This article is a kind of love letter to my “bliss junkie” former life and an extract from a little book on awakening I am slowly writing in moments between adventures and study. While I am sharing an aspect of my journey which was vital it is important to remember that no two awakening processes are the same, and that you are not missing out on anything essential by not having a bliss oriented path. There are many paths to the same destination.
For me the discovery of the bliss of awakening was a most remarkable and life altering surprise. And it quickly became a fascination.
As someone with a significant childhood trauma history the experience of the altered state of bliss as a side effect of my awakening journey was frankly incredible. I didn’t know such a feeling and state could be possible for someone like me, a person with such a tough and heavy personal history. Bliss gave me a temporary reprieve from the suffering and intense post-traumatic stress I was processing at the time. It was the most profound relief from the weight of an often frightening and traumatic childhood that I was on the journey of recovering from.
So of course I became a bliss junkie.
I was always someone able to commune with nature and my friends the trees, (it was how I spiritually survived my childhood – to have a more shamanic relationship with nature) so being able to commune with the divine and enter into a bliss state and oneness with everything became my favourite past time on my Kundalini journey. The more I played with attuning to bliss the easier it got to slip into this state. Years of meditating and yoga, being a natural empath, transmissions from teachers and being nature oriented also contributed to making it easier. I would sit with a cup of tea looking out at nature and attune to the sweet expanded altered states this state of being it gave me. And I simultaneously played with integrating this state into my body, cells and energetic system.
It is important to say while I did this I also made a powerful and conscious commitment to also stay grounded and connected to my life, so I wasn’t an untethered balloon wafting on the high drafts of Shakti bliss but someone content to absorb and float its healing medicine and still live a functional life.
And thus, medicine it was.
Shakti bliss states can be important because they point often the way to what is possible, a freedom from the pure identification with only being a material being- which for me that was an often suffering person. They were a temporary reprieve from only being “me” and connected me to something that was meaningful and eternal beyond my everyday self. But at the same time simultaneously made my ordinary life more rather than less meaningful.
Having moments of oneness and bliss where my identification with my body and psychology and story fell away intuitively confirmed me that I was on the right path. It told me I was heading in the right direction and that completing this Kundalini journey was (hopefully) possible for me. I was committed to it completing because it was also a tough process, so I wanted it to end. Expanded states gave me hope in the dark and difficult times.
Getting a taste of freedom and the divine, and to rest in these gaps can be important for they inspire you and invigorate you to continue with your commitment, attention and inner work towards your awakening journey. They nourish you and renew you. They are like a reward for the effort and application an awakening process requires. And when you are having moments of disorientation, fatigue, and insomnia or over sensitivity then a dose of bliss goes a long way.
Shakti bliss states can be healing and medicine. In these bliss states we open up and receive healing and radiant Shakti- from the divine, from the universe and sometimes from a teacher and sometimes from nature. This Shakti bliss is absorbed into our bodies, our cells and our nervous systems and is like food for the awakening body. It purifies, it soothes and it unconditionally loves. And in this it is a blessed nutrition for the soul, medicine for the being and soothing for the tired and sometimes confused awakening body.
Yet bliss is only a side effect of the awakening process, not its ultimate outcome. Vedic and Buddhist texts warn of getting lost or addicted to the bliss, or forgetting the deeper purpose of awakening. Some texts even encourage the seeker to spurn such highs and stay keenly applied to the path in an ascetic way. For some people this may be appropriate but I tend to rest somewhere in the middle, honoring the astute process of the path and also recognizing the medicine, relief and value of a good soak in bliss, a blessed healing tonic.
(And I want to stress neither bliss not expanded states are essential to completing awakening and Kundalini journeys. If you do not experience these states there is nothing wrong. It was simply part of my path.)
Yet at some point the bliss junkie had to die. Kundalini was going to finish this craving off too.
And so it did.
In the knock out aftermath of the completion of my Kundalini process my fascination and attraction to bliss simply vanished. No craving, no interest, no movement towards it. Which in many ways was, and still is, extraordinary considering my attraction to bliss candy of Shakti.
These days bliss is still there softly in the background but I still don’t move towards it. Something more deeply and permanently satisfying has been found.
I am grateful for the bliss junkie, she had a good nose for the divine and led me home to my deepest nature. And in the end she was flung off like a garment when the true lover was met.
I don’t miss her, but I am thankful to her.
(image via Favim)