By Ruth (Rama) Brooke
I couldn’t conceive of it when I first heard Gurudevi Nirmalananda say, “Bliss is your birthright!” I knew the kind of joy and happiness that comes and goes. But what was the bliss she referred to?
In a beautiful poem, the 8th century yogic sage Shankaracharya wrote, “chidananda rupah,” my nature is the bliss of Pure Consciousness. In saying “My nature is bliss,” Shankaracharya affirms that bliss is a natural state, a birthright. We think we need to hunt for it. We search for it in everything and everywhere we go. Yet it’s inherent to the human being. Each of us has the blissful capacity of awareness and knowingness.
This bliss of Pure Consciousness is found on the inside. You turn inward to find what yoga calls the capital-S Self. It is so close, a breath away, just behind the mind’s thoughts and activities. Your own Self is the Self that you were when you were a child. You are that same Self now. Through meditation you can experience this again and again. Meditation quiets your mind, so you experience your own Self and its qualities of bliss, awareness and knowingness. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one else to be. This is your natural state of being. It is truly bliss-full.
Through meditation, I now know the bliss that arises from within. I access it daily; it’s no longer blocked from my view. Bliss is eternal. It need not fluctuate with the external circumstances of life’s inevitable ups and downs. Bliss is always there, in you too. You can reliably open into it. This is the promise of Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation, taught by Gurudevi Nirmalananda, my Guru. Through this practice, you experience your own Self and its ever-arising qualities of bliss, peace, quietude, compassion, love and more. Meditation transforms your mind so that you can experience your Self while still engaging in the world. You learn to bring your bliss with you into your life. While in this state, you remain centered. You are the calm eye of the storm even while turbulent times swirl around you. You are joyful, even experiencing bliss through bittersweet events. The light of the Self shines through you in all that you do, and into your relationships.