Feeling the bliss

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.

Feeling the bliss

Postby SputnikSweetheart » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:04 am

I've been wanting for some time to write my own personal story up. I've written it before only once on a website about two years ago, and since then haven't really published it online, and barely talked about it. But now I felt a sudden urge to write it down again, first of all to bring hope to people that may be in a similar situation as myself and of course, to chat to some other like-minded people. So, here it goes...

At the age of 20 (which was roughly 4 years ago), I started having a pretty serious mental problem. It started as a few panic attacks but spiraled into a severe form of generalized anxiety disorder. The condition was indeed severe (and I am by no means exaggerating here): I would have for days a condition called depersonalization (seeing things as being unreal or like in a dream - yes, this is a condition wikipedia describes quite well), I would be afraid of almost anything in my environment to the point of seclusion, I had eating and sleeping problems, not to mention other symptoms of anxiety (like long periods of depression, social anxiety, headaches, cognitive impairments, suicidal thinking etc.). I WILL NOT describe this experience more, because this is not what I'm here to talk about. The point is that my life became pretty unbearable. Actually, I have no idea how the anxiety aggravated so much, before this I had been a generally sociable person, and by all means what is called a "normal" person.

Soon enough I started having these existential anxieties, asking myself about the existence of God, about the meaning of it all, about the evil in the world and our place here. The conversations with myself got pretty interesting, but I have to say these were generally led by a feeling of helplessness and deep fear. Interesting as they were, at the end of the day, I needed to be more happy than I was. On this background of philosophical thoughts, I was still battling depression and other issues related to anxiety. I started buying self help books to this end, hoping that somehow these will have an effect, that these will "sink in", and maybe at least alleviate my anxiety or answer some questions. And that's how I found "The power of Now", on a bookshelf: I thought to myself "I can't be thinking so much, I am anxious all the time, I should learn to live more in the present"... And that was a beginning of a journey I could not have fathomed before, something which has enriched my life beyond any words. Thank you, Eckhart, I am deeply grateful!

I bought the book and read it while in holiday in Greece. I remember I resonated with it and found deep truth in it. It was a good read, but honestly now, I was having a horrible time. I went with my Mom on holiday (I had the enormous luck of a VERY supporting family) because she wanted in some way to make me feel better, seeing the deep states of depression that I would sink in. My body was in pain almost all the time, I could feel it while moving and I couldn't really have fun. I finished the book, was walking on the street and I thought, you know, the book speaks the truth... but what difference does it make to me, I am in so much pain, I have this mental disorder, that I feel paralyzed by and I can't get out of the anxiety circle. Reading this book, I thought then, gives me only temporary relief. I was walking on the street, looking at some clothes in some shopping stand or something and suddenly something very strange happened: something in my brain sort of started dissolving. I mean the sensation was literally one of dissolution, of my thoughts just stopping. My breath became deeper (wow, I could breathe the fresh air, something I had not done for a few years, or maybe never), and things got to be colorful. I mean very colorful, they were really huge, compared to how I'd seen them before. The world became beautiful, my thoughts disappeared like clouds that give way to sun, and, what can I say... I was just there, and that's all :) It was a turning point. I felt this deep energy in me, and something I later called "Buddha smile"... I would almost laugh at how beautiful, energetic, lively everything was. I could pay attention to the little details that I honestly never gave much importance: how I breathed, how I picked up objects, how I blinked, made every decision (the resolution that I experienced life was really different and that was pretty amazing). I felt deeply connected and ONE with everything around me :) It was truly beautiful... I walked on the street like this in utter bliss, and this sensation lasted for a few minutes. The feeling started dissipating as more and more thoughts came, and I just couldn't face them anymore. But this time it was weird: I didn't feel as connected to everything as before, but I could definitely feel myself as NOT the thoughts.

The feeling of bliss has followed me since then, in various places, and I love it. I learned that life is truly beautiful, and it is just this screen of thoughts that keeps us disconnected from feeling at one with everything. I think these blissful experiences were a new chance at life, I literally woke up from what seemed like a very long dream. I learned that I am not my thoughts, and nothing I could think of can destroy the beautiful reality I found on that day. It has given way to starting to live a more mature and responsible life, to me overcoming anxiety (wow, yes: OVERCOMING crippling anxiety, although that took months of practicing new thinking habits and using my newly learned tools of distancing myself from the thoughts I was having), to making conscious choices, and to me feeling more connected to everyone around me. These realizations and the fact that I feel an independent human being, (yet paradoxically!) in connectedness with everything is of most value to me.

I do not think that the feeling of bliss is necessary for waking up and finding oneself, although it probably appears inevitably as one grows spiritually. I think my life experience is useful for others, giving (1) hope that we have indeed a treasure buried within us, a link to Source, and (2) hope to other anxiety sufferers, given that I overcame the condition as a natural process from knowing that my thoughts have no substantial reality to them, and therefore being the "own architect" of my thought structure (and learning to be in control over what I am thinking).

In any case, there's more adventures in my life than this (yet this pretty much summarizes my most valuable life experience so far -- heck, seeing beyond form and deconstructing the normal, ordinary "I" -- I am deeply humbled by this experience !! :) ); but I will stop here, since the post is getting long, it's getting late, and I don't want to bore anyone.

