you, you have suspended your connection with the so-called real world to focus completely on this imaginary movie world. You know it is not real but it may as well be for the effect it is having upon your emotions and mind. Perhaps after the movie you go to bed and dream about the hero or have nightmares about the villain. You realise that the movie is an illusion – that after the movie there is the ‘real’ world that you have to eat and sleep and operate in, but some movies affect you so deeply you carry around
their effects for days.
This ‘so-called’ real world is really only the surface of our lives. It is just a movie. A soap opera where the news titillates us with drama, murders and death. Where advertising, radio, television, the internet all are competing for time in our heads. All with their own imaginary sense of ‘something really important they have to tell us’ but none doing much more than dictating that everything they are showing is ‘urgent’ but none of which really is important to us living in bliss.
The paradigm we live under says the world is full of tragedy and drama. That we at any moment could be
victim to an accident, robbed, murdered... That it is a dog eat dog world where we have to compete with our neighbours and workmates for more money and more things. Everything is urgent. This ‘movie’ is quite a tragedy, it is dramatic and exciting, but it is all just a movie, for our bliss lies deeper. The illusion is imprisoned by time, it tries to make itself real by what has happened in the past, and what could happen in the future. The illusion never
encompasses the present moment. We are always either running away from something or running to something when we are imprisoned by the illusion, imprisoned by our own ego.
If you remember it is our ego that is created from the passage of time. What has happened to us in the past or what might happen in the future, is the way ego decides who we are. This ego does not where it is in the present moment for in the present moment our deeper existence, our soul, is king. This is where love is, where eternity is, where the universe is. Our real reality is in the present moment in what Jesus described as the 'kingdom of heaven within'. The past and the future should only be inspirations to our experience of the real.
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. - Eleanor Roosevelt
What we really need to do is turn off all the noise on the surface of our lives to see the love and to experience bliss. Can you stop the noise? Can you stop the past and the future and be in the present moment. Can you sit and withdraw from the movie for a while and feel what is left? Can you stop thinking about where you have come from or where you are going for a moment, and see who it is that is actually here now in this moment? Is that where the real you is? The reality of you, the reality of love, the experience of bliss is just a little deeper than everything we experience on the surface. That is not to say that there is not a reality to sleeping and eating and the news, but it should not be really much more of a concern than popcorn or coke at the theatre.
For us to live in bliss, there is a simple requirement and that is for us to be in the real world, the world of love, the world of now, this moment. When we see each thing, each animal or each person as aspects of love, then we are beginning to find bliss.
Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. - Mother Teresa
For most of us, it will take the deepest meditation to glimpse this bliss. But once experienced it forever colours and deepens the way every other view ever will be taken.
Many times people speak of this world as being full of suffering. How is it possible to be happy when people are dying or in pain? How does God do it? Surely he or she is in bliss? Well how can that be? Is God just ignoring our pain? The reality is that when we experience the real world of love and bliss we realise that our movies have twists and turns. It is all a part of the drama, the part that makes things interesting. It is us that decides how to experience it. Whether we decide to be in suffering or pain is up to us, we can go higher. Indeed, we can realise that pain and suffering do not have to be negative experiences. We might realise, for example, that painful experiences can be one of the 99 steps we took falling off the bike before we could ride it, and each step was important. Are you going to be paralysed by the fear of painful experiences or inspired by the doorways they open?
The secret to living our bliss is love. Real unconditional love. Most of us tie love to romance or even to what we glimpse with our families. This love is sometimes very conditional and focussed completely on one or two people. Typically it is ‘I will love you if you love me’ love. But this isn’t the highest love.
The highest love is much larger than that. It is actually 'ego-less'. It is defined by the intensity with which we connect unconditionally and without expectations to all the souls around us. To the people, the animals, the forest and the trees and even the rocks and the sand. Love is the energy that connects everything - earth, plant, animal and mineral. The highest love begins with ‘I am’. ‘I am the earth’ not just ‘I am connected to the earth’, ‘I am the wind’ not just connected, ‘I am’ my friend, ‘I am’ my husband, my wife, my kids. And in the end the highest love comes with the realisation that we are love. When we surrender to our real nature and realise that we are love, bliss is ever present in that moment. The love that flows through every atom and connects us all.
Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do. - Emmanuel Swedenborg
The movies that we watch warp our sense of ourselves into the illusion of the movie, and taint us. Notice how after watching a certain movie you walk around with it, now imagine that what you are doing every day is watching a movie in which everyone is convinced is the only reality and you will see how difficult it is to leave the narrow paradigm of our illusory, suffering world.
