So why's “bliss” in the name of our breathwork practice? Here’s the story...
"Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.” - Deepak Chopra
WHERE DOES "BLISS" COME FROM?
Bliss is a noun from Old Engligh, “blis”, meaning “merriment, grace, favor, happiness” and also of “spiritual joy, perfect felicity, the joy of heaven” and influenced by the word, “bless”. In Hinduism and Jainism, bliss comes from the Sanskrit word, “ananda”.
Yoga philosophy says that God is "sat-chit-ananda" (existence-consciousness-bliss). Bliss arises after liberation from the death and rebirth cycle. This type of bliss asks for complete surrender to, and merging with, the divine. Those who seek this dissolution into oneness are known as bhaktis, devoted to self-realization through service and love.
WHAT IS BLISS?
Inspired by these ancient meanings, we use “bliss" to describe the innocence of the soul realizing itself in oneness with everything. Bliss is unconditional grace, merging with the divine in all its forms, where you embrace every experience, emotion and challenge in life as a precious gift reminding you that you're a spiritual being having a human experience. Bliss states allow you to you feel more genuine awe, gratitude, purity, beauty, holiness, and goodness.
Bliss finds meaning where the sh*t hits the fan, as well as when everything seems to be going your way, because its all about letting go of resistance. Bliss happens when the rubber hits the road of being alive, not by spiritually bypassing. Bliss asks you to fully face and find holiness in whatever is here right now.
"I tell you, deep inside you is a fountain of bliss, a fountain of joy. Deep inside your center core is truth, light, love...” - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
FEELING BLISS MAY REQUIRE FEELING PAIN
So, you may be realizing by now that Breath of Bliss isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Since bliss is about feeling it all, the full hurricane of your humanity is welcome. This includes challenging feelings, memories and beliefs. Connected breathing opens up the energy flow in your body to liberate whatever has been suppressed — including repressed anger, shame, fear, sadness, sexual feelings and more.
Connected breathing invites you to face everything that isn't aligned with the truth of who you are as an eternal soul. Breath of Bliss can show you every place you choose to suffer, self-sabotage and deflect your angelic nature. Whatever you have judged, denied, criticized or tried to hide can emerge. This can mean facing disappointments, traumas and wounds. And here's the honest truth - it can be excruciating to gain sudden awareness of the chronic self-abandonment and victimhood we've committed to.
But here's the great news - know that you are so much more than your wounds, traumas and stories. And our breathwork facilitation will consistently offer you invitations to wake up to that. Of course if turbulence arises during your breathwork, you'll get deep care, sensitive holding and presence. Meanwhile, our Breath Bliss facilitators are committed to holding a clear vision of who really are - a divine being here on Earth awakening to your human experience. We will meet you in the raw vulnerability of whatever arises, to simply sit with and be with you without trying to fix, change, or save you. We will attune to you in a field of relational presence, mirror your experience and provide gentle contact. Meanwhile, we trust in the miraculous self regulatory capacity of your nervous system and the sacred breath to help you remember your wholeness at the pace and at the time that is right for you. We are here to midwife your heart to grow so you can accept more of who you are.
Wether you think you’re a hot mess or “on top of the world”, you're welcome. All kinds of breathwork experiences may unfold, from “nothing is happening”, to wildly emotional, intergalactic, angelic, and ancestral, to creative and business insights, to pre-birth and childhood memories.
The more you love and accept, the more you may you begin to identify with something more majestic -- being a vast space which can hold everything without needing to control it, define things good or bad, right or wrong. You may begin to realize that you chose this life, you signed up to be here and have all your experiences. Once you fully embrace and see your humanity for what it is, a school of awakening, a sense of delightful freedom can emerge.
MOVE BEYOND ME TO WE TO ONE
Bliss arises as you strip away everything that is not true about you. Struggle evaporates. Suddenly there is unity and merging as the small me disappears. Bliss is a unified field of awareness, a state of superconsciousness. Bliss restores your innocence. It’s like seeing through the pure eyes of a child or with the wisdom of an elder. In this place, all things are interconnected and pristine. It’s literally a “lightening up” of distorted perceptions, like waking from a dream.
In this realm between and of all worlds, miracles of consciousness unfold with ease. Forgiveness happens spontaneously. Vast understanding arises. Awe lives here. You can easily access your higher self. Blame and shame evaporate. You can communicate with other realms. There is a feeling of reverence for the wondrous mystery of life. In bliss, you realize your highest potential and purpose.
"When you drop your unnecessary things, you finally can swoop and fly in vast space. It is so blue, so bright, and so nice, so airy and fresh. You can stretch your wings and breathe the air. You can do anything you want. You have experienced cheerfulness and joy, and finally the bliss of freedom occurs in you.”- Chogyam Trungpa
BLISS IS NOW
Bliss can only show up when you stop replaying the past or stressing about the future. You need to be intimately here, now, with every breath, every sensation, and every emotion, every thought — and the immaculate, divine place beyond all these things.
There is no formula of how to get from pain to bliss. Surrender is a good place to start. As emotions, memories, ideas and realizations reveal themselves, continue to breathe and watch what arises without weaving stories.
Think of your breath as a mystery school. You are apprenticing to the inhale and exhale, learning how to allow life to move through you. Welcome whatever arises without contracting the muscles or holding the breath. Letting go of control is the beginning of bliss.
What does this practically mean in a breathwork? If you feel tears wanting to roll, instead of tightening your eyes to hold it in, soften and let water to flow. If you clench your hands while breathing fast and shallow, resisting discomfort, deepen your breath and soften. If you feel afraid of all the sensations, ask for support. If your jaw is getting tight because you are trying to stay quiet, let er' rip. And stay in the deep, connected breaths.
"Our problem is that we identify with all the moods of the mind. When we are angry, we become anger. It is the same with fear, excitement, anxiety, sorrow and happiness. We become with with that emotion, whether it is positive or negative. We identify with the mask, but in reality, none of these moods are really you. Your true nature is bliss.” - Amma
Those in bliss after a breathwork often sit with bright shining eyes and a soft smile in a state of peaceful, wordless wonder. Bliss lies beyond mental dialog and shows us there is more to us than the controlling chatter of mind. These miracles of awareness are not linear. Bliss doesn’t require full transmutation of all your shadows before you can feel it! Bliss can show up in glimpses, in a single breath, sometimes even amidst great pain, opening doorways of understanding.
In the words of Parmahansa Yogananada, in bliss our “consciousness perceives all motion and change of life, from the circling of stars to the fall off a sparrow and the whirling of the smallest electron… solids melt into liquids, liquids into gaseous states, these into energy, and energy into cosmic consciousness….”
So what the heck do you do with all of this? Lots of fancy words and descriptions, but how can you feel more bliss? Knowledge becomes wisdom though direct experience. So stop reading this and do a breathwork! Bliss will stay a fluffy, abstract idea until you jump into a practice. Discover for yourself what's possible! See if you have a local live Breath of Bliss ceremony to attend, download one of my guided breathwork audio journeys or join us at the next Level 1 Self Love Journey Breathwork Intensive. Document your journeys and share in our global Facebook group. See what happens next…
What are your thoughts about bliss? Let's create a dialog. Have you experienced bliss in a breathwork? What was it like? Tell your story….
"Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer.”- Joseph Campbell