Truth, Consciousness, & Bliss…

Welcome to our very first Dharma discussion. I am calling it a discussion, because what I share on this day will merely be the planting of seeds of thought for you to ponder.

My hope is that all of you who read this will have additional thoughts to share so that we can all gain a greater collective wisdom and insight.

Most of what I will share here will be derived from my own Yoga practice. I am incredibly fortunate to receive my yoga training at, what I consider, the best yoga studio on the planet…I am a little biased, but believe it to be true. If you are ever fortunate enough to be in Portland, OR or more specifically Vancouver, WA, please visit my dear friend Yvonne Edes yoga studio call The Shanti Yoga Studio.  You can visit her beautiful website at www.shantiforeveryone.com. For those of you who may not know, Shanti is Sanskrit for Peace… I will occasionally be using some Sanskrit terms, but I will always translate them to the best of my ability.

Most importantly, I hope that what I share with you will serve as a great source of inspiration.  I hope that it will help you move through your day a little easier and help you open up to the possibility that everything that you need already resides within. I am very much looking forward to some “juicy” discussion… Namaste.

Peace already exists within, or as Thich Nhat Hanh states in the title of one of his books, “Peace is Every Step“. In the Foreword of this book, The Dalai Lama says, “Peace must first be developed within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace.” Thich Nhat Hanh’s message states that “peace is not external or to be sought after or attained“.

Living mindfully, slowing down and enjoying each step and each breath, is enough.” Peace is always available to us because it is always present within, the question is, are we in touch with it?

I want to talk about a Sanskrit term that we discussed in our yoga class the other night, the term is called Satchitananda. (Sot chit a nan da) don’t be overwhelmed or worried about the name, mostly think about it’s meaning.  If you break down the word a little, the meaning is fairly clear, although let me emphasize, Sanskrit terms can have many interpretations, so please understand that this is my very basic understanding and interpretation of the word.

Sat – means “truth” or “essence“.

chit – means “consciousness“.

ananda – means “bliss“, or extreme happiness.

The vital essence of truth, consciousness and bliss are always present within all of us. We are never absent from it. It is there for us in times of joy and in times of turbulence, it does not choose or discriminate when to be available. You can access it at any time.

Here is a short poem by  Dawna Markova that Yvonne shared in class that I believe captures the essence of Satchitananda.

I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear

Of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

To allow my living to open me,

To make me less afraid,

More accessible,

To loosen my heart

Until it becomes a wing,

A torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

To live so that which came to me as seed

Goes to the next as blossom

And that which came to me as blossom,

Goes on as fruit.

Our modern world can easily pull us away from our truth, consciousness and bliss.

Some questions to ponder:

  1. What do you do when you’re being pulled away from knowing or accessing your truth, consciousness and bliss?
  2. What is it that you value most in your life? And…
  3. What patterns of support have you set up in your life to support what you value most?

There are no “right” or “wrong” answers here, just ideas to contemplate.

When we’ve become aware that we are not in touch with or being pulled away from our truth, consciousness and bliss, we can consider “emptying” out.  Our minds are constantly busy, filled with daily thoughts, worries, activity and stressors. One way to get in touch with Satchitananda is if we try emptying out our minds to find some clear pathways.  This does not mean shuffling thoughts from one compartment to the next, it means clearing your thoughts out. This will give us the opportunity to remember and recognize what it is that we value most as well.

This does not mean you can’t feel whatever it is that you’re feeling, you shouldn’t deny it, but it also means not to completely immerse yourself in the story line.

Try to give yourself some time to empty out your mind, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Try this simple breathing technique.

Lie comfortably on your back with your chest slightly raised with a rolled up towel under your back,             either vertically or horizontally, which ever is the most comfortable.

If need be, place a pillow or bolster under your knees for low back support.

Rest your arms comfortably at your sides, preferably palms faced up.

Begin by breathing in “light” through your heart center, make this a “non” forced slow and easy inhale.

Exhale slowly from your heart center, down your arms and out through your hands, attempting to                 exhale the chatter in your mind.

Continue this slow rhythmic breath for about five minutes to begin with lengthening the time when               you feel ready to.

This is really only a taste of Satchitananda, but I look forward to read any of your thoughts about it, the questions to ponder or even the poem.

I hope that you have found this valuable and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.

I also recommend that you subscribe to this blog so that you may continue to be updated with valuable tips for your greatest well-being.

Until then,

Yours in Health, Peace and Joy,

Dianne

The Anti-Aging Artist

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