You will know you are making progress with this when your dreams are clear and inspiring, you are joyous for no reason. When you are living in bliss you live completely in the flow of love. There are no ‘down’ times!
You will find yourself getting free of judgement of others or yourself. Not being imprisoned by time, by your past or your future. Rejoicing at the mirrors of yourself in every one and every thing. Being amazed and in awe at the simplicity of life. And feeling gratitude and gratitude and gratitude at every little heartbeart, every rock, every grain of sand.
You will know you are getting blissful when you realise that you have basically lifted up the range of thoughts that you allow into your consciousness. And the flow of love in gratitude and in compassion will flow through every present moment. You will know you are getting blissful when you begin to believe that blissfulness is not only possible, but inevitable.
Where there is love there is no darkness. - Burundi Proverb
Begin by focussing on your breath. Take longer, slower, deeper breaths and as you do feel in a parallel way feel the longer, slower and deeper thoughts that you are taking. Focus upon your heart.
Then please imagine yourself walking in a most beautiful forest. It is a warm summers day with the light filtering through the trees and all you can sense is the perfect balance of the forest. A perfect balance of wind and rain, earth and nutrients, light and shade, leaves and branches, flowers and fragrance. As you continue to feel your breath, you feel it merging with the breath of the forest. It is as though you are breathing in the outward breath of the leaves, as though your heartbeart is beating in perfect rhythm with the beat of the forest. And with each step you feel the forest a little more. As though you are expanding into the forest and the forest is expanding into you.
You walk and as you do you climb higher and higher. There is in you sense that there must be an ocean close by as a salty wind begins to waft through the trees and suddenly the vegetation though still stunning begins to change to more hardy varieties. The light intensifies and builds a crescendo within the light of your heart and suddenly, abruptly there in front of you is a vast ocean and you are standing on the edge of a cliff gazing into that huge opening. There is a peace and a stillness that leaves you breathless and you wonder if you have come to the edge of life itself.
You sit slowly and stop. Releasing yourself from everything of your past or your future, you stare ever more deeply into this moment. Ever more into this present moment. Gazing into the everything all around you.
It is. You are. And inside your heart you feel an amazing, awesome peace, welling up.
As you watch the waves crash upon the sands of the beach and into the face of the cliff beneath you. You realise that every moment is different from the last. That nothing is as it was a moment ago. And again you feel peace. Peace amongst change. You sense that no matter what happens, there is balance, there is peace.
You sit in silence. Within time itself. And you bathe in that fathomless peace.
Looking out to the horizon you begin to watch the waves and you realise that they are not just a physical energy moving through the water, but it strikes you that they are the source of the peace in this place. You watch the journey of a large wave from as far as you can see. You watch it building in the depths of the ocean, than travelling effortlessly, relentlessly towards the beach. Other little waves come to join it, empowering it some more, whilst occasionally other smaller waves travelling in exactly the opposite direction gently dissipate some of its power. Still the huge wave builds, and in you, you realise the immensity of the peace within it. With your open heart, you sense its real purpose, and as it crashes upon the shore, you feel at a deeper level, the energy of the wave vibrating peace into the sands and the cliff and the forest behind you.
Peace. Perfect peace.
Each wave crashes upon the shore and radiates peace. As you follow another wave, and then another, you feel the unconditional nature of the waves. Their offering of peace and love is completely without expectation. They do not come to the shore and see if anyone or anything will receive their offering first. They do not wait to be loved first, or for the world to realise the magnanimity of their soulful offering. Each wave just offers without reservation, with compassion and love. Peace.
And it strikes you suddenly that it is this unconditional peace, this love without expectation of love in return that is building in the world. That we are coming to peace. We are coming to a critical mass. You see out of the blue that you are riding upon a wave of consciousness, a wave of awareness that is sweeping all before it. We do not need to change peoples minds, we just need to join the waves of consciousness that are crashing upon the shores of the universe.
Crashing upon the shores with unconditional love and peace and people will come to feel it. Will come to join the wave rather than disturb it.
You gaze out to the ocean and realising that for years, you have looked at the ocean, but never seen it in this way with an open heart. You realise that the same thing must happen for every soul of our universe. We must all join the waves of love and peace that are drowning us all, every day. The critical mass is here, now. There are far more people with the waves than against them, and they are building daily.