Cheers!
“Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still”
SputnikSweetheart
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:04 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Feeling the bliss

Postby Phil2 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:57 am

Thank you for your beautiful story ... seems rather similar to what happened to Tolle, after a period of deep suffering, comes a sudden change of perception ... and a beautiful world reveals itself out of there ...

:)

Could you tell us if those moments of bliss have come back since your first experience ? with the same intensity ? and in which circumstances ?
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
Phil2
 
Posts: 1379
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Feeling the bliss

Postby SputnikSweetheart » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:44 am

The following months I would say the blissful experiences would come back quite frequently. The next day after the first dissolution of ego, it happened again... We were visiting some monasteries there, and again, reality showed itself to me with the same intensity and I experienced the same unparalleled joy. The feeling is really as if there is "someone" else behind the thought, a watcher/observer and when the blissful experience occurs, basically the switch from one form of consciousness to the other happens: you become the watcher.

Anyway, it happened multiple times, but started happening less and less. This year I had it twice: once when I went to the seaside (for some reason I feel a deep connection with the sea/ocean, it makes me more conscious, even when my first blissful experience occurred, we were at the seaside), and the other right after I moved to Seattle, which is the city I currently live in.

I remember one instance particularly: I was listening to a song by Brian Eno, called And then so clear. It happened again, and I thought to myself it will disappear as it has done before, feeling in me this energy that I would like to stay this way (really in these states thoughts are sort of like bundles of energy that you can feel as separate from yourself). But I feel so much wise in these states, and I felt really that even if go back to regular consciousness, it doesn't add or change anything about who I really am... it's just that I don't feel it, that's all. So, I stayed there as an observer until the switch happened to regular consciousness, feeling assured that it is easy to put so much hope&desire into being fully enlightened, but that the fact is... ahhh, I can't really put in words. Something like: "You are a child of the Universe, just as the tree and the stars. Your place is here", which is a line from Desiderata which I really like :)

I want to add something else though, which I feel is really important: I have had less blissful experiences, but I have had many experiences in states that I call- and maybe there's already a word for this that I don't know -- "right intention and right action". In such states, I'm having the everyday consciousness, but at its best. I feel fully present, I am anchored in the now, my mind is clear, I make decisions, I pay attention to "beingness". I consider these experiences very valuable, maybe as valuable as the fully blissful ones. And my impression is that with practice and dedication of living in the Now, mature human beings can live in these states, perhaps all the time. I have no idea how the blissful experience itself happens, since I honestly have no control as to when it appears and disappears; quieting my mind, paying attention to my breath, honesty to myself and the thoughts I have, would bring me in these experiences of "right intention & right action" (again, I'm calling them like this, but I AM SURE other people here know more about this). These can come with practice I believe have the potential to greatly enrich anyone's life.
“Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still”
SputnikSweetheart
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:04 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Feeling the bliss

Postby Onceler » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:55 pm

Nice posts Sputnik, thanks. I don't have bliss states but I do have the states of right intention and action you describe very well. I call them flow states. There is often an abiding peace or calm with the rightness.
Be present, be pleasant.
User avatar
Onceler
 
Posts: 2203
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: Feeling the bliss

Postby Enlightened2B » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:22 pm

Nice posts SSH.

I can resonate greatly, especially with the ocean reference. I had an intense awakening experience two summers ago at the beach. Maybe its the serenity of the beach and the ocean.

I'd say that these aren't states that you are experiencing. Instead, they are glimpses of your unlimited nature as Pure Being, not clouded by thought structures. I think we all experience them, but most of us don't realize it. Sounds like you do realize it. Mind attempts to conceptualize the experience which in itself, creates more limitations upon the nature of Pure Being, when in reality, it is not really an experience, but, it is merely you, as Pure Love experiencing you as Pure Love. These 'states' are always possible by allowing experience to be exactly as it is and not resisting what is. The more you allow and embrace in your experience, the more freedom there will be....aka...these blissful states.

Life is blissful, even among the perceived hardships we might seem to endure when you realize that there is nothing that is not you, in your experience.
Enlightened2B
 
Posts: 1897
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:51 pm
Location: New York

Re: Feeling the bliss

Postby SputnikSweetheart » Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:03 am

Thank you for the comments, guys! they're all appreciated :)

I agree with you Enlightened2B that mind tries to conceptualize these experiences... The best thing is to accept the current life situation you are in, no matter what that is. Acceptance, honesty, and love (however one wants to define it) are things to cultivate.

I'd add that I have been re-considering my previous statements that there is the "blissful" experience and another flow/"right intention right action experience". I think that, as states of consciousness, the only difference is that in blissful experiences mind is more silent and can enjoy the present moment in all its beauty and holiness. When practicing the silencing of mind, my intuition is that blissful states will appear more and more frequently. Unfortunately, I've been having a very hectic lifestyle these past years for several reasons; somehow I am satisfied about this fact, but the drawback is less time with myself and a more busy mind.

Like I said, the experiences described are just states of consciousness, these states do not change who you are in reality :)
“Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still”
SputnikSweetheart
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:04 pm
Location: Seattle


Return to Personal Experiences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest