Meditation Articles Series

I Want To Be Blissed Out

My friend Joe, (not his real name) who has been meditating for many years, told me that his only reason for meditating was to feel blissful.

“Does that happen every time you meditate?” I asked him.

“No, it doesn’t,” he replied.

“So, Joe, when you don’t get into a blissed out state after an hour or even two hours of meditation, what’s that like for you?”

“Well it’s extremely disappointing. Sometimes I feel let down that I’ve put so much effort into my practice and I don’t even get the results I want,” he said with a rueful look on his face.

Every thing is rising and falling and passing away

A lot of people meditate with the expectation of getting blissful. It’s possibly a good idea to ask yourself why you meditate, or even if you are new to meditation why you want to take it up. If your goal is only to get into blissed-out states, accept that of course, but also accept that this may not happen as much as you would like. Whether it’s feelings of bliss or the very opposite, all things sooner or later will rise and fall and pass away. If you are clinging onto bliss or some other ‘altered state’, you could become anxious and frustrated when it doesn’t happen to you. Attachment to anything creates misery because it induces fear; fear that it won’t always be there for you, or meet your needs in some way. Bliss is a by-product, so to speak of meditation as are other bodily states such as agitation, lack of concentration, or physical discomfort. Can you accept and allow these as well in your meditation practice? And whenever they arise in your daily life can you accept and allow that too? Can you be the observer of the bliss, or the agitation, or other emotions without identifying with them or judging them or yourself?

Consider the Law of Impermanence. EVERYTHING arises and passes away. One of the reasons we suffer as humans is that we are attached to a self that we think is permanent and we then want to make things around us permanent as well. We can become attached to bliss and want to make that permanent as well.

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