Bliss

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Bliss. Now there’s a word and state of mind that sounds worthy to experience. What is it exactly and how can we access it in our lives?

According to American psychologist Mary Pipher bliss is an illuminating experience followed by a great feeling of acceptance, calmness, joy and gratitude. You would expect bliss to show up when your life is unfolding smoothly. Yet according to Mary Pipher, bliss shows up in the middle of our worst nightmares. When we are battling illness, career challenges, relationship problems. When we hold at the same time the deepest sorrow of the world and the most exalted happiness. Where we experience the double nature of reality. According to her bliss feels both utterly different from ordinary reality AND more real. A feeling as if the scales have fallen from our eyes and we can finally see clearly. A state of mind where our defensiveness, vanities, and problems all vanish in the context of something bigger. Something more pure.

Mmmm, is “pure” perhaps the key ingredient? Is it about slowing down, reconnecting with our inner, wiser, authentic part, that is the key to experiencing bliss? Or is “acceptance” indeed the key factor? And if so, can we accept this deep sorrow that we are battling with? The more I am thinking of bliss, what comes up for me, is that bliss is indeed is the outcome of 2 extremes. It is exactly because by finally accepting these 2 extremes, by moving past them so to speak, peace reigns and bliss has the space to show up. Does that make any sense?